Brentford Electric Theatre, as was
now Broadvale Association, to be known as ??? in the future
Broadvale Charity and Workshop in the Market Place which opened in 1984 has closed recently and some interest has been expressed in the history of the building. Plans to turn it into a youth centre are being put to the borough council early next year.
The following information has been put together using Brentford Urban District Council (UDC) minutes, old Rate Books, newspapers and Directories, all held in Chiswick Library Local Studies Department.
From Brentford UDC Minutes
May 24th 1910
July 5th 1910
From the Rate books
The theatre first appears in the rate books for October 1910 when it has a Rateable Value of £43 making a rate of £3.18.3 payable.
There doesn’t appear to be a report of the opening but on November 5th 1910 an advertisement in the Middlesex Independent newspaper states
An example of the programme in July 1911 was
Look out Mind the Wasp (Comic)
This was a continuous nightly performance from 6.30 to 11 o’clock with the then usual admission charges 2d, 3d and 6d. The Children’s Matinee was every Saturday from 2.30 until 5 but with no mention of the SWEETS.
A fire in the early hours (2.15am) of Tuesday October 22nd 1912 was reported in the next day’s edition of the Middlesex Independent. It said ‘Two pianos, a gramophone, the picture screen and the front of the building were all irretrievably damaged as well as the office, the flooring of the theatre and a number of chairs’.
The rate books for 1914 describe the building as ‘workshop’. This continued until 1917 when it was occupied by ‘Cartoon and caricature film producers’ and in the early 1920 by Nova Films.
By 1935 it appears that there were three companies in occupation – Arthur Jales, Howard Levia (Lenia?) Press Tools and H. F. Davis Builder but by 1939 the press tools company had been replaced by Western Pattern Works.
I wonder if any of our readers remember any of these companies or better still can tell us anything about working for them, also what other individuals or companies occupied the building during and after the war. Please email any memories to firstname.lastname@example.org
December 15, 2009