Sunday, September 23, 2012

H for Horrific*

I'd been meaning to go to the Cinema Museum in Lambeth for years, so it was great to see it as part of Open House weekend, as it's usually open by appointment only. A registered charity, the museum houses a huge collection of cinema memorabilia, artefacts and equipment, mainly concerned with (what used to be, anyway) the pleasure of actually going to the cinema. This includes old cinema fittings, like some fine art deco looking doors, as well as carpets, banisters, signs, seats, lobby cards, posters, signs and usher uniforms. The museum also has a large collection of projectors and a massive archive of printed publications and documents, including over a million photographic images. The place is a truly fascinating hotchpotch of memorabilia and a national treasure.

For over a decade its home has been the fine Master's House in Kennington. This fine Victorian Gothic building (whose chapel is now Grade II listed), the former Lambeth workhouse, was where Charlie Chaplin spent time as a child.

*This comes from an early and rare, pre-X certification board on display at the museum, where 'U' is universal, 'A' is for adults and 'H' meant the film is horrific.

As part of the Open House weekend, my boon companion and I also went to:
18 Stafford Terrace, 'remarkably well-preserved' former home of Punch illustrator Edward Linley Sambourne (1844-1910).
Leighton House, former home and studio of painter Lord Leighton (1830-96); 'one of the most remarkable buildings of the 19th century'.
The Library Space, former library in Battersea converted into an art gallery.
The De Morgan Centre, museum housing Evelyn's Pre-Raphaelite paintings and William's tiles and pottery; 'one of the most beautiful small museums in London'.

These can all be visited outside of Open House (as can most of the buildings in the booklet), the main advantage of seeing them during Open House weekend is not having to pay. And having architectural chats to people whilst queueing up to see the buildings.

Previously on Barnflakes:
Open House: St Annes, Soho
Safe as Castles


Anonymous said...

Yes indeed, it was a fine day out :-)

Barnaby said...

Ah, the typically friendly gallery staff hidden behind the ubiquitous iMac.