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Picture taken by Mike Brazier..
Prior to The ABC take over it was run as part of the BT Davis Circuit of Birmingham…
The Cinema – Bingo Development was designed by Modernisation Ltd. (John Freeze-Green) He had a financial interest in this site for a number of years.
The Kine Year Book of 1962 at that date Star Cinemas were running the Cinema. The Conversion was carried out by Modernisation Ltd.,
The 1964 refurbishment for the Bingo and the conversion to Cinema-Bingo was carried out by Modernisation Ltd.,
Love that Interior Picture Terry. A Very fine example of a Robert Cromie’s work. The Prince of Wales Theatre London and the Theatre Royal Drury Lane Remodel. Great building always end up having something insipid to replace them.
Grade 2 and below are not worth the papers they are listed on….
This was a separate company within the Theatre Administration Group of Leamington Spa…
I believe that this Theatre is still owned by Fred Butterworth’s Family
The Independent Cinema operator that took over in 1958 was BT Davis who bought it as a job lot of 5 Cinema off Rank. Those included Chepstow. Lydney. Monmouth which the family still own. The fifth at the moment I cannot remember.. age.. Later he took over Odeon’s Henley on Thames and Marlow.
Well with Cameron Mackintosh running the Theatre we can be assured that He will do a good job of the restoration.. I remember “The Crazy Gang Shows” Brilliant..
Picture Curtesy of Carline Lane.
The Site is now a Co-op Supermarket..
Terry. The Hippodrome Nuneaton was ABC’s first Theatre in the Town. Which was in Partners ship with Leon Salberg and Sidney Clift… The Ritz was owned and built by Union Cinemas which was part of the take over by ABC… I used to do relief Management at the Ritz when I was a Lad :o)
Terry Ken Roe and I are doing research on this problem funny enough I believe the Sunderland Theatre was done By George Alexander. When ABC Built Cinemas they employed a more local Architect to supervise stages of construction as it is required by Law.. Which probably why the name has appeared.. Glen’s assistant C. Jack Foster was the Ex PCT Architect by the way So that is how the connection was made.. Take a Look at the Queens Cinema Wolverhampton you see the design repeated again..
The Co-operative Supermarket is now open.
Most of the Tower was an emergency staircase for the projection box and taking a flow from the Ballroom. The Clock was a slave type ran from the Managers Office
Wetherspoon’s have announced that the pub will close Saturday 19th March…
Correct to the credit Hickton and Farmer designed the new frontage
Hmm. The Man leaning on the Sofa. The right hand side was a very young John Davies .. Later the Chairman of the Rank Organisation
Hmm At Terry. You are being generous with your description of the Vue.. I would have said and NCP Car Park.
Hmm. Yes ABC and other companies started closing their 3rd cinemas in towns.. to avoid the cost of conversion.. The sale of these theatres defrayed the expense of conversion to Cinemascope type formats. ABC did not have many true Fox Cinemascope sites.. Cinemascope was patented in 1917 by Bausch & Lomb.. Although this had run out by the time Fox decided to try the format, they used their lenses.. Cinemas that shown Cinemascope in the first period used Bausch and Lomb.. ABC and Rank where cheapskates and used Delrama and Ranks own make.. I may add that I am Ex real ABC and Independent… I had put a picture of the Capitol Interior as a Bingo operation on and it has disappeared of the site. ?
The Theatre had rear projection. When the Tabs needed opening or closing a Projectionist had to cross the stage and use a handle to operate them… Up until the day it closed as a Cinema…
The Theatre was purchased off Hugh Orr by the Local Council but leased back on an odd deal… It was done for Hugh Orr’s lifetime So when he died It closed…
Very Vaguely after all these years .. After all I had to cope with being in the office with Joan Cooks as well :o) I have a feeling we have met.. Jonny Simmons was a Top class manager and had style of the old school