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In the 1930’s the Cinematograph Exhibitors Association spoke of ‘unmistakable signs of overbuilding, over reaching and over expansion in the cinema industry,’ and referred to ‘reckless construction of new under superfluous picture houses for purely speculative or unnecesscary reasons.’ But despite this warning, the coming of sound led to further new theaters and when the Carlton Cinema was opened by Mr. Moorcroft on Monday, 8th August 1932, it could described itself as the only cinema in Preston built for talkies. Located in the Ribbleton district of Oreston.
Terry Green, who now looks after the Bingo at the Carlton Cinema is the cinemas former chief projectionist and, although what was the balcony has now become a suite of offices, he can now take you to a point where the blacken ceiling and proscenium arch of the original building can still be clearly seen.
The 650 seater, independently owned, was eventually equipped for Cinemascope but Terry Green particularly recalls the ‘bar’ which put cinemas like the Carlton Cinema rather low in the pecking order of booking the newer films. After the town centre, even the Empress Cinema had priority and, to make things worse, the newsreel was always three weeks old. The most popular offering seems to have been “Seven Brides For Seven Brothers”, which had about ten separate bookings.
The change to Bingo came in November 1961, with a run of about 36 successful years ending July 27th 1997, the building is now a children’s play centre named
‘Tumble Jungle’. The children’s play centre ceased trading in 2001, the building stood empty untill 2006 when it was demolished to build houses and apartments.
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