Rex Cinema

194 Chapel Street,
Salford, M3 6BY

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Rex Cinema

The Rex Cinema began life as a church having been built as a Scottish Presbyterian church in 1864 (the rear wall shows original stone work common to Scottish churches with the original form built upon with Acrington brick). The church closed and the building was radically altered and a cinema license was obtained in 1912.

The exterior is quite ornate for such a small cinema with the front and part of the side tiled in decorative terracotta tiling with ornate round windows with carved laurel leaves and swags. There is an ornate balustrade along the top with a cupola temple structure above a corner entrance. The words "Salford Cinema" are carved on a half circle ornate pedement at the middle top of the frontage.

The cinema changed hands in 1921 and again in 1937 when the name was changed to the Rex Cinema (even though "Salford Cinema" was clearly carved in the pediment. It was now operated by the J.F Emery Circuit for the remainder of its cinematic life.

The cinema suffered from the advent of television and the slum clearances which had taken most of the customers form the area. The Rex Cinema closed as a cinema in 1958 and lay empty for some time until 1967 when it opened as… (yes you guessed it!) a Bingo Hall.

The opening ceremony was performed by actress "Violet Carson" better known as "Ena Sharples" from the soap opera "Coronation Street" who was also a one-time cinema pianist in the silent days.

The bingo stopped in 1985 and the building has come full circle and reopened as the New Harvest Chistian Fellowship, a Gospel Church.

The Rex has been designated as a Grade II Listed building.

Contributed by Steve Lynch

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

SteveLynch on February 21, 2002 at 10:37 am

The Rex was Grade 2 listed on 18th January 1980

160candela on March 12, 2004 at 4:04 pm

I pass this cinema quite often and always find it amazing to look at.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on August 16, 2005 at 12:51 am

Exterior photo of the Rex (former Salford Cinema) here:
View link

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on September 11, 2005 at 9:44 am

A 2000 exterior photograph of the Grade II Listed, Rex Cinema here:

ormus on January 10, 2006 at 1:18 pm

Always love driving past this place. A great building. My father in laws neighbour, is a regular church goer here.

AdoraKiaOra on July 24, 2008 at 5:14 pm

What’s the interior like?
Would they mind anyone taking some shots for this site?

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