I was lucky enough to go to The Courtroom Cinema recently when it was screening a film, Bomb It, as part of the Brockley Street Art Festival. The Courtroom Cinema is a Grade II-listed building which uses the former Coroner’s Court and Mortuary in Ladywell as its location, which makes it rather unique. The Coroner’s Court dates back to the 1894 but was left to fall into disrepair after it stopped being used. It now has tenants upstairs, who did a lot of work to tidy up the mess that had been left, then they filled out a form or two and got agreement from Lewisham Council to put on film screenings. As you walk in to the room that used to sit as a court, you can see that many of the original fixtures are still there, including the bench where the Jury and the Doctors sat. The windows at either end are the real focal point.
The film screenings have started this year and have been a great success. Their first film was (you’ll love this) ‘Court’ and it is possible that more courtroom dramas will be shown, but they have shown a broad mix of genres such as Moonlight, A Matter of Life and Death and, when I went, the main screening was Bomb It, a comprehensive documentary about the rise of ‘graf’ and street art around the world. We also had some great shorts before the film: ‘Street Art Rome’ by Benjamin Messina; ‘Things Change’ by Jo Peel; ‘MIRIAM’ by Vhils; ‘Shepard Fairey – Visual Disobedience’ by José Pando Lucas and ‘London Graffiti Artists’ by Cassius Rayner. All of them looked fantastic on the big screen in this most atmospheric building.
We didn’t get to see the morgue this time but it still has its original slabs intact. Expect something spooky around Hallowe’en!
Follow The Courtroom Cinema on Facebook or Twitter and you’ll be the first to find out about their next screenings. It can be found at Ladywell Road, SE13 7UW. For more details about the Brockley Street Art Festival, see their website here.