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Peckham past: Tower cinema and Holdron’s

‘The impressive Tower cinema was opened in Rye Lane by actress Gladys Cooper in 1914. During the First World War the basement was an official air raid shelter.’

‘The cinema closed in 1956 and the site became a car park. In the 1990s the entrance was renovated. When it is lit up at night it can be seen from trains travelling from Nunhead to Peckham Rye stations.

An early photograph of the Tower cinema was mistakenly published in a 2007 Edinburgh calendar. The error occurred because ’18-19 Princes Street’ was on the fascia of a shop next to the cinema. The shop at 118 and 120 Rye Lane was Montague Burton (tailors), which displayed the address of its Edinburgh branch.’

From Peckham and Nunhead through time by John Beasley, 2009 (available for loan from Peckham Library).