Social life

Leisure opportunities during the war had been limited, but cinema going had thrived. Lewisham in 1948 offered over 9 cinemas - including The Capitol, Forest Hill; Gaumont and Prince of Wales in Lewisham; Park, Hither Green; Plaza, Catford; Queens, Rushey Green; Savoy, Lee Green; Splendid, Southend; and the State, Sydenham.

Top films in 1948 included 'Easter Parade' with Fred Astaire and Judy Garland, 'Key Largo', 'The Lady from Shanghai', 'Red River' and 'The Red Shoes'.

There was also a variety theatre in Catford town centre - the Lewisham Hippodrome. The 1948 pantomime there was 'Babes in the Wood' with Lupino Lane, Lauri Lupino Lane, Wallace Lupino and The Five Smith Brothers. In 1949 S.P Meyers wrote in his book "London South of the River", "The Hippodrome is one of several famous variety theatres in South East London, it is the largest music-hall in London and second in size to the Winter Gardens, Morecambe, Lancashire, the largest in the country. The Hippodrome, Lewisham notes with pride, has five more seats than the London Palladium and six more than the London Coliseum."

What is now the Broadway Theatre operated as a venue for Lewisham Arts Council and in early 1948 hosted a performance by Sir Adrian Boult and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Advert for The Studio, from Lewisham Official guide, published 1948

Dancing was very popular and schools taught the latest dances, including Latin American and ballroom.

The top popular music of 1948 was

  • I'm Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover - Art Mooney
  • Bumble Boogie - Freddy Martin
  • Buttons and Bows - Dinah Shore
  • Twelfth Street Rag - Pee Wee Hunt
  • I've Got My Love To keep Me Warm - Les Brown
  • Love Somebody - Doris Day & Buddy Clark
  • It's Magic - Doris Day
  • Manana (Is Soon Enough For Me) - Peggy Lee
  • Nature Boy - Nat King Cole
  • All I Want For Christmas is my Two Front Teeth - Spike Jones
  • Now Is The Hour - Bing Crosby
  • You Can't Be True, Dear - Ken Griffin
  • Woody Woodpecker - Kay Kyser
  • You Call Everybody Darlin' - Al Trace
  • A Tree In The Meadow - Margaret Whiting

Art Mooney : I'm Looking Over A Four Leaf Clover ( 1949 ) video
Courtesy of Happy Days Are Here Again

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