Kings Cinema

Colombo Street and Elgin Street,
Christchurch

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The Empire Picture Palace, corner of Colombo and Elgin Streets, Sydenham, started life as the Presbyterian Church originally built in 1880. It was converted to a cinema and commenced screening on January 2, 1911 when it was opened by the Mayor, Mr C Allison. Admission for adults was 1s (10c) in the circle and 6d (5c) in the stalls. It had a seating capacity of 850 persons.

During a performance on February 25, 1918, a fire broke out in the projection box. Although the cinema was not damaged, some 2,000 feet of film was destroyed and the projectionist, Mr Williams, suffered burns to his hands.

On August 12, 1922, the Empire Cinema was renamed the Kings Cinema. Its believed that the Kings Cinema remained a silent cinema throughout its life until its closure in May 1936. The cinema was demolished in June of that year.

Contributed by Bradley Knewstubb
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