Kings Hall

44-45 Newgate Street,
Bishop Auckland, DL14

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The Kings Shortly After Closure

Viewing: Photo | Street View

This former hall was altered in 1902 and re-opened as the Kings Hall. It was altered again in 1914 and re-opened at Christmas 1914 as the Kings Cafe and Cinema. The building also contained a bookshop and tea-room. Seating was provided for 1,028 in stalls and circle levels. The proscenium was 24 feet wide and there was a stage for variety performances.

By 1937 the Kings Hall was listed with a seating capacity of 950. It was taken over by the Newcastle based Essoldo cinemas chain in 1947, and they closed the cinema in 1960. It was stripped out internally and became one of the first supermarkets in Bishop Auckland which opened in 1961. Later the building became the Kings Auction/Sales room, but it has since been demolished.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

terry on December 14, 2008 at 9:22 am

It closed in 1961 and in 1966 the front of the premises (ie the arcade , cafe etc) was converted to a Broughs supermarket with most if not all of the auditorium behind being demolished; for years a side elevation remained with typical olde worlde cinema decor still on it.

I don’t know anything about the Kings Auction Room, but the last time I visited the town of my birth and Grammar School days (King James I School where a certain boy to become known as Stan Laurel had attended), in November 2004, the front of the Kings was still there with the original cafe windows etc (although minus the sandstone motifs at the top which were removed in 1966) and the entrance doors led to – guess what – a supermarket

terry on December 14, 2008 at 11:04 am

This theatre was chosen as the venue for the 3D films which were all the rage in the mid 1950’s. The Kings' box office record was broken for all time with ‘The House of Wax'in 1953…….

terry on May 14, 2015 at 10:38 am

I have uploaded a photo of the Kings taken in the late 1950’s whilst still open as a cinema/restaurant – as can be seen, the town was very busy in those days……

terry on July 19, 2015 at 10:02 am

Photo of Newgate Street uploaded. If magnified Stan Laurel’s father’s theatre, the Eden, can be seen on the left and the Kings almost directly opposite on the right. Note the length of both buildings, in particular the Kings……

terry on October 19, 2015 at 10:57 am

Two more photos uploaded.

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