Blue Hall Annexe Cinema
46 Essex Road,
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Opened in July 1911 as the Coronet Cinema with a seating capacity of 850. It was located on the corner of Essex Road and Packington Street. The building had originally been a district post office and the architect in charge of the conversion was A.W. Hudson. The exterior was decorated in elaborate faiance tiles and had four small domes on top. Inside the auditorium, I believe the seating was on one level and the proscenium opening was 16 feet wide.
In 1924 it was re-named Blue Hall Annexe Cinema (the actual Blue Hall Cinema in Islington was located close-by on Upper Street and later became the Gaumont Islington). The Blue Hall Annexe Cinema was taken over by General Theatres corporation in March 1928 and from May 1928 when GTC were taken over by the Gaumont British Theatres Ltd, it came under their control. The seating capacity was reduced to 599.
The Blue Hall Annexe Cinema closed in 1941, probably due to war-time conditions and never re-opened. It was taken over by hardware merchants Arnold Bash & Co. Ltd. This use was followed by William Bedford Antiques for use as a showroom, and this lasted into the middle of the 1990’s. Today the building has been re-named ‘The Merchants Hall’ and is used by a used furniture store named Eccentricities. The original facade has been altered to a plain brick appearance, but the side wall of the auditorium on Packington Street is original to the building.
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