Davis Theatre Croydon, Surrey

Davis Theatre Croydon, Surrey



Opened 18th December 1928 with the silent film ‘The Last Command’
Closed Saturday 23rd May 1959 with the films ‘Tom Thumb’ and ‘ Andy Hardy Comes Home’
Built at a cost of £250,000 and seated 3725 with an additional 175 standing room
The Architect was Robert Cromie, and the builders were the local firm  Grace & Marsh of Waddon
It was, for a while, the largest seating capacity cinema in England
Stalls 2200 seats
Circle 1500 seats
Royal Circle 200 armchair style seats
In 1930 its seating capacity was overtaken by the Gaumont State Kilburn
The projection box was at the rear of the Royal Circle and had three projectors, one slide machine, and two stage follow spots
The stage was 30ft deep, and fully equipped
The screen & scenery could be flown using a 60ft high grid floor above the stage
There were enough changing rooms for 110 artists, and a miniature cinema for rehearsal use
The Orchestra pit could accommodate up to 20 musicians
There was also a four manual Compton organ
In June 1929 Western Electric sound was installed, and on Monday August 5th
the first sound film shown was
‘Movietone Follies of 1929’
Television projection equipment, probably Rank Cintel, was installed for the
Coronation of Queen Elizabeth 2nd on June 2nd 1953
The B/W TV picture was about 24ft wide
In 1953 a fourth projector was installed to enable continuous changeover projection of 3D films using  Polaroid filters, and viewing glasses
(Two machines were needed for each reel of 3D film. One machine showing the right eye picture, and the other the left eye picture
Most cinemas, only having two projectors, had to have a break at the end of every reel to lace up the next part)
The Davis was one of the Venues for Buddy Holly on his UK tour
Other stars to appear on the stage were
Ella Fitzgerald
Gene Krupa Quartet
The Bolshoi Ballet
The first ever performance of the London Philharmonic with Sir Thomas Beecham 15th Sept 1956
Covent Garden Opera
and many more too numerous to mention
The Davis also published it’s own magazine called the Davis Standard
See following pages
The Davis 23rd May 1959 with the films ‘Tom Thumb’ and ‘ Andy Hardy Comes Home’
Demolision started a few days after this photo was taken