Eureka Picture Palace
562 Hessle Road,
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A very old purpose-built cinema with an ornate and eccentric facade which opened in September 1912.
It was enlarged in 1921 when a balcony was added – such was the popularity of the Eureka.
However, with the advent of television, cinema going waned and the Eureka was an early casualty – not helped by the fact that the local housing was undergoing slum clearance and large numbers of locals were moving away.
It finally closed in February 1959 and became a bingo hall.
In 1984 it was reborn as a live concert venue but the venture was short lived and in 1989 it was sold for redevelopment. The redevelopment never took shape, and the Eureka is once again empty and for sale (2001).
“On revisting this former cinema in July 2002, I have to report that the situation is as bad as it can get. Partial demolition has been
carried out – and then apparently abandoned.
“The auditorium has been left as a roofless shell. Almost all
pasterwork has been stripped from the walls, the ceiling removed, the balcony removed, apart from the supporting steel girders and a large hole knocked through the left hand auditorium wall.
“At this point demolition seems to have ceased and roof girders and
outside walls remaining the Eureka has the bizarre appearance of an enclosed wild garden as vegetation has taken over what was the stalls floor.
“The facade is vandalised (not a single pane of glass remains and graffiti despoils the faience tiling) and also has extensive vegetation sprouting from the most unlikely places.
“The tiny foyer remains with its stairs up to the former balcony, and above the projection box is obviously intact.
“This end of the Hessle Road has been extensively, and very unimaginately redeveloped (Asda – Walmart – supermarket etc). I can’t help but feel that the remains of the Eureka are next. One can only hope that at least the eccentric, but charming, facade is retained in the redevelopment.”
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