ABC Higher Blackley

Victoria Avenue East,
Higher Blackley,
Manchester, M9

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The Victoria Avenue Cinema opened in August 1932. It was located on the corner of Victoria Avenue East and Rochdale Road in Higher Blackley, a district to the North-East of Manchester city centre.

It was an imposing building with a square tower feature set on each side of the central entrance. Inside the auditorium, all seating was on a single floor. The painted murals on the side-walls depicting garden scenes and painted clouds on the ceiling were the work of decorative artist Sherwood-Edwards. It was equipped for pictures and variety and had a proscenium 42 feet wide, a stage 50 feet wide and six dressing rooms.

Initially an independently operated cinema, it was re-named Avenue Cinema in 1940. It was taken over by the Associated British Cinemas(ABC) chain on 30th October 1955 and re-named ABC from 13th January 1964.

Closed on 31st March 1973, it was converted into a bingo club. This closed in 1985 and the cinema was demolished later that year.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on October 13, 2008 at 6:37 am

Another vintage view from October 1955, when Associated British Cinemas took over:
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Ken Roe
Ken Roe on November 25, 2008 at 5:38 pm

A vintage view of the auditorium in 1955, looking towards the proscenium:
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geoffstafford
geoffstafford on February 27, 2010 at 6:34 pm

This cinema seems to be older than stated above. Manchester Libraries have a photo of the exterior from 1920:

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and one of the interior, also 1920:

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Plus two from 1968 when it was showing ‘Smashing Time’:

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dgcarter63
dgcarter63 on August 29, 2012 at 9:07 am

Actually it’s Manchester who are wrong. The Sea Ghost with Laura La Plante was made in 1931.

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