Greater Union Russell Cinemas
131 Russell Street,
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This is the second cinema building built on this site. The first was the 1,376 seat Kings Theatre built in 1908 as a live theatre. It was later taken over by Greater Union Cinemas in use as a cinema. In 1958 it was remodeled by Greater Union into the 1,054 seat Barclay Cinema which operated until 1976.
The Barclay Cinema was demolished and in its place Greater Union Cinemas built their prestige six screen Greater Union Russell Cinemas. It opened on 23rd November 1978 with “Death on the Nile”, “Pretty Baby”, “International Velvet”, “Candleshoe”, “The Irishman” and “Sargent Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band”.
Each auditorium is given a totally different individual decorative scheme, which range from a normal curtained auditorium, one which has bare brick walls, one lined with wood panelled walls and ceiling, one in a Regency style with crystal chandeliers, one in an abstact style and one in a modern style. Seating capacities in the auditoriums are: 546, 272, 418, 252, 358 and 742.
The complex remained open as a popular city centre multi-screen cinema, totally unaltered from its original 1978 opening. Sadly, it was closed by Greater Union Event Cinemas on 2nd October 2013. It is planned to demolish and build a hotel on the site.
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