The Robin Hood Theatre
Named for its proximity to Robin Hood Lane, the Robin Hood cinema first opened its doors on Monday, 26th December 1927 with a showing of Ben-Hur. The building was designed by architect Harry E. Farmer, and distinguished by its grand domed entrance, red velvet settees, and hand-painted interiors of Robin Hood and his Merry Men.
ABC took over from Cinema Proprietors Ltd in 1929, and they retained ownership until the Robin Hood’s closure on Saturday, 7th March 1970. Its last ever showing was “Zulu”. The cinema was eventually demolished and a supermarket built on the site. It is currently a Waitrose.
“Famous for the gold dome on its roof, inside it was furnished with settees upholstered in red velvet, with Tudor decorated corridors. And over the cinema screen itself was draped a “huge handpainted scene depicting Robin Hood and his merry men”
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“Every week the Cinema Manager would call the children, who had celebrated their birthdays during the preceding week, on to the stage, in front of the screen, and the rest of the audience would sing Happy Birthday. Each child would then be given a free pass for the following week’s performance. Needless to say, you would celebrate several birthdays a year, if you could get away with it. What a lovely cinema the Robin Hood was, elaborately decorated with scenes from the Robin Hood legend. I was so sorry when it was demolished and replaced by a bland Waitrose supermarket.”