Reel Cinema

91 Marshfield Road,
Chippenham, SN15 1JR

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The Astoria Cinema opened on 22nd May 1939 with Robert Donat in “The Citadel”. It was independently operated. Designed in an Art Deco style by noted Bristol based architect W.H. Watkins, the frontage was a single storey in height, the the main auditorium block rising behind. Seating in the auditorium was provided in stalls and circle levels. There were decorative grilles on the splay walls each side of the 42 feet wide proscenium arch, and there was a small stage.

In the 1960’s it was taken over by the Star Cinemas circuit of Leeds. It was re-named Studio Cinema and was later twinned as Studios 1 & 2, with two 215 seat screens in the former circle area and bingo club operating in the former stalls area. In the late-1970’s it was taken over by the Cannon Group and re-named Cannon. This lasted until 1994 when it was purchased by Picturedrome Theatres and reverted back to its original name Astoria Cinema. It is now operated by Reel Cinemas, UK.

In August 2009, the independently operated Angel Bingo Club downstairs was suddenly closed. Reel Cinemas announced plans that the space would be converted into an additional three screens and that the entire building would be renovated. Work was expected to take four months.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on June 21, 2008 at 10:38 am

A May 2007 photograph of the Reel Cinema, Chippenham:
http://flickr.com/photos/fray_bentos/505027449/
In this March 2007 photograph, vandals have been at work on the current attractions sign:
http://flickr.com/photos/uncertainworld/435556449/

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