New Empire Theatre

22 Alexandra Street,
Southend-on-Sea, SS1 1BU

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PaulB52 on March 12, 2017 at 5:27 am

I was in Southend this week (early March 2017) and took some pictures of the on-going demolition. They’re on my Flickr page at

Ian on July 27, 2015 at 1:17 am

Some photos taken in November 2007, shortly before the New Empire Theatre was closed – sadly I did not get upstairs to the former balcony.





70mmbobbyj on July 26, 2015 at 2:15 am

There are reports of a fire at this cinema.It is reported in the local news paper, the fire service were in attendance around 8 am this morning 26-7-15.

godfreyh on June 30, 2015 at 9:02 pm

Ken, I don’t know where and how you found these lovely hi-res pics, but how you’ve taken me back – on Saturday the 9th June 1962 I was in there watching the matinee of Escape from Zahrain ! (My dad had a music shop over in Weston Road and was given weekly passes to all the Southend cinemas in exchange for displaying posters and advertising material for the week’s films… )

lennivlek on September 7, 2011 at 2:32 am

I worked here for two years 1985 to 1986 as a projectionist

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on November 20, 2008 at 7:26 am

The auditorium of the ABC at its re-opening after modernisation in June 1962:
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Ken Roe
Ken Roe on November 18, 2008 at 6:16 am

A vintage photograph of the ABC on its re-opening 7th June 1962:
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A vintage photograph of the ABC foyer in 1962:
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Ken Roe
Ken Roe on December 1, 2005 at 6:41 am

The Empire Theatre was built in 1896 and closed in early 1920 for conversion by George Coles and Adams into the Rivoli Cinema.

The Rivoli Cinema opened on 31st May 1920 and it had a cafe and a church organ was installed. In 1928 it was equipped with a Christie 2Manual theatre organ which was rebuilt in 1936 after Union Cinemas had taken over operating the cinema. It was rebuilt with additional ranks as a Wurlitzer 3Manual/10Ranks instrument.