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The Langworthy Picturedrome was opened in 1913 and is an excellent example of a Northern England street corner cinema, (think end of terrace and ÏCoronation StreetÓ [uK soap opera]).
The facade was as plain as the interior being executed in red Accrington brick. Although newspaper reports at the time of opening described the cinema as having no expense spared in both décor and furnishings but it has to be said that this was a plain cinema.
After the first World War, the cinema was refurbished in what the newspapers described as a Ïmost lavishÓ style. In 1931 the cinema changed hands and was again refurbished and a sound system was installed.
By now it had serious competition in the shape of the palatial 2000 seater, Ambassador Super Cinema at the top of Langworthy Road, which had opened on Christmas Eve 1928 (although many local people say that they went to different cinemas as much as three times a week and that the Ambassador was for special trips out).
Little is known of the LangworthyÌs WW II years, but in 1949 it became part of Proprietary Theatres Ltd. By the early 1950s the cinema had another new owner in Jackson Entertainments. Later Mr. Talbot bought the cinema under the Talbot Theatres organisation. The cinema was refurbished once again and continued showing films until 1961 when it closed.
It reopened a month later as a Bingo Hall (not another one!) which continued until the early 1990s when it became a cut-price wine store.
That store closed around 2001 and the Langworthy Picturedrome was unfortunately torn down in 2003.
Steve Lynch asks, “Why is it that regeneration for these types of building nearly always means destruction and demolition? Planners are lazy, instead of choosing the easy option of demolition they should look for new and innovative use of these types of buildings. Regeneration should mean restoration, reuse, reinvent and rejuvenate, not raise to the ground.”
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