Elite Picture Theatre
33 Upper Parliament Street,
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This was one of the first in a new breed of ‘super-cinema’ to be built in Nottingham. Designed by the London architectural firm of Adamson & Kinns, the facade and exterior side walls were treated in an expensive white glazed tiling and contained statues along the upper portion of the building. Internally the decoration was carried out by interior designer Fred A. Foster who created a stunning interior with the auditorium walls lined with wood panels and a great deal of decorative plaster. Seating was provided in stalls and circle levels.
It opened on 22nd August 1921 with Mary Pickford in "Pollyanna". There was a grand concert organ by the firm of Willis-Lewis which had 78 stops, plus a full orchestra. The facilities within the building also included a a restaurant, a Georgian Tea Room, a French Cafe in Louis XVI style and a large ballroom located on the top floor.
The first ‘talkie’ in Nottingham was shown at the Elite; George Jessel in "Lucky Boy" and after its screening, the cinema was closed for several weeks in July 1929 for a re-furbishment. A new Compton 2Manual/6Ranks organ was installed which was opened by Cyril Birmingham.
In October 1935 the Elite was taken over by Associated British Cinemas (ABC) and they operated the building for most of the remainder of its life. There were plans to demolish it in 1972, but they were not carried out and EMI had taken over ABC and they eventually closed the Elite in March 1977. In the last few years of operation the Elite Picture Theatre had played ‘off circuit’ releases as ABC had their main Carlton Cinema in the town centre. The last films to play the Elite were the (X) certificate double bill; "Erotic Young Lovers" and "Take an Easy Ride".
EMI converted the cinema into a bingo hall which continued until the early 1990’s. The building was granted a Grade II Listed building status in 1990, saving it from demolition plans and it is now converted into use as a nightclub, with some retail and office use.
It has now been upgraded to a Grade II* Listed building.
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