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1500 children of unemployed outside Rendez-vous Cinema (MoC74/7/6)

Skating Rink, Pyrometer Factory, Picture Theatre, Rendezvous, Rex, Magrath Avenue

History of the Skating Rink etc

Chesterton OS map 1901


University and Town Skating Rink Cinema

A Andrews, manager

Cambridge Skating Carnival 13th Jan c.1910-1920 (MoC)


Horace Darwin, founder of the Cambridge Scientific Instrument Company, set up a factory at the outbreak of WWI to manufacture pyrometers which until then were largely imported from Germany. The Porcelain sheaths were sourced from Royal Worcester. The work-force was recruited largely from women, working a fifty-three and a half hour week, and forbidden to wear steel corsets containing ribs. this was because the factory also developed magnetic mines used against submarines and surface vessels.

See Mike Osborne, Defending Cambridgeshire

Chesterton OS map 1926


Rendezvous Cinema, ballroom and iceskating rink


Cinema burns down.


Reopened  with 913 seats and enlarged to 1,100 with cafe, ballroom and cinema organ.


Operated by Lou Morris. He left in 1936.


Renamed Rex Cinema.

It also operated as a ballroom and attracted well known names such as Ted Heath and Chris Barber.

The Rex had a poor reputation with local residents. Ian Stephens of 47 Hertford Street remembered in 1981, a nearby menace because of the nocturnal noise it created was the Rex and that mercifully has been abolished. Cristina Sherriff of 14 Hertford Street recalled The Rendezvous. I remember one evening some friends called to take me there but my father wouldn’t let me go.


Ceased operating as cinema and was used for bingo. The ballroom was used as a night club and featured ‘all in wrestling’ and ‘women’s wrestling.’


Abbey Sports Club began to hold cabarets here.

See Janet Haggar interview


Reopened as cinema


Demolished and site became car park


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