Century Cinema

1 The Broadway,
Pitsea, SS13 3AR

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Century Cinema

This small former cinema is located close to Pitsea Market in what is known as the The Broadway. It opened as the Broadway Cinema on 28th March 1930. All seating was on a single floor, and the cinema had a cafe attached. It was independently operated and presented both films and variety performances in the early days.

The Broadway Cinema was taken over by the Granada Theatres Ltd. chain on 28th June 1954 and they closed it on 2nd January 1955 for modernisation. It re-opened as the Century Cinema on 15th February 1955. Part time bingo was introduced by July 1967 and it screened its final film on 31st October 1970, when it faced first run competition from newer cinemas in the developing Basildon New Town.

The outside of the building, as it was in 1974, always drew my attention as I walked past it on my way to the market. The hall had a classic 1930’s facade of rendered brick and could easily be identified as a cinema.

It was converted into a Granada Bingo Club from 1st November 1971 and was taken over by Gala Bingo in May 1991. The Gala Bingo Club was closed in 2009.

Contributed by Editha Pearce

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

blakey692002 on June 11, 2011 at 9:33 am

Gala closed this former cinema two years ago. It is currently boarded up securely and the freehold offered for sale. I had the opportunity to look round the building before it closed. The vault barrel ceiling and side wall decoration were well preserved and picked out in gentle colours. The proscenium and screen area had been re-modeled to accomodate concession outlets, the lobby ceiling plasterwork obscured by a false ceiling, but still intact and well preserved above, and the projector rooms were management offices. Coming with it’s own car park, I am surprised this former cinema has not been snapped up for re-development. For now it remains well shuttered and secure.

DavidSimpson on December 15, 2014 at 9:34 am

In December 2014 – see my photos – the building remains boarded up.

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