ABC Leeds

Vicar Lane,
Leeds, LS2 7NL

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Showing 18 comments

vickifairfax on December 1, 2016 at 7:28 pm

I think this was the cinema built by my Grandfather, Herbert Stevens. Having opened one of the first ‘talkie’ cinemas in Grimsby/Hull he was brought over by management to oversee The Ritz’s construction and subsequently ran it until his retirement in the mid 50’s. He was always immensely proud of the fact that the cinema was built on schedule and under budget and he loved the place. Of course he always went to work in white tie and tails as most cinema managers did, I think, in those days. I wonder if anyone has anymore information they could give me? Vicki Fairfax Melbourne Australia

terry on January 29, 2015 at 3:31 pm

ABC 1 with 670 seats was situated in the former circle area and ABC 2 with 867 occupied the stalls. The later subdivision of the latter ruined the whole of the downstairs seating area.

Tony Newman
Tony Newman on June 10, 2013 at 1:03 pm

I started going to the cinema on my own in 1976 after the Rex was closed. I was the grand old age of 12! I had up until then just always assumed that the Rex would always be there and never thought of going anywhere else. I was always torn between the ABC and the ODEON as to which was my favourite. The ABC always seemed to be run better, It seemed to be the friendliest. They did late night and through the night specials, screen 2 showed 3D films back in the late 70’s and the sound in screen 1 was awesome. My 2 big memories are Poltergeist when the hand came out of the screen and the sound went over your head to the back wall. I know it was only stereo but back then it was fantastic! but the best was Battlestar Galactica this was in sensurround! never seen it before but they had warnings up all over the place. We sat right on the front row and for the first 5-10 mins I couldn’t see what all the fuss was about, it was no different to any other film. Then they launched a fighter it was shot down the launch tube which was pretty noisy but as it came out the camera angle switched and it was just alongside this giant spaceships was amazing the whole place shook the curtains even rattled on their runners. I found out later from the manager on a tour he gave me that they had to have a structural survey before it could be saddest were in the latter years when it was getting run down and not maintained the beautiful golden curtains in screen 1 that were filthy and had big cob webs on them and the leaky roof. My last film was Armageddon I sat in the Pullmans for the first time and just looked around knowing that anytime it would be closed. I loved everything about the place the smell, the atmosphere it is a real shame that it has gone still miss it and still get memories come back of it when I see a film that I saw there.

frankie35 on November 22, 2012 at 1:50 pm

i used to love this cinema growing up in the 80’s at least the ticket prices were decent no hyper inflated costs like it is today the best film i have seen there was masters of the universe in 87 it was great especialy at the end where dolph lundgren said i have the power every one stood up cheering and applauding in ovation it was electric but the cinema paid the price for govermental capital by knocking it down for an shopping complex that the site is now owned by john lewis part of leeds transformation project but what fun it was at the cinema.

frankie (cool rider) smales

frankie smales tv and movie review uk

Mike_Blakemore on September 25, 2011 at 3:52 pm

Have load 3 pictures of ABC..

smoothie on May 6, 2010 at 8:20 am

Multi-photographed portfolio of ABC Vicar Lane photographs on the Leeds Library and Information project ‘Leodis’. Most photographs in relation to the nearby expressway construction in the late 1960’s; but more recent, dormant, photos from the mid-2000’s. Easy way in is using the Advanced Search facility right from the word go, linked immediately under the main heading. Then just search for ‘ABC’ in the Keyword space. Don’t touch any of the other drop-downs!

Tony Newman
Tony Newman on May 6, 2010 at 7:48 am

The ABC was at the end of Vicar lane next to the A64 ring road.The last time i was down there they hadn’t built anything it was just empty waste ground!!! what a shame and a waste.I loved that place far too many good memories to mention.

Simon on April 8, 2010 at 5:55 am

Whereabouts on Vicar Lane was the ABC? Whats replaced it?

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on March 21, 2010 at 7:17 am

A set of four vintage photographs of the ABC:
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abcman on March 17, 2009 at 12:54 pm

Always a good cinema to relieve when I was in ABC Cinema management as it was always a busy house. Use to enjoy working in the Advance Booking Office there.

Ian on December 25, 2007 at 11:42 am

A few pictures from 1986 here:–

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LouiseC on July 11, 2006 at 4:49 pm

Thanks for posting the pics of the cinemas in their last sorry state; if there had been one cinema in Leeds I would love to have seen resurrected it would have been the ABC. Many happy times spent there, especially in the small cinemas with the strangely positioned aisles and bizarre sound.

capnb on March 2, 2006 at 7:48 am

There are more pics here:

Taken by myself on 28th February – some structural evidence of the stalls and stage still there (the stage-side is still definitely in place), but now no roof and a huge hole in the front. Interior is pretty much all rubble now.

Super8 on February 6, 2006 at 8:55 am

Below are links to two pages on flickr. I took lots of pictures during the strip out in December 2005. It’s very sad as the building was certainly not in a bad condition.

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Ian on February 4, 2006 at 9:26 am

Two pictures of demolition here:–

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Patsy on February 4, 2006 at 7:41 am

Very sad to see the same thing happening in England as in the USA.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on November 6, 2005 at 5:26 am

A February 2005 photo of the abandoned ABC Leeds. Note the 1959 era panels that have fallen off revealing the original facade underneath.
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