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Brixton Hill, London SW9

It must have cost a tidy sum to demolish the graceful facade of the old Palladium and replace it with something looking like a 1950s gas fire; it would be interesting to know who provided the cash and whether they thought they got value for money. I used to patronise the Palladium when I lived in Brixton 50 years ago (when it looked like the picture on the left); as I remember, it was the ABC first-run cinema of Brixton, while the Astoria was the Odeon equivalent. I vaguely recall that it changed its name from the Palladium to the ABC or the ABC Palladium. I seem to remember a barrier right round the walls inside the auditorium where people could shuffle round in a queue while waiting for seats to become vacant.

The cinema has quite a long history, since a very elderly friend of mine recalls seeing the Fritz Lang silent masterpiece Metropolis there as a small boy in the late Twenties when the film was first released. My own memory is of getting hot under my teenage collar there by watching Silvana Mangano in the steamy Italian drama Bitter Rice.

The present building is called the Fridge and is some kind of music venue; presumably it's one of those places where people enjoy themselves by standing for hours waving their arms in the air. Well, at least they're making their own entertainment.

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