Chadwell Heath – Broadway Through a Keyhole (1933)

Broadway Through a Keyhole (1933) | Chadwell Heath

Chadwell Heath’s Art Deco Embassy Cinema designed by Harry Weston opened in 1934 and is still standing, with plans to restore it as a community hub.

The programme on opening night included ‘A Short Story About the Embassy’ with the construction of the building sped-up, a Mickey Mouse Disney cartoon, ‘Fury of the Jungle’ and ‘Broadway Through a Keyhole’.

Terence Dene, resident organist, played on the Compton 3Manual/8Ranks theatre organ, which had a console featuring an illuminated ‘peacock’ fan at the rear.

Broadway Through a Keyhole‘ includes appearances by New York City speakeasy proprietress Texas Guinan as a fictionalized version of herself, Lucille Ball, Ann Sothern, Susan Fleming and stars Constance Cummings and Russ Columbo. It was based on a story by Broadway columnist Walter Winchell, whose 1927 primer of Broadway slang introduced words such as “fan”, “click” and “hit” to the English language.