260 Hendon Way,
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This large suburban cinema is located opposite Hendon Central underground railway (tube) station in the northwest London district of Hendon. It opened as the Ambassador Cinema on 15th February 1932. It was designed by architect G.E. McLeavy, working out of the office of the architectural firm of Henry F. Webb & Ash. It was built for London and Super Cinemas Ltd. and was equipped for live variety shows and its facilities included a cafe and a Compton 3Manual/8Ranks theatre organ. It was taken over by Gaumont British Cinemas in December 1933 and re-named Gaumont in 1949.
The Gaumont was one of many Rank Organisation cinemas which were sold to the Classic Cinemas chain in December 1967 and they modernised the building and it re-opened as the Classic Cinema on 8th December 1968 with “Survival” and Pierre Etaix in “As Long As You’re Healthy”.
It was split into three screens in February 1973 with seating now 580, 399, and 423. Classic Cinemas were taken over by the Cannon Cinemas group and it was re-named Cannon in December 1985. Another name change came when Cannon Cinemas sold out to MGM Theatres and it became the MGM Cinema from 1993, but this was short lived and a further final name change to ABC Hendon occured in 1996. The ABC was closed on 20th January 1997 with the films “Daylight”, “Star Trek:First Contact”, “Jingle All The Way”, and “101 Dalmations”.
The former Ambassador Cinema was converted into a Holmes Place gym and fitness centre, which is now known as the Virgin Active Health Club.
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