Cannon Royal Cinema
35 Charing Cross Road,
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Opened as the Cinema de Paris on 12th February 1910, the entrance was on Bear Street at the rear of the auditorium. Designed by architect William Hancock, seating was provided for 360, all on one level. There were three private boxes located halfway back in the auditorium on the right-hand side and there was a sliding roof, to provide ventilation on hot days.
In 1913, a new entrance was made on the main Charing Cross Road, designed by architect Percival Hawkins, a long narrow corridor led to the auditorium, which was now entered from behind the screen.
In 1926 it was reconstructed to the plans of architect Robert Atkinson and it re-opened with 476 seats as the Cameo Cinema. The auditorium now contained decorative plaques by C.F. Aumonier and paintings by T.B.W. Champneys. In March 1928 a Compton 2Manual/8Rank theatre organ was installed. From 26th December 1932, the Cameo became a newsreel theatre. Further minor alterations were carried out by architect George Coles in 1935.
In 1936 it was re-named Cameo Revudenews, the original entrance on Bear Street was in use to serve the rear stalls patrons in the ‘better’ seats. It was taken over by the Clavering & Rose circuit in the mid-1930’s. The Compton organ was removed to the Ritz Cinema, Lincoln in 1942.
It remained a newsreel cinema until October 1956, when the name was changed to Cameo Royal, and the policy of screening foreign-language (X) Certificate films began with Brigitte Bardot in “Mam'selle Striptease”.
It was taken over by the Classic Cinemas chain in September 1967 and was re-named Classic Royal Cinema on 14th April 1972. It became the Royal Cinema from December 1977 and the Classic Leicester Square from 11th January 1979. It became a non-stop 24 hours – 7 days a week cinema until 31st July 1983 and was closed for re-furbishment on 7th August 1983, re-opening with “Screwballs” on 18th August 1983.
Taken over by the Cannon Group, it was re-named Cannon Royal on 6th December 1985 and closed on 23rd June 1988 with “Broadcast News”.
The Cannon Royal was demolished in February 1989, and ground floor retail space was built on the Charing Cross Road frontage, with offices above, that has its entrance on 11 Bear Street, and known as Cameo House.
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