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Originally on this site was the Theatre Royal, which had opened in 1802 and was altered and enlarged several times during its existance. Eventually seating 1,700, it was taken over by Associated British Cinemas in November 1929 and converted into a 1,160 seat cinema. Closed on 3rd December 1955, it was demolished to build the new ABC Cinema.
The ABC Cinema was located on the corner of Fishergate and Theatre Street. It opened on 14th March 1959 with Rex Harrison in "The Reluctant Debutante". Film star Richard Todd appeared ‘in person’ on the opening night. The cinema was a modern building with seating provided in stalls and circle levels. There were troughs in the ceiling, which extended down the side-walls and contained concealed lighting.
The ABC was closed on 7th April 1973 to allow for a Painted Wagon pub to be constructed in the rear stalls area beneath the circle. It re-opened on 6th May 1973 using 637 seats in the circle area only. The ABC was closed on 11th September 1982, playing a double bill (X) certificate programme.
It was demolished in October/November 1986 and the land became part of the new Fishergate Centre.
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