143 Linthorpe Road,
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Previously operated by: Associated British Cinemas Ltd.
Architects: James Forbes
Previous Names: Elite Cinema
Opened as the Elite Cinema in July 1923, and designed by architect James Forbes with 1,900 seats. It was owned and operated by Walter Bentley Cinemas Ltd. who also operated the Elite Cinema in Nottingham. The Elite Cinema had modest size stage and a café which had room for dancing. In 1930 it was equipped with a Compton 2 Manual/6Ranks organ, and a Western Electric(WE) sound system was fitted. In December 1935 it was taken over by the Associated British Cinemas(ABC) chain
It was modernised in 1964 when it was renamed ABC and then further altered when after a four month closure it reopened on 6th May 1974 as a triple cinema. From the sizes of the cinemas (ABC1: 490 seats, ABC2: 289 seats and ABC3: 268 seats) I assume this was not a drop wall conversion but an internal rebuilding, so most likely when the building was later converted to a Crown Bingo Club and then a pub, there was little left to preserve!
Interesting exterior, largely intact, with a monumental corner entrance over five storeys. Built in brick with stone dressed windows (demi lune shaped in many instances), the cinema also contained a stage, ballroom and cafe. The exterior wall of the auditorium as viewed from the rear is circular.
The Crown pub was closed suddenly on 2nd January 2015.
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A photo from 1995 as the Crown Bingo Hall:–
Interior of one of the screening rooms after triplexing in 1974: View link
I have loaded 2 pictures Hope you enjoy
Pub/club closed suddenly last Friday 2nd Jan 2015 according to an article I read on Facebook.
It looks like the Council have stepped in to save this attractive building from demolition. This is indeed ironic as they usually cannot get rid of former cinemas and theatres fast enough (Odeon, Newcastle and Futurist , Scarborough for example).
Interesting article re potential future use which, if you scroll down far enough, includes a ‘gallery’ of interesting photos relating to the theatre’s past:–
2 photos uploaded to the relevant section.