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Yes to Terry. For around five year I have had a cinema veterans pass to go to the cinema… Hmm have not found anything worth watching.
I have been reminded of the Inspection we had to do at night after closure of this Theatre, This had to be done by two people and was strictly done in an order. The boiler house. even with one person walking between the House and Screen Tabs.. while the other walked behind the screen tabs. Even the Exits locks where checked again.. (The time period for me doing this was 1969)
@ Terry I agree in every respect. of your comments.
Hmm. Point 1. I do agree with using Odeon as a Brand. But I disagree. Ref Birmingham. ABC had more Cinemas in the Birmingham area. then Rank.. The ABC Forum New Street where I was based for a short period. Took more money then the Odeon new street. The Gaumont after “The sound of Music became a white elephant. Odeon Queensway did not turn in a Net profit for years before closure. My Cinema "The Capitol Cinema” did better business then Rank did from the 3 sites. They tried buying us out in fact… As I have said previously as my family had financial interests in both Rank ABC and the Clifton circuit I have studied the balance sheets..
Hmm. Its amazing how great buildings are replaced by total mediocrity
A Point of interest. This Cinemas was designed in 1924 with an Art-Deco interior possibly one of the earliest in the UK.
Hmm.. There is a lot of it these days… and you cannot get insurance on an empty Cinemas and Theatres you know.
Well said Terry….
Hmm. Point 1. My expression was of old ABC which I know made more profit from the balance sheets.. From the EMI take over was its downfall. Odeon has been only under Rank control proper from 1948 ish After the share rights issue of 1947. See Odeon Properties ltd., The Clifton Sydicate of Birmingham owned more of Odeon then Rank did and controled. There was also 7 Odeons, Rank only had 200 share in each of them. We in effect loaned Rank to buy us out of our interests.. All of the built Odeons had their own set shareholders and Rank had just had 200 shares in each built Odeon. they bought off Oscar Deutch’s wife, Lilly. Associaited British Cinemas like Odeon was an amalgam of compainies. The Clfton Syndicate also was strong in ABC as well and helped to stop Warner Bros totaly taking over ABC My Family was involved in the share holding of ABC when it merged with our 4 theatres, a number of Odeons, Clifton syndicate cinemas plus Howard and Wyndam Ltd.,.
Also Most of what has been written about Odeon’s history is a Myth
Hmm. All of To-days Cinema woes where caused by Government interference in the Cinema Industry. The old duopoly between ABC and Rank.. and the old release system.. which actually at the end of the day guaranteed a print of a movie… Which has caused Damage to Our very fine cinema stock of Buildings across the country leaving us with Shoe box cinemas and the new Managements that could not give a Fig for the industry… Here endeth my rant
Hmm. I think there may have been a mistake in the Architects dept. pencil mark.
A Point of Interest.. This Granada had been one of the joint ventures with ABC as partners…
Space for TV equipment ??? 1931 a bit forward thinking..
Hmm. Real ABC was a far more a successful company Profit wise then Rank Cinemas They had the better release with Warner.. MGM.. Paramount.. Then Rank had Fox and Universal with Disney at Holiday times.. The Quality of Old ABC’s New builds and refurbishments where of a very high standards compared with some of the EMI Moore-bird wrecking’s that where carried out. ABC used Modernisation Ltd., for most of the new build interiors
In all probability . The Cinema would have a barrel ceiling. and a very small proscenium. My betting is that it closed due to not being able to afford to install Cinemascope. like the present day problems of installing Digital projection.
Found an Early Picture// Hope I have got the right site..
In my childhood in the 1950’s the illuminated surround had been removed.. When the Stage was bought forward for Cinemascope the organ was hidden from view. There where 2 large doors under the screen that was opened when the organ was used.
I did Relief Manager duties here in the 1970’s and got lumbered to do the Advance booking for 2 shows “Morecombe and Wise” and “The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra” At that time on our zone there was only a few of us that could do the old Moss Empire Booking System..
It was odd with the Cinema Although ABC rebranded it ABC The locals still refered to it as The Empress.
I think the Mananger in the Picture was Norman Long..
The conversion was designed and carried out by Modernisation Ltd., inc the Mirror system of projection.
Woolworths used the Cinema part for a period.. Until knocking it down to build the New Woolworths in the late fifties Which has since become a BM Store
Frank Crane worked for us at the Penn Cinema Wolverhampton Prior to this and funny enough Gary went on to work at the Apollo (Regal) Leamington Spa. which used to be Ours..
The Interiors of the Complex including the attached Nightclub was a design build carred out by Modernisiation Ltd., I was going to be the General Manager of the Cinemas. and visited the project regular. Which including studying the plans.. and the updates. etc
I decided to stay with B T Davis Circuit.. Money was better..
Have loaded the picture of the Archibald Hurley Robinson Theatre. Our Company “The BT Davis Circuit signed contracts to Buy the Kennedy Circuit. but was gasumpt..