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Previously operated by: Apollo Cinemas
Architects: Charles Hartley
Previous Names: Davenport Theatre
Opened on 17 June 1937 with Edward Everett Horton in “The Man in the Mirror”. It was designed by Charles Hartley, and this was a dual purpose cinema and live theatre with a seating capacity of 1,750.
There was a spacious vestibule with a wide staircase rising to the balcony foyer with entry to the balcony on the rear side and entry to the café at the front.
Inside the auditorium there was a Compton 3Manual/6Ranks theatre organ on a rising platform to the left of the stage which was opened by organist Harold Bettes. Above the 50ft wide proscenium arch there was a large area treated with silver paint which changed colour courtesy of the Holophane Lighting control. There was a fully equipped large stage and orchestra pit.
It was owned and run by Mrs. Esther Harriet Burns who in 1964, at age 89, sold the Davenport to Tatton Cinemas (Gatley) Ltd. who continued to run it with a mix of film and stage use.
Mrs. Burns continued to have an interest in the cinema until her death just short of 100 years old!
In 1972, the former café was converted into a luxury cinema seating 180.
During the early 1990’s, the entire Tatton circuit was sold to Apollo Theatres who maintained the policy of the Davenport until 1997 when it was sold to the neighbouring Stockport Grammar School. The Davenport Cinema was closed in March 1997 and demolished in August 1997 to provide a car park!
The Davenport Cinema was a location for the 1979 John Schlesinger film “Yanks” starring Richard Gere, when it can be seen in a scene featuring Ronald Curtis playing the Compton theatre organ in an audience sing-a-long.
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