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The Curzon Cinema was located in the Earlstown district of Newtown Le Willows, St Helens, Lancashire. 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 luxurious theatre, but it was taken over by the Leeds based Star Cinemas chain and the auditorium was twinned in the 1970’s, with a Star Bingo Club operating in the former stalls and cinema use continuing in the former circle which was known as Studio 1. The cinema closed in the early-1980’s, and bingo continued for a while. The building was subsequently in use as snooker hall. 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 Cinema’s balcony was still intact.
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