Eastcheap



Development of this street took place over a long period. It was begun pre 1913 and has undergone many changes through the decades.

As you turn the corner out of Leys Avenue the first building on your left is The Icknield Halls , by Bennett and Bidwell 1924/5 . At one time this housed Knott's Bakery.



A little further down is Nott's original smaller building of 1909 , which after many changes of ownership is again a cafe and bakery.



Opposite is the Co-Operative Wholesale Buildings from 1921 by L G Ekins , this was as far as that side of Eastcheap went until the building of Arena Parade in the 1950's.

A view from the 40's along Eastcheap with the Peoples House in Station Road in the background





The Arena had been an open area between Broadway and Eastcheap that stretched from the Post Office in Broadway and Co Operative buildings in Eastcheap to the Town hall.

On the City's 50th Jubilee The Arena was the site of The Letchworth Jubilee Fair of Industry and Trade. 54 stands displaying all manner of goods and machines manufactured locally were on show for three days as the town enjoyed a jubilee week.

On the East side overlooking the open area were a variety of buildings, it was once home to: Masons Garage , The Picture Palace Cinema from 1909 to the late 70's, (The Palace Cinema or ‘Picture Palace’, was one of the first purpose built cinemas in the country. Designed by Letchworth architects, Parker and Unwin it was the first building in the Garden City with an electricity supply), The Fire Station was built next door not long afterwards in 1911, apparently due to concerns about the risk of the film catching fire, later The Broadway Cinema was added.



The Picture Palace was extensively refurbished in 1924 , click the image for more information and access to a larger image..





The development of The Letchworth Shopping Center (1969 - 1974) brought new shopping, offices and flat developments, replacing most of this end of the street leaving virtually only The Broadway Cinema unchanged. The Arena area was also developed adding more shops, offices and a car park to the end of Eastcheap and Broadway

"The Broadway Cinema" by Bennett and Bidwell 1935 was once one of three cinemas. The Palace and The Broadway next to each other in Eastcheap, and the Rendezvous in Norton Way South. It seems that going to the cinema to see films or other forms of entertainment used to be very popular in Letchworth.

The Broadway was recently renovated and made multi screen and as of 2015 is being modified again and now includes new streaming media see here >>>> . It is now the only one of the three original cinemas left today.