135-137 Cheltenham Road,
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Opened in October 1914 in the Bristol suburb of Stokes Croft, the Cheltenham Cinema has a facade that was described as being in a ‘Mock Renaissance’ style. Seating was provided in stalls and circle. It was always operated as an independent cinema, or by local circuits, never by major chains.
In 1933 it was re-named Plaza Cinema and by the early-1940’s it was re-named Academy Cinema and continued until closing in 1955.
The building was purchased by the Christadelphian’s and converted into the Christodelphian Hall for religious use.
In 1998 it had been purchased by the Wetherspoon chain of pubs and was opened as the Magic Box, in honour of Bristol born William Freize Greene. He pioneered/invented cinematography and had the biographical film “The Magic Box” starring Robert Donat dedicated to him.
The Magic Box closed by December 2006 and the building opened as Jesters Comedy Club on 9th January 2008. This had closed by 2012, and the building is unused and boarded up.
The Academy Cinema is a Grade II Listed building.
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