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The Granada Theatre opened on 15th September 1930 (built on the site of the Victoria Picture Theatre (1907-1928). It was designed by architect Cecil Masey (who created a Spanish styled entrance facade, behind which was a Spanish Baroque styled foyer lined with mirrors on the walls. The auditorium had a Moorish styled interior designed by theatre stage set designer Theodore Komisarjevsky, with a seating capacity of 2,697. It was equipped for stage shows as well as movies and had a twin console Christie theatre organ and there was a large car park and a cafe-restaurant attached.
The Granada was converted into a triple screen theatre in October 1973 using the balcony and original proscenium and projection booth for screen 1 and two small screen were constructed under the balcony. The 558 seats in the front stalls were later removed and this area became unused. The seating capacity was reduced to 944 (balcony) and 181 x 2 (in the mini’s). The Granada was given a Grade II listed building consent from 24th February 1987.
It was taken over by and re-named Cannon Cinemas in January 1989 and in July 1995 Virgin Cinemas took control and it took their name. Taken over by ABC Cinemas and re-named ABC on 28th June 1996, they were taken over by Odeon Theatre who closed the cinema in 2000. A condition of anyone wanting to re-open the theatre would be that they could not show any film in the English language. A local Asian businesman took out a lease of the theatre and re-named it EMD Cinemas, initially showing Bollywood movies until plea’s by local cinemagoers and petitions finally got the embargo lifted on showing general release films. However in the short time that it had ben screening Bollywood films, but it had lost its main audience and the EMD closed in 2001.
The Brazilian based church La Iglisia Universal purchased the building, but were prevented from using it as a church by the local Waltham Forrest Council who objected to a change of use from cinema to church. Negotiations are currently in progress with the Council prepared to purchase the theatre and lease it out to cinema operators, several having shown an interest to re-open the cinema. Meanwhile the building remains shuttered and sealed, awaiting its fate.
The Christie theatre organ is the only one left of this make in its original installation in the UK. It was still played on regual concerts until the EMD closed. (only the onstage console is in working order, the orchestra pit console was boarded over many years ago during a live performance of the Count Basie Band at the theatre).
I have a small photo of the original Franke Meline designed formal Romanesque brick facade of the Iris Theater from a trade magazine of the early 1920’s. The current building was errected in 1918. E-mail me and I will send you a copy.
I will talk with friends who may know the answer, when I am in LA in January.
The Harold Lloyd film “Safety Last” was filmed downtown and the Majestic Theatre can be briefly spotted if you know where to look, as can the roof sign on the California Theatre. The famous Zig-Zag Moderne styled Eastern-Columbia Building was built in 1930 on the site of the Majestic Theater.
Following the link above by lostmemory, it seems the upper parts of this former cinema is used mainly as a dance hall, with shops at ground level. When first opened the Savoy was equipped with a Compton theatre organ.
Congratulations on your most informative introduction to the Alhambra Theater. All the Film Daily Yearbooks I have (1941, 1950 & 1952) give a seating capacity of 600.
It certainly didn’t ‘remain long’, as the Orpheum Theatre opened on 15th February 1926 and I presume it must have taken at least a year to demolish the Mission Theater and construct the new Orpheum.
The 600 seat Comfort Theater was being used as a tavern by 1986. Any update on that information please? Thanks
The architects of the Climax Theater were Duggan & Huff. It was built by Otto Meister and John Freuler who had formed the Central Amusement Company. It seated 867 and has been demolished.
The architects of the Maxine Theater were McFarlane, Maul & Lenz.
The Film Daily Yearbook 1941 lists the Park Theatre as having 790 seats.
The Fairfax Theatre originally opened in 1932 (July?) and it had an original seating capacity of 1,504. A Wurlitzer 2 Manual/6 Rank SP theatre organ was installed.
Still to be seen today in faded lettering on the rear of the stage house is the painted sign stating; ‘New Fairfax Theatre – Glorifying the Talking Picture’
During the early 1950’s the Gordon Theatre was part of the Fox West Coast Theaters circuit on District 1.
The headers at the top of this posting need to be updated to:
Style: Art Deco
Function: Movies 1st run/Art House
The Fox Studio City Theatre opened about 1939. It had a seating capacity of 880. It closed to movies in February 1991.
The Allen Theater is listed as having 673 seats in the Film Daily Yearbook 1952.
Located on Bristol Road South, Longbridge, Birmingham. The Danilo Cinema was designed in an art deco style by architect Ernest S. Roberts. It opened on 28th January 1939 and had a seating capacity of 1,479. It was the 4th of Mortimer Dent’s Danilo Cinemas Circuit to open.
In 1946 the Danilo Cinema Circuit was sold to the Southan Morris operated S.M. Super Cinemas Ltd, but they retained the Danilo name. In 1954 S.M. Super Cinemas were sold to the Essoldo Circuit and the Danilo Longbridge was re-named Essoldo Cinema. It showed its last film “Barbarella” on 23rd November 1968 and was converted into a bingo club.
Located on Bristol Road South, Northfield, Birmingham. The Northfield Cinema was opened on 4th February 1929. The architect was Major Lewis R. McFarlane and it had a seating capacity of 1,178. It remained an independent cinema throughout its life, finally closing on 2nd June 1962 with the films “Blood of the Vampire” & “Grip of the Strangler”.
The architect of the Gladwin Park Theater was E.H. Rogers.
When operated by Mann Theatres, the Rialto suffered a fire on the stage in the early 1970’s? I belive this destroyed the organ console and in 1972 the organ pipes were removed from the chanbers. I am told that the reason why the plasterwork on the organ grilles either side of the proscenium opening was damaged (and remains so today) is because the pipes were literally just thrown out through the holes onto the front orchestra stalls floor before final removal. I can’t vouch authenticity in this story, it is just what I was told.
The organ was a Wurlitzer 2 Manual/10 Rank opened by Ray Metcalf in 1925. It became a popular instrument in the 1960’s when concerts and recordings were made on it by George Wright.
‘Motor City Marquees’ book about Detroit theatres by Stuart Galbraith IV (1965) lists: Loyal, 13803 Grand River, Detroit. 1926; 550 seats
‘The Loyal just missed the attendance boom during World War II. The theatre was re-named Alvin in 1940, but closed before the end of the year.’
The Film Daily Yearbook 1941 lists the ‘Alvin, Grand River, 440 seats’, but no mention of a Loyal Theater. I think FDY’s were typeset the previous year to their published year, so it could have closed after it went to press.
The street address of the Astoria is 10-13 Gloucester Place. It opened on 21st September 1933, the architect being Edward A Stone with interior decorations in a French Art Deco style by interior designers Henri & Laverdet (who had worked with Stone on his other Astoria Theatres in London at Streatham and Finsbury Park and at the Whitehall Theatre, London).
The Astoria Brighton was built for E.E. Lyons who was starting up a chain of Astoria Cinemas in southern England at the time, but he died in 1934 and the Astoria Brighton (together with several others of his cinemas) was taken over by the ABC chain of theatres. The final film shown was Barbra Streisand in “A Star is Born on 7th May 1977.
The Academy Cinema was re-modelled both externally and interally in 1938/39 by Gaumont British house architect W.E. Trent supervising local architect A.E. Potter. Work was done in the mornings and overnight without closing the cinema.
It was demolished in 1974, a block of offices Academy House was built on the site.
According to Charles Francisco’s bok “The Radio City Music Hall-An Affectionate History of the World’s Greatest Theater” (1979) the next time that RCMH played a movie that wasn’t first-run there (after Cavalcade in 1933) was in early 1975 when it played “Gone With the Wind”
This is performance of G&S “Iolanthe” performed by the Ridgewood Gilbert & Sulivan Opera Co.. Sunday 21st November 2004 at 2:00pm Admision is FREE. A great opportunity to see the Loew’s and also see the stage being used. I wish I could be there.
According to Larry Widen and Judi Anderson’s book ‘Milwaukee Movie Palaces’ (1986) the architects of the Airway Theatre were Peacock & Belognia. It operated from 1949 until 1967 and seated 550.