Hidden away in the back streets of Kennington is a storehouse of treasures from Britain's cinema history. The Cinema Museum on Dugard Way, a registered charity, exists to preserve rescued artefacts from British cinemas, as well as maintaining a huge collection of film stills, photographs, books and other paraphernalia including old film cameras, studio equipment and untold quantities of celluloid. Fittingly, the Museum now establishes its permanent home in the Victorian magnificence of the old Lambeth Workhouse, where Charlie Chaplin spent time as a child.
The Museum’s unique collection is the result of the lifelong efforts of co-founder Ronald Grant who began collecting film material as a child, and at the age of 15 he started work as an apprentice projectionist with Aberdeen Picture Palaces Ltd. He later worked at the British Film Institute and the Brixton Ritzy. A trip back to his home city resulted in him saving a swath of materials leftover from the closure of the James F. Donald cinemas, which had run the Aberdeen Picture Palaces. This memorabilia from Aberdeen forms a core part of the collection that the Cinema Museum houses today.
The collection grew far beyond its origins and was established fully as a museum in 1986. Today this unchecked growth gives the impression that the entire building is bursting at the seams. Some rooms are jammed with piles of boxes that touch the ceilings. Visiting the museum (aside from screenings, it often has open days which can be booked for a small fee, and usually this includes a tour by Grant) is an experience every film enthusiast in London should enjoy.
The Museum has announced it's Autumn season, which also ties into Scalarama 2014. A perfect chance for the uninitiated to pay a visit.
The Cinema Museum Autumn Season (3-30 September 2014).
Wed 3 Sep 2014 @ 19:30 · Events
Mare Nostrum The Kennington Bioscope is a regular cinema event that takes place at the Cinema Museum.
THE LAMBETH HERITAGE FESTIVAL 2014 LAUNCH EVENT
Thu 4 Sep 2014 · Events
Exterior of the The Master's House The Cinema Museum is pleased to host the launch event for this year’s festival.
THE VAMPIRE AND MRS RILEY
Fri 5 Sep - Sat 6 Sep 2014 · Events
The Vampire and Mrs Riley Compelling theatre from ISOSCELES as British drag act Arthur Lucan and fading horror star Bela Lugosi are thrown together in 1951 to make a B movie.
CINEMA OF CHILDHOOD: THE UNSEEN
Sat 6 Sep 2014 @ 15:00 · Events
Unseen 3 Join us for this enlightening screening and Q&A discussion with panelists including members of the Great Ormond Street Hospital Visual Impairment team.
THE CARDBOARD CITIZENS WALK
Sun 7 Sep 2014 @ 06:00 · Events
Cardboard Citizens logo At 6.00 The Cardboard Citizens Walk will end at The Cinema Museum with a screening of Charlie Chaplin short The Tramp (1915).
ONE REELER FILM CLUB
Tue 9 Sep 2014 @ 19:00 · Events
One Reeler Film Club This regular event (second Tues of each month, Sept-Dec 2014) provides a rare opportunity to see early 20th-century 'one reel’ films alongside contemporary short films, plus Q&As and a licensed bar. A must for cineastes and filmmakers alike!
THE EPIC FILM FROM BEN HUR TO POMPEII
Thu 11 Sep 2014 @ 19:30 · Events
Gladiator From the sublime to the ridiculous – film critic Richard Fitzwilliams considers the faults and merits of the ‘epic’.
CINEMA MUSEUM BOOKSTALL
Sat 13 Sep 2014 @ 14:00 · Events
film-canisters The Cinema Museum Bookstall is open to all between 14.00 and 17.00.
KINIMA PRESENTS: BLACK CAT WHITE CAT + CINE-VARIETY
Sat 13 Sep 2014 @ 17:30 · Events
Black Cat White Cat Emir Kusturica’s 1998 madcap comedy is complemented by a spectacular gipsy band score from No Smoking Orchestra + fast-paced variety acts.
CINEMA OF CHILDHOOD: LONG LIVE THE REPUBLIC
Tue 16 Sep 2014 @ 18:30 · Events
Long Live the Republic - bike Join us for an engaging screening and Q&A discussion with panelists including child mental health specialists.
OPEN HOUSE WEEKEND 2014
Sun 21 Sep 2014 @ 10:00 · Events
CM front entrance The Cinema Museum will be open from 10.00-17.00 on the Sunday of the Open House weekend.
Wed 24 Sep 2014 · Events
Kennington Bioscope logo The Kennington Bioscope is a regular cinema event that takes place at the Cinema Museum.
EXPLODING CINEMA PRESENTS THE DISPOSABLE FILM FESTIVAL
Fri 26 Sep 2014 @ 19:00 · Events
The Disposable Film Festival Cutting-edge short films made exclusively on ‘disposable’ devices – from phones and tablets to scanners and CCTV.
SCALARAMA FILM QUIZ
Tue 30 Sep 2014 @ 19:00 · Events
Scalarama Celebrate the final night of Scalarama, the nationwide film season, at this fundraising event for the museum. Expect short films, treasures from the museum's archive, live music plus a quiz from the Ten Rounds with De Niro team.