Monday, December 31, 2007

Lewisham Teddy Boy Trouble

The Lewisham Odeon, mentioned in the previous post on David Bowie, started life in 1932 as the Gaumont Palace and was demolished in 1991. In 1956, it was the scene of 'Teddy Boy' trouble, as reported by the Times, Times, 11 September 1956:

‘Police were called to cinemas in London and Liverpool last night to deal with disturbances among youthful audiences as showings of the film ‘Rock Around the Clock’... Police dogs were used to break up a crowd outside the Gaumont cinema, Lewisham, SE, where the same film is being shown. Trouble began during the performance when a youth jumped on the rail in front of the stage, walked along it and chanted ‘Rock – rock – rock’. Others teenagers ‘jived’ in the isles.

30 policemen arrived. One was knocked between two rows of seats when he tried to stop dancing. Police and commissionaires ejected about 50 youths. Six youths will appear in court at Woolwich SE today, charged with insulting behaviour outside the Granada cinema, Woolwich, where the film had been shown’.

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