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The Cinema Museum

Museums, Film and TV Elephant & Castle
5 out of 5 stars
(34user reviews)
New_04 MX Cinema.jpg
© Ed Marshall Cinema Museum

Time Out says

This collection of artefacts, memorabilia and equipment telling the history of cinema from the 1890s to the present is open by tour (advance booking required) while the museum raises funds to secure its future. Among the displays are cinema seats and signs, stills and posters, projectors and other machinery.



Address: The Master's House
2 Dugard Way (off Renfrew Rd)
SE11 4TH
Transport: Tube: Kennington
Price: conducted tours £10/£7; concs available
Opening hours: 11am-5pm Mon-Fri by appointment only; also tours noon, 2pm, 4pm Fri-Mon, booking essential
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Users say (34)

5 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

4.9 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:31
  • 4 star:3
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
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1 of 1 found helpful

This place must be saved!  Developers are moving in and it looks like this wonderful Museum's days are numbered.  How this could happen is beyond me.  The building itself - the Old Lambeth Workhouse which once was the home of Charlie Chaplin - is of huge historic significance - and beautiful.  Everything is here: the collection of posters, cinematic projection equipment, uniforms and everything to do with cinemas glorious past. Added to this the interesting programme of events that are put on, and you've got an absolute treasure.  I can't bear the thought of it being flattened for profit.  Fingers - and everything else - are crossed.

1 of 1 found helpful

Amazing artefacts, freindly and helpful volunteers who know and love cinema. A new surprise round every corner. Worth a visit (or 3) if you have memories of cinema as it was - or are too young for that and just want to find out.

1 of 1 found helpful

One of the best kept secrets in London; well worth a visit by people of all ages, all classes, all cultures and all nationalities. I cannot recommend it too highly.

1 of 1 found helpful

Love this place!   As a huge fan of old movies its the best, every event I've been to has been fantastic and the whole place is a treasure trove.  But its only later that I found out about all the other amazing stuff they do behind the scenes e.g. they do a huge amount of work for people with dementia, looking at memories of cinema and film. All run by volunteers - incredible! 

 Just the most fabulous place. The history, the exhibits, the lovely volunteers who keep it going. An under-appreciated Gem of South London, worthy winner of 2018 I love London Award. 

Lifelong Londoner, yet I've only just discovered this truly amazing museum. To call it a museum is almost underselling it. There are so many wonderful old artefacts which make you nostalgic for the old days of cinema. It's really worth booking the tour with the fabulous Maurice, dressed in his old comissaire's uniform. He does a humorous talk for about an hour and a half which includes information about the building itself, an old poor workhouse, itself worth the admission price. You're also treated to about half an hours worth of old short films. Free cuppa and a little time to wander around the spaces filled with memorabilia make this real value for money. Its a quirky and fascinating few hours that you just wouldn't find anywhere else. The petition to save it is now closed but keep visiting and writing to MP's to save it, it would be tragic to lose it.

Amazing intimate experience, really friendly staff who have obviously invested a lot of time into preserving this magical piece of history

I love the history and variety of things to see. I always find something new and interesting to see.

A great local gem run by welcoming and passionate people. It's a magical place.

An amazing place! Atmospheric and full of character. A must visit place for cool Londoners!

The Cinema Museum is a unique treasure trove of cinema memorabilia, fixtures and fittings, collected over a lifetime by its founders. A must for film and cinema enthusiasts!

Great place to explore and to see valuable items that you can't find anywhere else! strongly recommended to go and take a look!

Cute and family friendly cinema. Always a warm reception by staff and really interesting things to do and see, and then there us also the films

This place must survive!!! Everyone should be able to enjoy the wonder of the world of films.

A great venue and a wonderful collection - preserving the passion for film as well as all the nostalgic elements of cinemagoing, from posters to popcorn bags. While the Cinema Museum exists cinema will never die!

A fascinating screening programme, supporting both classic and new film, with the volunteer run cafe bar serving fine beers, coffee and cake.

This is a sensational venue. Loaded with film culture and altogether an extraordinary experience. Three thumbs up for the cinema museum

The best place in London. Run by an amazing group of volunteers and has a jaw dropping collection of cinema memorabilia. I first discovered this building and all its wonders in Nov 2013 and I just keep going back. Love The Cinema Museum and everyone I have met there!

This is a truly remarkable, quirky and delightful museum dedicated to film and film memorabilia. It has historical importance having previously been a workhouse where Charlie Chaplin came to as a child. It manages to combine high ceilings and amazing space with a uniquely intimate atmosphere. It holds fantastic and unusual events which are run solely by very passionate volunteers. Martin and Ronald, the Directors, have built this museum over 30 years, with everyone who has helped along the way, and it's definitely one of Elephant and Castles hidden gems! A must see for all film lovers, and anyone who has a passion for the arts.

Combines universal cultural relevance with uniquely local historic connections.

The original Cinema Paradiso with inspired screenings, a great community atmosphere, extraordinary sense of history, and passionate staff who know all there is to know about the movies.

the museum is a gem for any person who loves films , the guided tour was very enlightening and the founders were welcoming and generous ... the place is full of old cinema material, machines and signs .... it's heaven to me.

The Cinema Museum has to be one of the most fascinating places in London. Full of movie artifacts, and with a very warm and welcoming feeling from everyone there. The Cinema Museum is a charity run by volunteers, and the love shows in everything they do. Super food and cakes and bar as well, and very reasonably priced. First time I went there was a power cut in that part of London: they worked so hard to keep us entertained in the hope that power would be restored in time to show the film; it wasn’t, but we still felt we had had an enjoyable evening. The range of work is astonishing. They have interviews with the great names in cinema and television, including the outstanding director Jack Gold, one of my all-time favourites. Fans include such as Simon Callow, talking about Charles Laughton, and Sir Donald Sinden talking about everything! Standing out in my memory is their Doctor Who 50th anniversary celebration, with tables heavy with bowls of jelly babies! A great night out!

This place is a truly courageous enterprise, keeping alive the spirit of cinema from every era.

Excellent place to visit full of memorabilia and memories with friendly helpful staff.

A visit to The Cinema Museum at The Elephant is like a great big hug from the past; it is black and white silent movies; swing jazz and velvet seats; it is stories, memories and secrets - The Cinema Museum is the 'rock and roll' of vintage experience.

Kennington's hidden gem, a quirky museum on the history of the cinema and film-going.

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