Majestic Cinema

High Street,
Wath upon Dearne, S63

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The Majestic Cinema Theatre opened on Monday 2nd August 1926. It was built by the local builders Thomas Wade & Son who also built the Regal (Odeon/Scala) in nearby Rotherham.

Brick built with reinforced steel girders, the Majestic Cinema had an imposing terra cotta facade. An entrance hall led into a cosy foyer decorated with woodland scenes. Staircases led to the balcony and doors into the stalls. The auditorium was in fibrous plaster painted in delicate shades. The cantilever balcony had a sixty foot span. A fully equipped stage had a proscenium opening of 25 feet with a height of 22 feet and the stage had a depth of 40 feet. A 60 foot high stage tower enabled all scenery to be flown, not always the case in cine-theatres and there were eight dressing rooms. A spacious pit in front of the stage could accommodate a full orchestra. Seating was for 1,089 in the latest tip up style with ample leg room between rows. Adjoining the balcony at first floor level was a small cafe where ices, teas, coffees, sweets and chocolates were served.

For a small town like Wath upon Dearne, the Majestic Cinema was a fine asset. Western Electric sound was installed in April 1930 with Will Rogers in “They Had To See Paris” being the first talkie shown on Tuesday 29th April 1930 along with comedy shorts and newsreel. A wide panoramic Cinemascope screen was installed in March 1955 and on Monday 14th March Richard Burton in “The Robe” was the first film screened in the new wide screen process.

The cinema closed on 7th July 1956 (with Anna Neagle in “Kings Rhapsody”, announcing it was closing for staff holidays and cleaning with a reopening date given as 30th July. However, the Majestic Cinema never did reopen, and was left to stand and rot for many years finally being demolished in the early-1970’s when a retail store was built on the site.

Contributed by Richard Roper (abcman)
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