Cannon Bolton

Bradshawgate,
Bolton, BL1 1DR

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Lido Bolton

Viewing: Photo | Street View

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.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on December 29, 2006 at 8:29 am

During demolition, the painted mural of a Venetian scene was uncovered after being hidden for many years. Here are some (very sad) views:
View link

Ian
Ian on January 8, 2007 at 12:16 am

An exterior photo whilst still operating as a cinema here:–

http://flickr.com/photos/12494104@N00/348004668/

HJHill
HJHill on May 22, 2014 at 11:38 am

“ . . the Lido in Bradshawgate, as unprepossessing and unVenetian building as could be imagined despite its gondola-filled proscenium frieze… it was little more than a cheap shell. The foyer was bare and cramped, and the centre stalls were by crash doors which opened from the auditorium straight out into the side alleys, sometimes drenching the adjacent customers in rain or snow… . the Lido was . . the proud possessor of a Christie organ, and the interlude for this could stretch the gap between solid celluloid items to as much as thirty-five minutes. Though it had the advantage of a phantom piano attachment, the Lido organ did not rise from the orchestra pit, nor did it change colour as it came. From some of the side seats you could see it waiting in the wings throughout the performance, and since the main curtain hung slightly short, front stalls patrons could count the feet of the men who pushed it on stage at the appropriate moment.”

Seats In All Parts: by Leslie Halliwell

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