Brentford Electric Theatre, as was

now Broadvale Association, to be known as ??? in the future

Brentford's War Memorial

A Brief History Of The Q Theatre

Meet Edward Turner, One Of Brentford's Many Heroes

A new acquisition at Boston Manor House

Local history enquiries to

For more local history articles and books see
Brentford & Chiswick Local History Society
Brentford town and family history
and Friends of Boston Manor


Sign up for our free newsletter

Comment on this story on the

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
‘Plan of proposed cinematograph theatre in the Market Place, New Brentford for Mrs Newman was approved subject to 14inch walls being provided to the gas engine and dynamo shed’.

July 5th 1910
‘Revised plan of a Cinematograph Theatre in the Market Place, Brentford for Mrs Newman showing the wc's in an altered position’.

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.
The occupier was Mrs Kate Newman and Mr A Goddard the land owner.

There doesn’t appear to be a report of the opening but on November 5th 1910 an advertisement in the Middlesex Independent newspaper states

Market Place Brentford
Will be
From 6pm till 10pm. Seats 3d, children 2d
All monies left over after expenses have been paid will be given to
the Brentford Philanthropic.
SWEETS to be given on Saturday Afternoon to all children.
Admission 1d.

An example of the programme in July 1911 was

Look out Mind the Wasp (Comic)
The Ruby (Drama)
Dustman’s Marriage (Comic)
Bessie’s Wreath of Roses (Drama)
Valley of Aosta (Travel)
Elixir of Bravery (Comic) and the
Fall of Troy (Drama)

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’.
It seems that the fire brigade had the fire extinguished ‘by half past three’ and charged £4.2.3d which was claimed by Brentford Council on November 21st from Phoenix Assurance Co.
It’s not clear whether the cinema ever reopened after the fire.

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.
In 1925 it was a Billiard Hall and in 1929 used by the 1st Brentford Scout Group whose Scoutmaster was Mr H. Firmin. They were still there in 1930 when the Scoutmaster was Mr A.E. Smith and the building was known as ‘All Clear Memorial Hall’.

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

Peter King

December 15, 2009

Bookmark and Share