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Hippodrome, Corporation Street, St Helens, Merseyside. WA10.
Architect: J A Brown (1902 Empire Palace Theatre).
It was called Hippodrome by 1904 when the proprietors were Thomas Barrasford, W Sley & F Willmot.
Proprietor: Frank E. Spring’s Circuit (date?).
Proprietor: South Lancs Theatres, +1929 KYB.
Closed 1937, the auditorium was completely remodelled for cinema use.
Reopened 8 August 1938 as New Hippodrome, with Anna Neagle in “Victoria the Great”.
Proprietor: Empire Cinema (Wigan) Ltd, by 1940 to 1943 KYBs.
Closed 31 August 1963.
Reopened 1 Sep 1963 as a Bingo Hall.
Later Surewin Bingo by the1980s.
Still operating (2013) as Hippodrome Bingo.
Are you sure this was built in 1873?
The Salvation Army was still very much in its infancy in the 1870s, and I doubt it had reached the provinces until the 1880s, with purpose-built citadels arriving much later.
This wasn’t built as a cinema.
It was built as the “Palace of Light” for the showman C. B. Cochran, and opened 4 July 1908.
It originally had 1,000 light bulbs on the exterior.
Cochran was well-known at the time, and presented all kinds of live performances, usually called “Cochran Revues”.
However, he didn’t present films.
It was renamed the Gem in 1910, which is when it probably became a cinema.
Incidently, there are hardly any purpose-built cinemas with original frontages dating from before 1911.
The front of the Picture House in Birmingham survives.
The Electric in Portobello Road, the Bedford (Edit: since demolished) and the Kensington, both in Liverpool survive. All 3 opened in December 1910.
There might (arguably) be one or two more from 1910, but it has to be admitted that original cinema facades are now an endangered species.
The ABC Princess wasn’t on the Promenade, and was opposite the Metropole Hotel (not Theatre), whose front was on the Promenade.
If anybody needs correcting, it’s the late Harold Ackroyd.
I soon learned not to repeat anything he said unless I could find the original source.
The operating company at the year ending 31 December 1957 was the “Futurist (Liverpool) Ltd”.
Alderman Alfred Levy was the Managing Director.
By March 1960 it was an ABC house.
The Seaforth Stella was demolished years ago.
You might be interested to know that the police station next to the Palladium has been demolished, and the site redeveloped.
I’ve added a potted history to my photo, and made the other photo private, so here it is again:
Your link doesn’t work for me.
I live in Liverpool and know what you mean.
It looks in a very sorry state, approaching its Centenary.
Another lost apostrophe.
Yes, the two buildings are much older than the cinema.
You can see where the one facing London Road was cut short to allow for the entrance to the cinema.
Ma Egerton’s was originally on the site where the Forum was built in Lime Street, so it would have moved after June 1929.
(I’ve got a copy of a press cutting from June 1929).
That story you heard must have been from somebody who got their facts wrong.
17 March 2011 photo:
Your name is the only one that appears.
Who is CT?
It was Ian – being rather premature – who says: “Demolition of the Odeon began in November 2010, and was completed in March 2011."
If I didn’t know the truth, a statement like that would have prevented me from visiting the site to take photos, thinking that there’s nothing left.
The demolition will continue, but will take a while.
Apart from the fact it’s a huge building, there are also buildings at two corners which will remain.
It wasn’t called the Super Royal.
As a cinema it was officially called the Royal, and like others in the W Gordon circuit it had Super added after its name in some Press adverts.
It’s incorrect to say that demolition has been completed.
At the time of writing (March 20), only the centre of the building is part-demolished.
There will be plenty of photo opportunities for quite a while yet.
The present building was opened (or reopened) on 28 February 1938.
Architect: George Coles.
There had been a cinema on the site at least as far back as 1929 – whether it was completely demolished for the 1938 version is unknown.
Said to have closed in the 1980s, when it had 530 seats.
In my notes I have that it was open by 5 July 1909.
Unfortunately, I didn’t note my source.
D J Hindle says the Palladium was Preston’s first purpose-built cinema.