Who remembers the ABC cinema at the top of Muswell Hill?
As a child I was fascinated by the red glowing ABC letters which seemed float in the night sky and assumed it was the head office of my favourite cake shop, the Aerated Bread Company, in the parade at the bottom of the hill opposite our Park Road office.
Opened in 1936, just a few months after the lovely Odeon which has just been taken over by Everyman, it was built and operated by Associated British Cinemas but was originally named the Ritz, changing its name to ABC in 1962. Many cinema chains had their own in-house architects and ABC was no exception – architect William R. Glen designed yet another of his typical Art Deco styled cinemas which had seating in stalls and circle and a handy car park at the rear. I remember going to Saturday morning club there and was sad to see it close in 1978, to be replaced by a liver coloured brick office block. Apparently there was a fuss about the original design for the block which was unrelentingly square edged but objectors were appeased by the addition of a mansard roof. I still miss the old cinema though.