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The Gaiety Theatre opened on 1st August 1882 and was designed by noted theatre architect Charles John Phipps, in association with the local architectural firm Cross & Wells. The auditorium, which seated 1,600 in stalls, circle and balcony levels, was hidden from view from the street by a decorative Victorian commercial building.
On 14 May 1932 the Gaiety Theatre closed to live shows with a production of “The Desert Song”. It was converted into a cinema and the auditorium was completely altered, loosing 500 seats in the process. It was operated by the local Randolph Richards circuit and re-opened on 12th December 1932 with Conrad Veidt in "Rome Express" and Laurel & Hardy in “The Music Box”.
In 1966, the Richards circuit was sold to Classic Cinemas chain and the Gaiety Picture Theatre was re-named Classic Cinema from 1967. In May 1971, it was converted into a twin screen cinema opening screen 1 in the former circle and front stalls had 767 seats and screen 2 in the rear stalls had 165 seats. It then passed to the Cannon Group and was re-named Cannon, when a third screen was added in 1984. It then became MGM for a short while. A management takeover gave it the ABC name in June 1996 and in around 2001, it was taken over by Odeon Theatres and re-named Odeon. Now with 4-screens, the seating capacities are: 129, 176, 151 and 127.
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