23rd September, 2021 / 14:00 - 17:00
2nd March, 2014
Walk Guide: Dr Gil Toffell, Queen Mary, University of London
Duration: about an hour and a half
The East End has long been recognised as a key site of multicultural settlement in Britain. Rarely discussed, however, is the important role the cinema has played in the communal life of immigrant groups in the area.
With particular focus on East London’s historical Jewish community, this walk will explore the rich and varied everyday life of now vanished cinema spaces. With attention paid to both the sensory and material realities of exhibition sites the tour will recall how catcalls in Yiddish accompanied on-screen action and the acrid tang of pickles wafted through auditoriums; how cinemas became a site of conflict between immigrants and the far-right, and how these locations changed over time – eventually passing from Jewish to South Asian custodianship.
Please note that the walk will end on Whitechapel Road (by Vallance Road).
Photo: Pavilion Theatre in Whitechapel courtesy of Tower Hamlets Local History Library.