ABC Eccles

52 Church Street,
Eccles, M30 0DF

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ABC Cinema 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 61 comments)

triac505
triac505 on November 5, 2016 at 1:35 pm

Yes Ray the boiler house was always the best excuse, the number of times David used the back stairs from the box to fetch him. All of the box staff was fantastic. We was the Broadway family. Mr Mancini sir was delighted by the fact that our “box” was the best in his region, but before I knew who he was I ordered out of the box . . ouch, I did infact later get an apology . . WOW!
When the fone rang we answered it with “hi engine room”. When the Broadway finally closed Ralph went as chief to unit4 cinemas Hulme, I visited him many times, we shared many pints of bitter together, ahh very happy times. Ralph was a great friend and person whose career I based my own life on. I am confused Ray I did not realise Frank took a drink.

raymillington
raymillington on November 9, 2016 at 1:23 am

hello triac505 I worked unit4 Hulme for a while as relief while I was at eccles went over some years later and saw ralph there. he took me up to the old projection box which I did not realise was still there. a very small box with two very large BTHs in. you had to put you back against the wall to get round the back of them. must of been hell in the summer. going back to eccles went some years ago to an old show of mine the Apollo ardwick green to see the stage manager peter gates formally of the davenport stockport we went up to the projection box the FP20s had gone in their place two old Ross GC3s he said at least one was from eccles anybody know if they are still there? well by for now. regards ray

triac505
triac505 on November 12, 2016 at 12:49 pm

We used to play Maria-elanor not to sure of the LP for the ice cream breaks and also for the silent trailers. When Ralph was on his day off I used to play something by Joseph Seal. George Parker was a card. A good friend behind The Broadway

triac505
triac505 on November 12, 2016 at 12:51 pm

Ray I feel that I must know you but not sure
Colin

raymillington
raymillington on November 14, 2016 at 1:24 am

Hello colin I knew a few by your name but the one I remember most was a colin Wilkinson who used to do abit at the Ellesmere swinton not to sure if spelt that right.I worked the Apollo. ritz stockport. odeon sale. metro. ashton. and a few other places so I will know a few old operators out there. regards ray

janetbrindley
janetbrindley on November 20, 2016 at 11:52 am

Ralph your chief would like to say hello still alive and kicking going at 24 frames a second. Remembers you all well lads. Regards Ralph.

Derick Moss
Derick Moss on November 21, 2016 at 11:47 am

Ray (Millington) Can you recall when, roughly, you worked at the Apollo and the Ritz Stockport?

raymillington
raymillington on November 22, 2016 at 1:24 am

hi Derick. yes started at the Apollo as trainee from july 1966 until april 1967 when I transferd to eccles as 4th operator. when eccles closed march? 1974 I went to stockport from the until about November 1979. when I first went to stockport the manager was Mike ronan think the spelling is right & the chief Ken toombs not to sure I spelt it right. I noticed Derick on the ritz stockport site you were there as projectionist. nice to here from you Ralph did you ever know our friend Vic mancini used to come in at night and look for you? and derick how is the Curzon Urmston faring. as always nice to see everyone about regards to all. MERRY XMAS ray millington

Derick Moss
Derick Moss on November 23, 2016 at 1:11 am

Ray, about a dozen posts down you’ll see my email address. Send me yours and I’ll send some photos across.

Derick Moss
Derick Moss on November 23, 2016 at 1:14 am

Ray, correction, it’s 17 posts down.

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