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The Lido Cinema opened as an independent by John Buckley Theatres Ltd. on Easter Saturday in March 1937 with Jesse Matthews in “Evergreen”. Reginald Liversidge opened the Christie 3Manual/9Rank theatre organ, whilst on-stage was Victor Snelson and his orchestra.
The cinema was built for both film and live stage use and the proscenium opening was 40 feet wide with a stage 23 feet deep. There were nine dressing rooms and other facilities included a cafe and restaurant.
A feature of the Art Deco style auditorium was a painted mural of a Venetian scene in a panel over the proscenium arch. During the 1940’s regular variety shows were staged as well as well as film programmes, and for several years an annual pantomime took to the stage. Laurel and Hardy performed here in 1947, and the building survived three fires in 1947 and 1949.
In 1962 the Lido Cinema was sold to the Leeds based Star Cinemas circuit and went over to bingo use, but this didn’t last long. There were plans to convert the circle into a cinema, but these never materialised and in 1963 it became the Lido Casino. In June 1963 it returned to film use as the Studio Cinema. In 1970 the former cafe was converted into a 90 seat cinema, known as Studio 2.
In 1973 the main auditorium was sub-divided into a discotheque in the former stalls area and Studio 1 cinema in the former circle. In 1979 Studio 1 was divided into two screens, becoming Studios 1 and 2 while the former Studio 2 in the cafe area became Studio 3. A year later in 1980 the Star Cinemas group were sold to Cannon Cinemas group and the cinemas re-named Cannon.
It was briefly re-named ABC Cinema and closed on 22nd January 1998 with a special screening of “Casablanca” staring Humphry Bogart. It lay empty and boarded up until demolition came in March 2006. A block of flats known as the Picture House was built on the site.
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