Studio 1 & 2
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Previously operated by: Star Cinemas
Architects: Peter Cummings
Styles: Italian Renaissance
Previous Names: Carlton Cinema
The Carlton Cinema was the last of the super cinemas to be built in Salford, to the north of Manchester in the Pendleton district.
The Carlton Cinema opened on Wednesday May 5th, 1937 with Will Hay in “Those Were the Days”. With 2,500 seats in stalls and balcony levels, the whole building had an Italian theme with terrazzo floors and was designed by architect Peter Cummings. Above the 42 feet wide proscenium was a carved scene of Venice, “a gondola cleaving the watery thoroughfare”. Grilles in the walls were Venetian in design and there was also inlaid Italian Marble ornamentation. The stage was 22 feet deep and there were 2 dressing rooms. It was equipped with a Christie 3Manual theatre organ. The cinema also had a café for the convenience of its patrons.
It was equipped with CinemaScope in 1954 and in the late-1950’s it was taken over by the Leeds based Star Cinemas chain. Like many cinemas, the Carlton Cinema struggled with the advent of television and the bingo craze that swept Britain in the 1960’s. It closed as a single screen super cinema on 3rd November 1962 with Sean Connery in “Dr. No” to be converted into a casino and club with bingo and roulette.
After a few months, it closed again in August 1963 reopened as a casino downstairs and a 887 seat cinema in the former balcony opened with “The List of Adrian Messenger” starring George C. Scott. It was finally twinned in October 1970 with a second 130-seat mini-cinema being created in the former café, now known as Studio 1 & 2.
The cinemas closed again in January 1984 with Sean Connery in “Never Say Never Again” and “Revenge of the Ninja”. The former stalls area became a snooker/leisure centre with the cinemas being mothballed, never to reopen. It was demolished in the late-1980’s.
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