Basic Biographical Details

Name: Cecil Jack Foster
Designation: Architect
Born: 13 April 1909
Died: 1996
Bio Notes: Cecil Jack Foster was born on 13 April 1909. He spent approximately eight years studying architecture in the evenings at the Regent Street and Northern Polytechnics.

He was articled to William F Trent in London from 1926-29 and moved to the office of Yates Cook & Darbyshire for the year 1929-1930 where he worked on domestic commissions, flats, cinemas and offices. In the latter year he moved to work for William Riddell Glen who was architect to the Associated British Cinemas at this date, Foster worked there on cinemas and theatres. In 1932 he moved once again to the office of F C Mitchell at 80 George Street in London, working on factories, hotels, cinemas and estate development; this was followed in 1933-36 by a spell in the office of LC Norton where again he worked on cinemas and hospitals. In 1936 he returned to the practice of William Riddell Glen, by then chief architect to Associated British Cinemas, the office being located in 30 Golden Square in London. In 1939 he had a spell with the building contractor, Messrs Marfix where he supervised the construction of AA gun sites on a War Office contract. From 1941-42 he worked in the office of T P Bennett & Son, 30 Golden Square, working on the repair of war damaged building and the maintenance of cinemas.

Foster was elected LRIBA on 22 September 1942. In all he had six years experience as chief assistant with William Riddell Glen and further cinema experience in other offices. His Nomination Papers record that he was responsible for the design and supervision of hospitals and cinemas in Southern Ireland and at some point he formed a partnership or an association with Alan Morgan and worked on cinema schemes in Newport, Londonderry and Doncaster.

With cinema work at a virtual standstill in the period immediately after the Second World War, Cecil Jack Foster worked with W R Glen on a factory at Dagenham for Clarks Cereals Products Ltd. At the time this was the largest factory in London area employing shell concrete construction.

In the early 1950's he succeeded W R Glen as chief architect to Associated British Cinemas, when building restrictions were finally lifted and work could again progress on cinema schemes halted by the war. Foster would go on to design some ten new cinemas for ABC across the United Kingdom between 1952 and 1967. In 1963 he formed a partnership with his former employer, Leslie C Norton.

Foster retired in 1969. He died in Poole in Dorset where his death was registered in June 1996.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 430, Tregaron Avenue, Crouch End, London, EnglandPrivate1942 *  
Item 2 of 430, Golden Square, London, EnglandBusiness1952 * Head Office Associated British Cinemas
Item 3 of 450-54, Beak Street, London, England 1953  
Item 4 of 462, Church Way, Whetstone, London, EnglandPrivate1970 *  

* earliest date known from documented sources.

Employment and Training


The following individuals or organisations employed or trained this architect (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 9William Edward Trent19261929Apprentice 
Item 2 of 9Yates, Cook & Darbyshire19291930Assistant 
Item 3 of 9William Riddell Glen19301932Chief Assistant 
Item 4 of 9F C Mitchell19321933Assistant 
Item 5 of 9Leslie C Norton19331936Assistant 
Item 6 of 9William Riddell Glen19361939Chief Assistant 
Item 7 of 9Messrs Marfix19391941Assistant 
Item 8 of 9T P Bennett & Son19411942Assistant 
Item 9 of 9Leslie C Norton & C J Fosterc. 1963 Partner 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 1(Sir) Thomas Penberthy Bennett9 June 1942For Licentiateship - sole proposer

Buildings and Designs

This architect was involved with the following buildings or structures from the date specified (click on an item to view details):
 Date startedBuilding nameTown, district or villageIslandCity or countyCountryNotes
Item 1 of 41950Factory, Dagenham   EnglandJointly with W R Glen
Item 2 of 41952Regal Cinema  AberdeenScotlandAs ABC's architect, updated Glen's plans
Item 3 of 41963ABC2 Cinema, Sauchiehall Street  GlasgowScotland 
Item 4 of 41963Panorama  GlasgowScotlandAlterations and extension (ABC2 cinema)


Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1Builder19 September 1952  p417

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2England and WalesBirths, marriages and deaths  
Item 2 of 2RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers Cecil Jack Foster's Paper (L 5169, Box 61)