Cannon Newcastle upon Tyne

Westgate Road,
Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4AE

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Showing 1 - 25 of 26 comments

NThomson on September 29, 2018 at 7:48 pm

Remember going to see my fav film here in cine 1 in 70mm (Where Eagles Dare) during the seventies… always a nice cinema to visit.

terry on August 27, 2018 at 8:30 pm

Nostalgic Evening Chronicle article below :–

ruthless on April 4, 2017 at 9:15 am

I wanted to reply to Fabian_Breckels' comment but it seems you can’t do that. I was reading today about the Odeon cinema collapse in Newcastle and thinking back to when I was a student there (1986-89) and which other cinema I used to attend. It was the ABC/Cannon and the one film I remember seeing there was Fatal Attraction. The cinema was packed. 5 of us turned up and we all had to sit separately! I thought it was interesting that you were a student at the same time and remember that movie particualarly the same as me. Anyway I just wanted to share and say how sad I am about the Odeon cinema being torn down. So many memories!

inspector71 on March 9, 2017 at 8:56 pm

Hi – just wondering if anybody knows when the 1970 version of Scrooge played in Newcastle- it was released in Dec 1970 – despite an exhaustive search of the Evening Chronicles – I can’t find a thing – can anybody shed any light on this ????

terry on September 23, 2016 at 6:33 pm

3 more images uploaded.

inspector71 on September 22, 2016 at 11:31 am

terry – your photos are fantastic – this is when cinema was cinema – sadly I never saw the essoldo when it was depicted in your photos – the first film I saw there was Star Trek – Wrath of Khan n 70mm (1982) – please keep posting your photos

terry on September 17, 2016 at 7:46 pm

Uploaded to the photos section are the following:–

3 Roadshow shots. ABC 1 (former Stalls) with tabs open. Entrance foyer. ABC 2 (former Rear Circle: 3 shots).

terry on August 9, 2016 at 2:16 pm

Image of Special Presentation ticket uploaded to the photos section: ‘Half a Sixpence’ 17th April 1968, seat number P 25 which was on the fourth row of the Centre Circle.

terry on June 2, 2016 at 10:31 pm

Another shot of the original auditorium uploaded.

terry on April 12, 2016 at 6:21 pm

I have uploaded an image of the Front of House taken whilst operating as the ‘Cannon’….. I also have a photo of the 373 seat Screen 2 and a few more ‘Roadshow’ shots which I shall add when I locate them (I moved house a while ago).

I have re- read the overview of the Essoldo/ABC originally published here a few years ago and I have to point out an inaccuracy re Screen 2. This occupied the Rear Circle area, the Front Circle having been lost in the conversion process.

The old circle was configured as follows:–

Royal:10 rows (capacity 393) Centre:8 rows (capacity 304) Rear: 7 rows (capacity 268) Total: 25 rows (capacity 965).

Only the Centre and Rear sections were retained for the smaller Screen 2 and this area was drastically narrowed thus reducing the circle capacity from 965 to a mere 373.

Also lost in the conversion process was one of the circle staircases, a very large part of the once huge main Circle Foyer and a small Rear Circle Foyer.

Fabian_Breckels on April 9, 2016 at 6:29 pm

This was the first Newcastle cinema I visited when I was a student at the Poly between 1986 & 1989. I saw “Otello” in Screen 1 and have to admit the leg room was phenomenal. I reclined so much I go backache! it still had a real sense of occasion and size.

I saw many great films there but the one that sticks out was “Fatal Attraction”, then an “18” again in Screen 1. Two old ladies hobbled in and sat down near the front and I started thinking I’d gone to the wrong screen, or they had. Apparently not, after the movie they just hobbled out as the credits rolled.

Screen 2 was not as impressive but the sight lines were very good.

Essoldo’s metal cladding may not have been tat attractive but it was a great cinema, and it’s really depressing that the replacement building is so ugly.

terry on September 18, 2015 at 6:43 pm

The Newcastle Essoldo was the very first cinema in the North East to present ‘Gone With The Wind’ when it was released in the UK in 1940. Several revivals later the film was reprocessed in both 35mm and 70mm widescreen ratios; the Essoldo was one of the initial UK roadshow venues to present it in the latter format.

Just before final closure there was a special one day presentation of the film in the large downstairs auditorium. At this time a 70mm copy was not available and thus we had to be content with a 35mm dolby stereo print.

terry on September 3, 2015 at 10:40 pm

I have uploaded a number of ‘roadshow’ photos to the relevant section which I hope readers will find nostalgic………

davepring on July 15, 2015 at 4:14 pm

For me Cannon represented the dark days of cinema in the U.K. I was even hopeful that the ABC Management buy out would be a success but sadly this was not to be and many of our great cinemas have now disappeared from the townscape to be replaced by Odeon dull multiplexes.

terry on July 15, 2015 at 3:32 pm

Whilst awaiting other photos of this once highly prestigious venue which I shall in turn upload, I did happen to come across a certain novelty pic which I have added to the relevant section here.

I was not at the Newcastle ABC on its last day of operation as I had foolishly already transferred to Darlington and that shower, Cannon, saw to it that I was unable to attend the farewell party held at Newcastle on the final day of operation.

The theatre staff obviously held Cannon in as high esteem as I did and they baked a cake replete with logo to demonstrate this admiration……..

I was informed that during the afternoon of the very last day of operation a Company Executive (whose name I shall not mention but he was the one behind the plot to stop me from attending the ‘send off’), paid a visit and was shown the item which was to be the centerpiece of the evening buffet and,like Queen Victoria, he was not amused………

One would have thought that perhaps he may have been, being an ex ABC person, but as we were to find out, those ABC executives who survived the initial cull following the ‘big bang, were to become more ‘Cannonised’ than that outfit’s original personnel. Rather like the film exhibitors’ equivalent of Catholic Converts, I always considered ……………

Mike_Blakemore on July 5, 2015 at 11:55 am

Sol Sheckman … of Essoldo normally was tight with his spending on the Cinemas. But this one he did spend money with out argument… Hmm There are many tales about him.. But then again I am one to talk… :o)

terry on July 3, 2015 at 7:08 pm

Photo of ABC 1 from front crossover uploaded.The gold seats had just been reupholstered in red and standard ABC ‘Calendar'carpet laid when this was taken. In the name of 'hygiene’ no longer was there deep pile Axminster between the rows but red lino. Loads of legroom still though!

terry on June 29, 2015 at 2:31 pm

Two more ‘Roadshow’ photos uploaded – more to follow…..

terry on June 21, 2015 at 9:13 pm

Interior shot of the original auditorium has been added to the photos section.

terry on June 19, 2015 at 1:31 pm

I have uploaded a photo of ABC 1 (former stalls).

The 600 seats of screen 1 seen here occupied a space large enough for over 900 conventional cinema seats of the time. These, in fact, are from the stalls of the ABC Blackpool which were surplus to requirements following the sad tripling of that venue resulting in the cessation of live shows.

The original Essoldo seats were even more comfortable as they were complete with headrests. ABC sent them back to Essoldo Furnishings in Glasgow as they were becoming ever more cost conscious and the original seats had to be maintained by Essoldo and not ABC’s in house seating, carpeting and upholstery team.

terry on May 30, 2015 at 9:52 pm

I have uploaded a photo of the ABC Westgate Road taken during its heyday as the Essoldo. As seen, the building was at its most impressive in the evening when all the neon lighting provided a great effect.

Ampex175 on February 5, 2009 at 2:57 am

I have many happy memories of this theatre both before and after the conversion. Screen 2 was basically the former circle area with original proj. box (replete with Vic.8s).

Screen 1, in the former stalls area was (as already indicated) fabulously comfortable. Presentation was also first class. I recall many 70mm screenings inc. Logan’s Run and A Star Is Born. There was also an impressive run of Polaroid 3D around 1972.

project on February 4, 2005 at 1:49 am

the essoldos architect was either william stockdale or edwin lawson.

terry on January 19, 2004 at 12:49 am

Pleased to hear that you are with Odeon, Dave Speirs.

They have to be much more professional than ABC’s earlier acquisitors,namely Cannon, could ever have hoped to be.

In 1991, I was ‘tipped the wink’ by Tony Ramsden, Rank’s then Theatre Operations Manager, that they were ready to acquire and operate the ABC Darlington and his secretary said “well, when we take over you’ll be ok Terry because you’ll be on our area”.

You can imagine my disappointment when this did not, after all, come to fruition and I had to face the prospect of continuing to work for that organisation which I did (and still do) regard with the utmost disdain and contempt.

Whatever the business is like these days (the evaporation of the ‘magic’ and all), I am sure that you are with the best of a bad bunch!


RaymondNotley on December 28, 2003 at 8:10 am

From Raymond Notley
Can anyone help with the dates when the Wizard of Oz was first(?) shown at the Essoldo Newcastle? I was taken as a child and I am very curious as what date this was. Also, was there some kind of musical box contraption in the foyer?