154 The Broadway, Portswood Road,
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There were, and still are three "high" points of interest about the Broadway Cinema, just a few yards down the road from the now-closed Palladium Cinema; its high towering facade, built high off the road, and high mounted stage. This author had a bad case of neck ache from sitting in the front row of the stalls.
The decoration theme was set in the days of King Arthur and Camelot with wood panels and painted plaster resplendently revealing a Disney-style castle. The film "Rookery Nook" starring Tom Walls, welcomed 1,546 movie-goers on June 6th 1930. Like many other cinemas of the 1930 era, a small restaurant was located at balcony level. Surprisingly, no pipe organ was installed but four VIP guests boxes offered side stage viewing. A local dance band often gave live performances to thrilled audiences on occasional Sunday evenings.
From 6th January 1936 it became part of the Associated British Cinemas(ABC) circuit. The ever-popular ABC Minors Club presented Saturday morning programmes for children for the price of six-pence and some of their names are clearly seen carved in the brickwork while they queued outside.
It closed on 26th October 1963 with Diana Doors in “West 11” and John Neville in “Unearthly Stranger”. The ever popular game of bingo was introduced and operated as a Mecca Bingo Club until around 2010. It is now a church.
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