Middlesex Kinemas Ltd

1920 Middlesex Kinemas established.

Middlesex Kinemas Ltd was set up in 1920 by the Blackman family who comprised of Alec Hyman Blackman, his father Philip and an accountant Louis Kingsley.

Philip Blackman was a self employed boot maker living in Dock Street Stepney. His son Alec at the time was a Hebrew teacher.They were both born in Russia

1922 Park Cinema Hither Green Lewisham

By 1922 Middlesex Kinemas had acquired The Gaiety in Twickenham, and the Teddington Picture House. Alec Hyman Blackman is listed in Electoral Registers for 1922 with his wife Esther in Waldergrave Road Teddington. He had married Esther Feldman in Whitechapel in 1917, and they had 3 children. Freda (1920) Hannah (1922) and Sylvia (1928).

Blackman appears to have acquired the Park Cinema near Lewisham in 1922. This seems to have been only for a short period of time as the Blackman’s consentrated on cinemas to the west of London.

1922 Teddington Picture House

Middlesex Kinemas took over this Teddington cinema in 1920. It had opened in 1913 the owner being the actor Cyril Reeves Hicks. The manager Mr A Ramsden moved to the Gaiety Twickenham in 1916 for a short period.

1925 Rate Book Gaiety Twickenham

In 1925 the Gaiety Picture Theatre is listed in the above Council Rate Book. The occupier is shown as Blackman Alec Hyman (crossed out) amended to Middlesex Kinemas Ltd. The owner of the property was Property Agents & Owners Ltd local landowners.

1927 Kinematograph Year Book

The 1927 Kinematograph Year Book lists Blackman’s Middlesex Kinemas. The Group now operated four cinemas in South West London. The Gaiety Twickenham and the Teddington Picture House had now been supplemented by two additional theatres.

The Palaceum in Hampton and the Lyric Cinema in Wandsworth. The Lyric had changed hands by 1929 as the new proprietor became Rebecca Joel.

1930 Palaceum Picture Palace Hampton

The 1930 Electoral Register for this cinema shows Alec Blackman’s brother Simon and his future wife Katie Dubowski. They married in 1931 Katie being the daughter of Asher Dubowski a grocer in East London. He is directly related to Abraham Dubowski who with his Business partner Michael Michaels jointly operated The Gaiety in 1921.

1930 Middlesex Kinemas in liquidation

By 1930 Middlesex Kinemas had sold off the Teddington Picture House in 1929 and only now retained the Twickenham and Hampton cinemas.

With the advent of larger purpose built cinemas designed for the new “talkies” these smaller theatres found it very difficult to compete and with the added expense of conversion to sound many companies went out of business.

This caused Middlesex Kinemas to go into liquidation. The Hampton cinema carried on operating as a cinema under new owners and the Gaiety closed altogether.

1930 onwards

Following the liquidation the Teddington Picture House was redeveloped as the Savoy Cinema and shortly after completely rebuilt. The later built cinema has itself been demolished and and replaced by an office building named Harlequin House.

The Wandsworth Picture Playhouse closed as a cinema closed in 1935. The building was demolished and the land redeveloped.

Finally the Hampton Palaseum became The Hampton Electric Theatre and later The Hampton Cinema. It appears to have closed as a cinema during World War 2. Post war it became a furniture store and in recent years the building has been subdivided with a mezzanine level providing space for a ladies fitness centre upstairs. The floor of the auditorium being a bathroom plumbing centre.

Gaiety Cinema

Surrey and Sussex Picture Palaces

Lyric Picture Palace Twickenham