More than a million people live in south-east London but, incredibly, many were starved of movies for years. Until recently, Crystal Palace and West Norwood had no cinema of any kind. Ditto Brockley, Dulwich and Blackheath. The south-east of the capital was like a black hole when it came to film-going. Unless you were willing to travel to Greenwich (for the likes of the Picturehouse) or Peckham (for the cheap and cheerful Peckhamplex), the telly was all you had. But in the last few years, an entrepreneurial spirit has been awakened to end the drought. Since 2014, a slew of pop-up, do-it-yourself cinemas have sprung up. Most have used multi-purpose public spaces not usually associated with the movies. Some are young, not-for-profit community interest companies. Others are family-run. And three of the majors – Everyman, Picturehouse and Curzon – have followed suit. With more new cinemas planned in the Lewisham area (a Catford site was approved last year), this homegrown breed of indie ‘craft’ cinemas shows no sign of abating, with their owners all insisting that they offer something different and unique. Jayne Williams, 30, who runs the Rivoli Ballroom in Crofton Park, remembers seeing George Michael shoot a video in her grandparents’ historic venue. But it wasn’t until she returned to the family nest five years ago, after studying graphic design at Central Saint Martins, that she decided to right a wrong and put on a movie night. ‘There’s something about the ballroom, it’s lik
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