Last month residents of Knight's Walk popped around the corner to visit the Cinema Museum on Renfrew Road to reminisce about the rituals and traditions of going to the cinema, find out more about the history of the area and the ancient local buildings full of stories and memories.
Many conversations that we have about the Knight's Walk estate are weaved in with a rich history and memories of the local area and so we decided to explore some of the buildings and institutions around the estate to find out more from the experts and see some historical artefacts for ourselves.
In late October a group of residents braved the spitting rain to wander around the corner on Renfrew Road and visit the Cinema Museum. We were welcomed with a wonderful 2 hour tour of the cosy museum which included interesting anecdotes about the history of the building, the area and took us back in time to the days when Cinemas where a much more central part of city life.
Residents enjoyed sharing their knowledge of local celebrities including Charlie Chaplin and reminiscing about the old cinema tickets and uniforms of the ushers. We had a nice cup of tea on the top floor, filled to the rim with cinema memorabilia; old cameras, film reels, lights and old patterned carpets draped along the sides, we talked about the important role that cinemas had for communities back in the day.
The tour ended with a fascinating 30 minute screening of 5 different short films from across the ages, including a video of the last trams of London, and a documentary about coffee shops in soho. The visit was a wonderful opportunity for us to learn more about the history of the area and residents to share their stories and experiences of cinema around Kennington.
It made us think about ways in which we might capture the unique moments and memories around Knight's Walk in some way and we look forward to speaking with residents about this over the coming months.