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I remember this as the Carlton. In February 1954 it became the first cinema in Stockport to install CinemaScope complete with stereophonic sound. The first CinemaScope film to be shown was ‘The Robe’, followed by ‘How To Marry a Millionaire’. The Carlton was a luxurious theater with a balcony and seating 1750. It had a large orchestra pit but no organ. The main entrance gave access to all parts of the theatre via an art-deco foyer. There also was a separate smaller entrance which gave access to the front stalls. At the rear of the cinema were two fire exits which were often used for free access to the theatre! In 1971 the cinema was twinned, the balcony becoming Essoldo 2 and the main theatre, Essoldo 1. Much of
its original character was lost and for me it was enevr the same place again. I am a devotee of the old luxurious picture houses.
Sorry! That should be ‘drag’!
Who can forget the infamous ‘Galleon Bar’ sited below the cinema and home to weekly darg shows which packed the place!
The Astoria was my favourite Brighton cinema, one of two in the town, (the other was the ‘Regent’), which featured Roadshow presentations. I clearly remember seeing ‘Jaws’; ‘The Towering Inferno’; ‘Earthquake’; 70mm version of ‘Gone With The Wind’; and many others. It was a comfortable theatre with a good view of the screen from all seats. I was saddened when it closed, as did the Regent, in favour of the awful ‘multi screen’ conversions.
The print of ‘The Sound of Music’ shown at Bradford Film Festival was a new Todd-AO 70mm print and was presented on the Cinerama curved screen. Other Todd-AO and 70mm prints shown were: ‘Out of Africa’; ‘Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines’; ‘Doctor Dolittle’; ‘Hello Dolly’; ‘Baraka’; ‘Star!’; ‘Oklahoma!’; ‘Miracle of Todd-AO’; ‘March of Todd-AO’; ‘South Pacific’; and ‘The Agony and the Ecstasy’. Also shown was the three-strip Cinerama ‘How The West Was Won’ and the single lens 70mm Cinerama presentation of ‘Scent of Mystery’(aka ‘Holiday in Spain’) first released in the US in Aromarama.
All this in five days, what a festival!
Sensurround was used for presentations of ‘Earthquake’, ‘Battle of Midway’, and ‘Roller Coaster’. Buildings were pre-checked for structural soundness before Sensurround could be installed. What wonderful memories there are of The Crest, the likes of which we will never see again.
Todd-AO titles showing include, ‘Oklahoma!’ plus ‘The Miracle of Todd-AO; 'South Pacific’ plus ‘The March of Todd-AO’; ‘Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines’; ‘Dr Doolittle’; ‘Baraka’; ‘Scent of Mystery’; ‘The Agony and the Ecstasy’; ‘Sound of Music’; and ‘Amadeus’. Well worth the trip I reckon.
This cinema was built to accommodate the Dimension-150, (D150), process, hence the huge screen. It opened with the first of only two true D150 films, ‘The Bible-In The Beginning’. ‘Patton – Lust for Glory’ was the second film.