Curzon Cinema

Railway Street,
Earlestown, WA12 9

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The Curzon Cinema was located in the Earlstown district of Newtown Le Willows, St Helens. It opened its doors on October 28th 1935 showing the film “Bright Eyes” starring Shirley Temple.

Built in the traditional Art Deco style of the time, originally plans had been drawn in 1931 by Liverpool based architect Lionel A.G. Pritchard. Eventually by time of construction, plans designed by architect William T. Harrison were used. It was built by Mrs. Frank Haslam Ltd., it was situated directly opposite Earlestown train station, with a brick and cream-tile facade and traditional canopy and staircase leading up to it’s entrance. In its heyday it was seen as modern, clean and spacious, with a rather exquisite interior – tiled and wood panelled walls, terrazo floors, deep pile carpeting, traditional proscenium arch and grand twin staircases leading to the stalls.

Unfortunately not much information exists about the history of this once luxorious theatre, but it served its time as a Bingo Hall and then subsequently as snooker hall after its closure. It lay dormant for a year until it was damaged by fire in an arson attack in March 2004 and boarded up. It stayed that way for several years as ‘a blot on the landscape, a burned out shell’. Rather unfortunately it was demolished in January 2010 to make way for an apartment block. ‘The current planners for which are proposing a building which reflects the former grandeur of the cinema. There are concerns that the Curzon Cinema was hurriedly demolished without correct public notification. According to an eyewitness of the demolition, the Curzon’s balcony was still intact.

Contributed by Laura Twist

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

sporridge
sporridge on February 18, 2010 at 9:58 pm

Heartbreaking. Laura, thank you for giving the Curzon an afterlife through your finely detailed summary. Could the local economy have supported a restored theatre?

Simon Overton
Simon Overton on February 19, 2010 at 1:53 am

Smashed windows? And for what purpose I wonder. At least those who built this house of entertainment and worked there have not lived to see this mindless destruction.

laurajade18
laurajade18 on February 19, 2010 at 2:09 pm

Thank you S Porridge, when me and my dad came across it was just such a sad and sorry sight, my dad even said he doubted it would remain there long. I think unfortunately the people in the local area had grown tired of seeing it and it unfortunately became an eyesore. I think the area suffers from frequent vandalism, especially to empty properties; and also from the mindless demolition of their historical buildings despite the public voice calling out for renovation and restoration rather than losing the entire face of their community. It’s only a very small town so its a real shame. And Simon that’s so very true, whoever set fire to the Curzon should really be ashamed of themselves.

Picturedrome
Picturedrome on August 1, 2010 at 10:27 am

Photo: Jan 2008.
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The rest of the history of this cinema is very sketchy.
In December 1972 a “Studio 1” cinema in Earlestown was advertised in the local paper.
Presumably this building (?), after which it seems to have been an EMI Bingo Club (by 1975), and a Coral Snooker Centre by the 1980s.
Recently demolished.

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