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Pub’s past uncovered

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Pub’s past uncovered
Article date: 06 Jul 2011

The Coronation Hall, in Surbiton – in its cellar – hides a very unusual past.

The pub opened in September 1997, on the site of a former cinema and later a bingo hall, the history of both of which is well documented.

However, the use of the premises between 1993 and 1996, prior to Wetherspoon’s purchase, has become something of a local myth.

Rob Newman, pub manager at The Coronation Hall, said: “There has always been a lot of talk locally about the nudist spa which was once here on the site.

“Behind the back panelling in the cellar, you can still see the tiled walls of the spa and a Jacuzzi.

“One of our customers has kindly given us some photos, showing the building at that time, proving that the spa did, indeed, exist.”

The Coronation Hall was originally opened as a lecture hall, on the day before the coronation of King George V, on 21 June 1911, and named in honour of the new king.

In 1912, a cafe was added to the purpose-built facilities at the cinema and, in 1919, it became the Coronation Cinema.

It was renamed Roxy Cinema in 1947, then the Ritz Cinema in 1965; however, it did not last long, as the Ritz Cinema, together with the still-operating cafe, was closed on 17 May 1966.

The building was converted into an independent bingo club, which ran for the following 27 years. Then, in 1993, it was converted into a naturist (nudist) health club, operating until 1996, before Wetherspoon took over a year later.

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