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Correction. Village opened with 3 screen complex with a further 2 planned screens at a later date which happend so it became a 5 cinema complex.
It remains untouched and is now a church. It is on the shopping mall side.
In the old days a lot of the West End cinemas were no better inside then surburban cinemas were and they charged more to attend infact the cinemas in the East End and seaside resorts were much much better but the West End cinemas usually had much better posters and lobby cards outside. would be nice to see an old photo.
This cinema was to be advertised as the ABC at Mile End but was a few yards from Stepney Green Station I am still confused.
All I remember was a bombsite the public toilets were located in the middle of the road and a few yards from the corner was a bombed out church we used to play there entering from the street behind. we found a dead cat there.
The dance studio was the Fred Astaire-Anna Neagle Dance Studio.
I loved the long foyer.
This was not one of my favourite Cinemas but when I visit Sydney often eat there it makes a much better McDonalds Restaurant.
If you are sitting upstars and not at the very front this is a terrible place to watch anything the stage is too small.
It had poles inside the cinema holding up the ceiling luckily I never had to sit behind one.
The stage show ‘No No Nanette’ was performed here with Cyd Charise who was later replaced by Yvonne de Carlo I think it was the 1970s.
The first Australian recruitment drive for world war 1 was in this cinema so the building must have a long history.
When it first opened the foyer was like an airport it was wonderful I even bought a second hand film book which I treasure.
When it was a single screen cinema it had a very nice mono sound system with a nice echo.then one day in the 70s somebody installed stereo it was nice but the mono was much much better.
I went to the old Empire in 1960 to see ‘Ben-Hur’ and I was stunned MGM’s premier cinema was a dump the screen may have been big but there were poles hoiding up the balcony which must have blocked viewing from some of the seats no wonder it was gutted.
I passed this cinema in the summer of 1962 and it was open showing ‘Cattle Empire’ with Joel McCrea.
We made a TV comercial inside this cinema forgotton what for but the star jumped out of the screen.
You say it was not equipped for CinemaScope but I saw ‘To Catch a Thief’ here and that was in VistaVision.
According to the 1980s press,it cost a Million Dollars to clean the cinema to it’s former glory and they used Amway products I would loved to have been the distributor.
I have very fond memories of the loud projector it gave a pleasant continuous humming sound all through the films a sound I wish they would attach to all DVD players.