713 Wimborne Road, Winton,
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Architects: Edward G. De Wilde Holding
Styles: Streamline Moderne
The Moderne Cinema opened on 11th October 1935 with John Boles in “Music in the Air” and Denis O'Neil in “Barnacle Bill”. As its name suggests it was designed in a very modernistic style by local architect Edward G. de Wilde Holding and had the added facility of a cafe, which was located in the balcony foyer.
It closed on 25th May 1983 with Peter Sellers in “The Wrong Arm of the Law” and was converted into a bingo club from June 1983 which was initially operated by Granada Bingo.
In the early-1960’s this was a truly beautiful Art Deco cinema with seats that sported a leopard skin print. A girlfriend’s father who was a butcher got free tictets every week, and so we spent many an evening in the rear of the balcony canoodling in the dark. By this period it tended to be a second run theatre and on Sunday evenings would often offer a horror movie double bill. I saw a dreadful film called “The Deadly Mantis” in this cinema. For a suburban off-centre cinema it was pretty big at 1,500 seats. I really loved this cinema, but it was saved and operated as a bingo hall for many years. Sadly, Gala Bingo closed it down in February 2008, a victim of the ‘No Smoking’ ban in public places.
In the Summer of 2008, the Cinema Theatre Association applied to English Heritage for Listed building consent. The application was turned down, due to the fact the building had lost the original stencilling scheme in the auditorium, despite them being impressed with the excellent foyer.
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