317 Bury New Road, Higher Broughton,
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The New Rialto Cinema was built in 1926. A large building on a commanding corner site, it contained a 1,400-seat cinema, nine shops, a billiard hall and a dance hall. It could be said to have been one of the earliest examples of an entertainment centre.
The front was clad in cream terra-cotta tiles. An interesting architectural feature was two cherubs and a cello carved in red terra cotta above one of the exit doors.
Officially opened on Monday November 7, 1927, the Rialto continued with film and stage shows until the outbreak of World War Two when it closed for a short period.
Like most cinemas it reopened quite quickly as it was felt by the authorities that it was a good way to keep people off the streets during the black-outs.
The cinema was taken over by the ABC chain and remained a movie house until 1973 when it was converted into the inevitable bingo hall.
The bingo ceased in around 1999, and there was talk of opening it up as a dance hall.
The building was bought in preparation for this but there was found to be a major drainage and sewage problem that was going to cost a lot of money to put right.
One day the building mysteriously burned down. A McDonald’s restaurant and drive-thru now occupies the site.
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