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Opened in 1840 as the Assembly Rooms, in the early-1900’s the ballroom was converted into a cinema and was known as the Picture House. The stalls level of the cinema was located on the first floor of the building, with the circle on the second floor. Original seating capacity was for 630 and the proscenium was 24 feet wide. The street level entrance was originally located on Castle Square (today it is used as a visitors centre). By 1947 the Picture House was operated by the Craven Cinemas chain.
By the late-1970’s, the Picture House had closed, and in 1980 it was converted into a nightclub. After this closed the building was renovated and re-opened in May 1993 as the Assembly Rooms. It is now a successful arts centre and screens films several evenings a week.
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