Remembering how the home of the Palace Theatre and a cinema once looked

The Palace Theatre ensures this picture remains recognisable today but the changes will also be readily apparent to many of us since this photo of a well-known Watford road was taken 70 years ago.

The Watford Observer has again teamed up with Watford Museum and is delighted to showcase some pictures from its archive.

This picture is part of the Bob Nunn Collection and shows how Clarendon Road looked in April 1950.

Read more: The long-lost alley where Chance the chimney sweep once lived

The museum’s volunteer archivist Christine Orchard said: “If you took the same photo today you’d need to stand outside the Jury Inn and be looking across the ring road towards the Palace Theatre.

“The theatre and shops beyond it can be seen today but in the foreground the low brick wall on right and the gateway on the left no longer exist – this roughly where the ring road is now.

“The long white building has also gone. This was the Carlton cinema. There had been a cinema there since the early 1920s, and it became known as the Carlton until around 1930; the cinema closed in 1980.

“One of the films showing at the time of this photo was a John Wayne film.”

Watford Museum is currently closed under government restrictions but you can still pay it a virtual visit at or find the museum on Facebook and Instagram @watfordmuseum

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