Savoy Cinema

96 Portsmouth Road,

Cobham, KT11


Owner:  Savoy (Cobham) Ltd.

Architects:  Glenfield and Riley of Grays Inn.

Seating Capacity:  900.

Date opened:  Saturday 4th July 1936.

Acquired by the Shipman & King Ltd in 1938.

Year Closed:  1970.




The Savoy, Cobham opened its doors on Saturday July the 4th 1936. It was situated on the main Guildford to London Road. The proprietors were the Savoy (Cobham) Ltd. Architects were Glenfield and Riley of Grays Inn.

The front elevation was faced with red bricks and white lines. The facade was topped by a sloping roof, finished in red tiles.

There were three elongated windows situated above the canopy. Above these was the neon Savoy sign.

There was, what was described as an artistic paybox, which was the island type. This was equipped with automatic ticket machines by Accurate Check Ltd. The vestibule had soft autumnal tints with occasional touches of green. It was illuminated by a system of concealed lights. The trough formed a fold in the ceiling.

There were. Two doors that lead to the stalls area, which had seating for 650. The balcony accommodated  250. A staircase situated at the left of the vestibule took you to a small but well furnished café and to the balcony.

There was a wide proscenium, which didn’t have ornamentation as found in many other cinemas of the period.  One of its most striking features were four modernistic arches with square pillars, which formed the major portion of the auditorium wall. To these the two main lighting troughs were joined, which gave the ceiling a rising appearance. From the central trough a pair of suspended curved troughs continued at right angles to join the top of the proscenium.

Lighting effects were supplied by Barlow and Young of London. The delicate shades of gold and red tints in the fibrous plaster was carried out by James Walker of London.

A Westone screen was installed and measured 19ft by 16ft. The proscenium measured 40ft by 35ft. There was a silver screen which harmonised with the black side curtains and the artistic fawn stage curtain.

Seating was red, supplied by Beck and Windibank Ltd of Birmingham. They also took care of all the furnishings.

The operating box housed with BTH projectors, BTH sound and BTH high intensity arcs. Lenses were Taylor Hobson.

Forty eight batteries made by the Swan Electric Co Ltd supplied secondary lighting. Cinema  Signs Ltd and Coltman’s were jointly responsible for the still frames.

Alfred Shipman & Sam King.

In 1938 Shipman and King took control.

The cinema closed around 1970.


David A Elliscopyright