ABC Eccles

52 Church Street,
Eccles, M30 0DF

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ABC Eccles

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The Broadway Theatre was the bigest luxury cine/variety theatre to be built in Eccles and designed by architect Joseph Gomersall — one half of the pair of famous British cinema architects Drury & Gomersall. There was no expense spared for the Broadway Theatre which was built for the J.F. Emery Circuit at the cost of £70,000 a fair amount in 1932. It was equipped with a Christie 3Manual theatre organ.

The theatre was principally used for movies but was capable of taking touring theatrical productions and accomodating local theatrical groups and variety acts.

Amongst the famous names that appeared on its stage was George Formby.

In 1935, the cinema changed ownership to the little known Mancunian circuit. It changed hands once more in 1936 and became part of Union Cinemas. The final cinema circuit to own the Broadway was the ABC group (Associated British Cinemas)

The cinema closed on March 13th, 1974 and the last two films shown were "Big Boss" and "Soon the Darkness" (ironic).

The Broadway was sold to Kwik-Save Supermarkets in 1975.

It was finally demolished in 2001 to make way for an access road and carpark for the new Morrisons Supermarket.

Contributed by Steve Lynch

Recent comments (view all 45 comments)

davidstirzaker on June 13, 2014 at 12:57 am

Doug, I have that one too!

Derick Moss
Derick Moss on June 28, 2014 at 2:56 am

Hi Doug, (dgcarter63) Long time no speak! David and I met up last year for a chinwag. Whats this about a photo of you coming out of the circle foyer LADIES toilet!…erm. Let me have your email address for a one to one. You will find mine a couple of posts along. Derick (not Derek)

dgcarter63 on May 30, 2015 at 5:55 am

Hi Derick, not been on the site for a while, my email is . If you recall, the staff room was through the ladies' toilt, I’m not really a pervert.

Derick Moss
Derick Moss on May 31, 2015 at 5:55 am

Cheers Don, I will email you.

triac505 on July 8, 2016 at 1:52 pm

Does anyone remember the re-fit. Mr Mancini was in for an inspection before the suspended scaffold came down . . mmm We had left a cleaners light hanging below the scaffold so the chief Ralph agreed that David the trainee to go up and pull it up. Mr Mancini was getting impatient and started shouting at David ( you didn’t do that to David) and unfortunately he slipped in the roof and straddled a beam, the plaster came falling, Mr Mancini looked skywards with a string of expletives, and David with his 2 legs astride a beam and his feet waggling shouting “Sorry Mr Mancini Sir” Can anyone remember the projectionist “Box” crew then.

Derick Moss
Derick Moss on July 9, 2016 at 12:36 pm

Hello triac505 What a scary character that Mancini chap was, always seemed to be in a bad temper, and had no patience whatsoever. Can you recall the rough date of that re-fit? and where you around when I was there?

triac505 on September 27, 2016 at 2:24 pm

Hi Derick I cannot recall you,(apologies) but then again I do forget many people from my past. I do remember Eccles am dram staging Bitter Sweet, What a wonderful show. Yes Mr Mancini Sir was certainly a bad tempered person. I recall he went ballistic one day when he turned up unexpectedly and found that we had not filled in the battery (emergency lighting) log. Jump up and down was an understatement.

Derick Moss
Derick Moss on September 28, 2016 at 12:38 am

Hi again triac505. I was there in 1968, Kevin Utley was the manager. After that I moved on to the ABC Deansgate. email me at and I will send a photo.

terry on September 28, 2016 at 6:36 am

Re Vic Mancini: We ‘lent’ ABC Derby a projectionist (from base ABC Huddersfield) when it tripled. Obviously, he was going to be working overtime, and I asked this particular operator to ring me weekly for details of his shifts at Derby. Prior to his secondment I said that I would , to be going on with, include an extra two shifts in week 1 until we got up to speed (at this time the payroll system was geared to the convenience of London and not those out in the field).

Mr Mancini rang me, and in his usual obnoxious, gruff, belligerent manner, asked “What are you doing about *******’s overtime, mate?” and, before I could explain that what I had arranged for week 1 was just an interim measure, he retorted" Two shifts – what the hell bloody use is two ruddy shifts, mate? Get stuffed!“ to which I replied "Mr Mancini, you may be the Zone Engineer, but do NOT speak to me like that!” and the old so and so climbed down…….

As I said this the Huddersfield Chief knocked at the office door and could not help but overhear my irate tone and said “You just did right speaking to Mancini as you did as he’ll walk all over you if you let him!”

Derick Moss
Derick Moss on September 28, 2016 at 9:04 am

Wish I’d known about that ploy in those days Terry, he used to terrify us poor assistant managers.

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