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Originally built as a roller-skating rink in 1909, it was in occasional use as an ‘electric cinema’ in early 1910. It converted into a full time cinema from 7th March 1911 and was controlled by the Andrews family. The hall could seat 1,500 which included some seating in a small balcony.
The hall was entered from a narrow frontage which replaced a small shop and for most of its life provided competitively priced entertainment, usually double-features from distributors back-catalogue in a simply furnished and decorated environment.
Archives have preserved records of the Andrews company. While seating and decoration remained very basic, the Central Cinema was well equipped. In later years it boasted one of the largest CinemaScope screens in the City but disaster struck in the summer of 1958 when a nearby building caught fire and spread to part of the Central.
Immediate steps were taken to organise repairs and on re-opening the Central advertised the latest projection system, understood to be from Kalee. Within a year the Central closed and when demolished in 1961 it revealed the wooden skating floor was still there. Replaced by shops and offices no trace remains, indeed the shops have themselves been demolished to be replaced by, yes, new shops.
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