Crescent Cinema

Ropergate and Jubilee Way,
Pontefract, WF8 1LY

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Showing 26 - 41 of 41 comments

swainy on August 15, 2009 at 4:12 am

My partner and I have recently started an amateur theatre group based in Pontefract and we would love to be able to stage productions at the Crsecent cinema on Ropergate. The ‘to let’ sign for the cinema has been there for months now and I would imagine the rent is very high, too high for non profit-making organisations. You would think that once a building has been empty for so long, that it could be offered at a cheaper price for community groups. It would be great to have a theatre in Pontefract where other groups and maybe even touring companies could perform. It’s such a waste to think of it rotting away empty. Does anyone know who owns it now – council or private? It’s not that we mind putting the work in to update the venue, it’s the cost of buying or hiring the premises in the first place. I have heard of lottery grants allowing venues to be transformed for public/community use. Anyone any thoughts on any of this?

angella on July 22, 2009 at 12:21 pm

Does anybody know if the faience (white tiled exterior) was made by Gibbs and Canning of Tamworth? It is very similar to some of their work in Hull. They produced the terracotta of the W H Smith building in Pontefract, so I wondered if they contributed to this building too.

BOBBROOK on May 21, 2009 at 6:38 am

Re: ‘Will the Crescent be used againâ€\? I passed the Crescent the other day while driving through Pontefract, and thought I saw a For Sale notice on it. Is that right? If so, is it the whole building thatâ€\s for sale, or just part? I also discovered it is on Wakefield Metropolitan District Councilâ€\s list of “Buildings of local interest”, but I donâ€\t know whether that gives it any kind of protection.
I know itâ€\s been said that thereâ€\s probably no market for an art-house cinema in Pontefract, but if the auditorium is still intact, and just sitting there not being used, it might be worth trying to find out. It could perhaps be opened as a film society, even if just for one night a week. It would be better than nothing and would help preserve the building which must be constantly under threat. There are already 37 film societies in Yorkshire, but none in or near Pontefract as far as I know. [iâ€\m on the Otley Film Society Committee.] Youâ€\ll no doubt find that there IS a market in Pontefract/Ackworth/Ferrybridge/Featherstone etc for films that donâ€\t stand a chance of appearing at Xscape Cineworld, and a positive response that might surprise you. Of course it would take time, and effort, and money, but thereâ€\s plenty of help and advice available from the British Federation of Film Societies []. There also seem to be at least three people in this correspondence with more than a passing interest, who might be willing to get involved. Thereâ€\s also the odd local cinema left around, like the Hyde Park in Leeds, who Iâ€\m sure would give advice as well. Finally, if I can help at all, even if itâ€\s just with positive re-inforcement at a distance, feel free to contact me at

John Farrar
John Farrar on May 5, 2009 at 7:47 am

When the Crescent reopened as Studio 1 in 1970, a Read-o-graph was put on the lower facade (below the ballroom window,)the rest of the facade was covered to the top, with white cladding. This was to obscure the Crescent mural at the top of the building.In the early 80’s the white cladding was removed but the read-o-graph remained. The Studio 1 logo was changed to Cannon Cinema about 1984 when it was purchased by the Cannon Group. The cinema was sold to private owners in 1987 and the cinema reverted to its original name, The Crescent. When the cinema closed in 1993 the empty read-o-graph remained for a couple more years before being removed.

Trimphoner on May 5, 2009 at 3:41 am

Does anybody know exactly when the Studio 1 facade was taken down & the cinema reverted to being called the Crescent?

John Farrar
John Farrar on January 26, 2009 at 3:16 am

The cinema remains much the same as it did when it closed in 1993 although I believe there has been some preventative work on the staircase to stop damp, which was always a problem on the outer walls. The Stage would not be suitable for stage productions as it has a steep rake and is only a false floor covering the front of the old stalls area. Its a shame it remains empty but at least it hasn’t yet suffered the fate of the other three cinemas in Pontefract. The Playhouse was demolished in 1966, The Alexandra in 1971 and the Premier in the late 90’s.There are some excellent photo’s of the Crescent interior, prior to conversion and of the Playhouse and Alexandra on the Pontefract Museum website.

jonathanw on January 24, 2009 at 11:50 am

maybe it could be used as a cinema museam and it has a stage facility so it could be used for theatre productions as far as im aware the nearest theatre is the alhambra in bradford so it would be an attracton to pontefract if it was marketed well it could create a new buzz for the place because its a shame to let sit there doing nothing !

dgcarter on January 19, 2009 at 1:47 am

Relistically, I think not. There’s the multiscreen cine-world a couple of miles away, which would make it uneconomical, and as Pontefract is a small town, I don’t see a market for a small art-house cinema. However, my wife has promised me a cinema to run as a hobby when she wins the lottery, so watch this space!

jonathanw on January 18, 2009 at 8:53 am

will the cresent be used again ? i have some good memories of that place easpecially the stairs that used to go round and round with all the posters on the walls. is it still the same inside the cinema with the cinema itself of is it a bit dusty well it might be after 15 years not doing much.

John Farrar
John Farrar on November 24, 2008 at 9:46 am

The last film shown at The Crescent was ‘The Mighty Ducks’ in 1993. The last film shown in 1970, prior to conversion to Cinema/Bingo was ‘The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie’. The Crescent closed on Saturday 16th May 1970 and reopened six weeks later as Studio One, in the former Circle. The opening film was ‘Kes’

John Farrar

meerkat on November 14, 2008 at 11:28 am

Can anyone confirm that the last ever film shown at The Crescent was Jurasic Park. The workmen currently giving the place a bit of a facelift inside say the last posters on the walls would suggest it was. Anyone have any other suggestions?
I hope someone makes good use of the building in the future. It would be a shame to lose such a well known Pontefract landmark.


Dion on September 4, 2007 at 1:17 am

Yes they were great days. I started my cinematic career with Geoff Ward and finished up travelling the world because of it. Bill worked at the Star but his wife Joan worked with Geoff and I at the Crescent. It was like a little community with the usherettes Alice, Ann, Mary and Gertie. Something the multiplexes do not have today. A shame the picture above is not the Crescent in its hey day with Tony Dickinson as manager. I also liked doing relief at the Alexandra, it had such atmosphere being an old theatre.


dgcarter on August 26, 2006 at 10:23 pm

I have fond memories of Bill Roberts as a projectionist at the New Star castleford. I also remember geoff ward and Geoff johnson at the Crescent in the 60s. Bill ended up working for me atthe ABC Huddersfield in the late 60s.

tonmuaeb on November 28, 2005 at 11:56 am

Came across the site while surfin. I worked at the Cresent Cinema. Ropergate Pontefract in 1952, I was 16 when I started employed as a rewind boy. I eventually made projectionist under the supervision of the chief projectionist Bill Roberts. We had two projectors namely Kalee 12’s with Peerless magnarcs for light, the sound system was Western Electrics (mono). The lighting system consisted of four faders for the primary colours. The arcs were driven from a very large mercury arc rectifier with a standby generator for emergency.
I also did relief at the Alexandra Cinema Tanshelf Pontefract and the Star at Castleford. These were owned by Star Cinems.

Great times.


lightscameraaction on June 24, 2005 at 12:10 am

Anyone know what happened to the plans for a refurbishment at the crescent?

Ian on February 28, 2004 at 5:00 pm

After a £100,000 refurbishment the Crescent cinema (in the circle area of the former two tier cinema) is due to reopen as a single screen in the very near future. It will have 300 seats and will be operated by Asif Sahil.