51 High Street North,
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The Union Cinema was built by Union Cinemas Ltd. chain, and was located next to the older (and smaller) Palace Cinema which they also operated.
It opened as the Ritz Cinema on 27th September 1937 with John Lodge in "Bulldog Drummond at Bay" and Charlie Ruggles in "Mind Your Own Business". The facade has five windows which allowed light into the cafe which was located in the circle foyer. There is a panel on the facade depicting a female figure in stone relief offering film spools aloft to a draped proscenium. Inside the auditorium there are decorative niches which run the full height of the walls over the front stalls exits next to the proscenium. Soon after opening it was re-named Union Cinema.
Associated British Cinemas(ABC) took over the Union Cinemas circuit in October 1937 and they retained the Union Cinema name until 1961 when it was re-named ABC. In 1969 it was taken over by the Star Cinemas Circuit of Leeds and re-named Studio Cinema.
Very soon afterward, the Studio went over to part time bingo and films ceased on 14th February 1973. It became a full time bingo club named the Union Bingo Club. By 2001 the bingo club had closed and it was converted into a nightclub named ‘Cubes’ which opened on 13th June 2002. The nightclub apparently closed by early-2009. In 2010, it was restored and re-opened in February 2011 as the Dunstable Conference Centre.
The former Union Cinema was granted Grade II Listed building status by English Heritage in March 1999.
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