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Lansbury Hall was opened in April 1937 as the local Labour Party’s H/Q and the name can be traced in local papers up to May 1955.
The Electric Picture Palace was a conversion of the Victorian County Hall and was opened “this week”. (Source: Millom Gazette, Friday, 9 June 1911).
The name was simplified to Electric Palace by September 1911, and Palace Cinema by August 1914. (Source: Millom Gazette, various issues).
It opened on Boxing Day, 1910, without being licensed, and was subsequently fined £8.
The projector was on a cement floor which collapsed two days later, and they had to close down.
Source: The Stage, 2 February 1911.
It’s not known when it re-opened – it next appears in on-line newspapers in September 1911.
I don’t think anybody’s said who it was built for or who the architects were.
The Lime Street Picture House was Liverpool’s third purpose-built cinema, after the Kensington Picturedrome, and the Bedford Hall in Walton. It was built by W. Wade Sykes between 19 March 1912 and September 1912 for New Century Pictures, owners of the New Century Picture Hall, not far away in Mount Pleasant, and was designed by the company’s resident architects, C.C. Chadwick & Wm. Watson, of Albion Street, Leeds.
The first cinema licence was issued on 19 January 1917, so it can’t have opened before that.
Everton Supporters' Club moved out in 1994, to be replaced by Orry’s Social Club, and more recently Croft’s Social Club.
It had already been demolished by 1986 as I took photos of the other Widnes cinema buildings then, but found the site of the Empire empty.
I haven’t seen any photos of it, so I was pleased to see this sketch in the foyer of the Woolton Picture House.
It had already been demolished by 1982 Probably in 1980.
The site is just part of a large area where a new development (probably student accommodation) has recently begun.
If the Assembly Rooms was a cinema before 11 January 1910, this would have been made apparent in the licensing records as a music licence, and/or special permission was required before that date.
On 25 November 1910 The Assembly Rooms were granted their first cinematograph licence to take effect from 1st December 1910 to 31st December 1910. (it was subsequently renewed on an annual basis).
More recently it’s become “Park Palace Ponies”, with real live ponies being available for children to ride.
It was a conversion of a malthouse which explains the narrowness of the auditorium.
All the front was new in 1922.
John Frederick Wood (Bedford Cinemas Ltd/Bedford Cinemas (1928) Ltd.), was showing films here from 1908, which qualifies the Queen’s as his first cinema.
The Bedford Cinema in Walton, Liverpool (opened 1910) was his first purpose-built cinema (and his second cinema).
This must have confused one person who knew that Mr Wood had both cinemas, and he mistakenly said that the Bedford was opened in 1908.
The Baths have since been demolished with new Baths built on the site.
The Woolton Picture House opened on 28 January 1928 with “seating accommodation for 860”. (source: The Bioscope).
A plan of the auditorium dated 3 January 1928 states “to seat 800 persons”.
Widnes Weekly News, June 1915. Empress Cinema Hall, General Manager Bob Hamilton. Last week open before closing down on 11 June 1915 for “extensive alterations”. “The coldest hall in Winter must be the coolest hall in Summer”. Grand reopening, August Bank Holiday Week. The floor will be raked, a balcony will be added, and a large stage fitted.
I’m not clear when Cheshire County Cinemas was formed (1922 has been said), but Robert Hamilton was there at the beginning. The original owner of the Empress was Alphonso Smith who had been the Managing Director of the Runcorn Palace. He built the Empress out of spite after falling out with the other directors.
Regards from Philip.
I’ve replied to this, but I can’t see it anymore.
Let me know if you saw it, because I’ve since found my handwritten notes, which I could email to you, if you’d like (too much to type out).
The Empress was indeed called The Empress Assembly Hall when it opened on Boxing Day, 1913, as a cinema with a flat floor which could also be used for other public functions.
“Special Programme of Star Pictures. Three performances a day at 2.30, 7 & 9. The Latest in Cinema: The Singing & Talking Pictures, direct from and as produced at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London. Prices: 2d, 4d & 6d.”
Just as well I wasn’t holding my breath waiting for your reply.
This is the Scala Cinema in Lime Street, Liverpool.
Not to be confused with the Central Beach Cinema, on Central Promenade, which was opened in May 1913, and was renamed Trocadero, later Ritz.
Still unused in 2018.
Demolished in November 2017.
The tower and entrance will be kept.