Sphere News Theatre
28 Tottenham Court Road,
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Located at the south end of Tottenham Court Road on its west side. The Gaiety Picture Palace was opened on 4th December 1909. It was designed by architect H.M. Theobald, and had 240 seats, all on a single floor. In 1931, the building was extended at the rear, and 94 more seats were added.
In 1933, it was totally reconstructed by architect Alister G. MacDonald, in an Art Deco style. The exterior was given a wonderful neon display, with large coloured neon swirls, and the name Sphere News in large neon letters. The 238-seat auditorium had large Art Deco style lighting troughs in the ceiling, and various elements of the Art Deco style decoration on its walls. It became part of the Monseigneur News Theatres circuit and programmes included newsreels, travel, interest and sports films.
The Sphere News Theatre was closed in September 1940 when it was damaged by German bombs, and it never re-opened as a cinema. In later years it was converted into retail use, the exterior was then just a plain facade, stripped of its neon. It was demolished in 1975.
The site became the southern end of a new shopping & offices scheme that was built on this length of Tottenham Court Road, which at its northern end included the Cannon/Classic (currently Odeon Tottenham Court Road).
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