Theatre Royal Cinema
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Opened as a live theatre on 3rd November 1902, the New Theatre Royal had 1,200 seats, a stage 35 feet deep and the proscenium was 28 feet wide. It was leased as a cinema from 1914 when it was renamed the New Royal Cinema.
It had a large stage and two balconies which curved around the auditorium returning to the stage wall.
It stayed as a cinema for most of the time – a repertory theatre company was set up for two years in 1950. Pantomime and occasional weeks of shows – usually variety – were regular features throughout.
However this ended in October 1972 when the stage area was converted into Cinema 2 leaving the original auditorium as Cinema 1 in very nearly its original design (the proscenium had at some time been widened).
Both cinemas closed on 17th January 1985 and demolition was only just averted by the building gaining a Grade II Listed status in April 2000.
Restoration as a theater has been mooted – as has reopening as a Asian cinema for the sizeable local Asian population, but to-date, the building has remained unused.
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