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Central Cinema, Hobson Street

Central Cinema / Cambridge Automobile and Engineering Co, 21 Hobson Street

History of Cambridge Automobile and Engineering Co

1861 21 Hobson Street

Charles Cowles, 34, groom, b Cambridge

Betsey, 35, b Shelford

William, 14, French polisher, b Ireland

Selina, 11, b Cambridge

Charles, 8, b Cambridge

1871 ?

1881 21 Hobson Street

Joseph Gelby, 43, groom, b West Wratting

Emma, 43, b West Wratting

Mary E, 16, b West Wratting

1891 21 Hobson St

Jesse Butler, 27, groom, b Swaffham Bulbeck

Amelia, 27, b Swaffham Bulbeck

William E, 3 mos, b Cambridge

1901 21 Hobson Street

William Blackwell, 32, coachman, b Cambridge

Emma, 27, b Hunts

Louisa E, 3, b Cambridge

William A Blackwell, 7 mos,

1911 The Cambridge Automobile & Engineering Co Ltd

Harry Smith, 26, garage man (in charge), b Trumpington

Cambridge Automobile Company (MoC)


Cambridge Automobile and Engineering Co Ltd

R de la Rue & Cuthbert Foster, managing directors

H Oswin Mills, secretary

Cambridge Automobile Ltd Hobson Street


Women window cleaners Cambridge Automobile and Engineering Co, Hobson Street, 1916 (Cambridgeshire Collection)


Central Cinema opened and was rebuilt in 1930.

Hobson Street 1921. Cambridge Automobile Engineering (photo J Johnson) (Cambridgeshire Collection)


Central Cinema, Hobson Street c.1928 (Cambridgeshire Collection)


Central Cinema built

Cambridge Historic Core Appraisal report notes the tiled glazed facade and its Egyptienne style.


Fire at Central Cinema spread to Cambridge Motor Service Company causing £2,000 damage.


Central Cinema


Building of Local Interest. Planning proposals for the site were published in 2021. A commentary on these can be found here:

Save Cambridge’s Art Deco cinema!


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