The cinema that opened where Moon Under Water is today

The site is now home to a popular JD Wetherspoon pub in Watford but almost a century ago a new cinema was opened at 44 High Street.

The Watford Observer has again teamed up with Watford Museum and is delighted to showcase some pictures from its archive – this week it’s Empress Winter Gardens.

The museum’s volunteer archivist Christine Orchard said: “The Bohemian Cinema opened in the Empress Winter Gardens, located at 44 High Street, on February 12, 1921. The screen was set up in the Empress Ballroom which was laid out with basket chairs ranged around separate tables. Afternoon teas were available.

“Unfortunately, just a few weeks later on February 21, the Carlton cinema in Clarendon Road, barely a stone’s throw from the Bohemia, was opened. Unsurprisingly, Bohemian appears not to have survived this.

The red dot on the map shows where Empress Winter Gardens was located

“The building came up for sale in 1927 and was purchased by the Metropolitan Railway as a proposed terminus. Nothing came of this plan and the building was resold in 1928. Today the same building is occupied by the Moon Under Water pub.”

Watford Museum is closed for the festive period and will reopen at 10am on Thursday, January 6.

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