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The Old Lantern Theatre

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Does anyone remember the old Lantern Theatre on Kenwood Park Rd, when it was a derelict?  My sister and I and one or two other childhood friends found our way in through a basement window, and claimed it as our den.  This would have been about 1957.  We didn't know it was a theatre and called it our Haunted Picture Palace.  We loved going there.  Pam, my sister, would take a broom and a mop and clean up one of the rooms at the back.  She also brought some old curtains over to make it homey.   One day though,  we found a note on the table in 'our' room saying that the old theatre was going to be renovated  and, although we were invited to help with this, we never went there again (believing that we'd probably get into trouble for breaking in).  My sister and I had a brilliant childhood together. 

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Interesting you called it a Haunted Picture House. A few years ago my wife used to do music hall shows there with a local group and part of her act was with our small terrier dog. He would often go walkabout, and always ended up on the small balcony intently staring at a particular seat up there. It turns out the person who built it always used to sit up there watching the show!

 

Nigel L

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Spooky!  In truth, we didn't have any spooky experiences but just called it that because it made it more exciting.  I have never been back since its rebirth but would love to do so.  When was it that you last visited there?

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Probably five or six years ago now, it is quite nice inside, very well restored and they do regular performances by various groups, or at least up until the pandemic they did.

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Would I be right in saying it was originally known as the Chalet Theatre?

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Only trivia'...  I remember the old 'Lantern theatre as a derelict.. we would play around there during dinner break from Sharrow lane school..  a pal got inside for a nosy around.. I recall shouting a very authoritative sounding  ''Oi''  through a hole in a door..  my pal scurried out terrified.

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My parents used to go regularly to productions at the Lantern Theatre - they loved it.This would be late 1960s,maybe early 1970s,I think.

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You must have discovered the place at about the same time as my sister and me.  Shame that we didn't run into each other although that could have resulted in gang warfare (I was about 11).

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