Cannon Birkenhead

30-32 Conway Street,
Birkenhead, CH41 6JD

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Cannon Birkenhead

The Empire Cinema opened on 26th May 1917, and was designed by A. E. Shennan. It seated 800, of which 200 were in the small balcony. Sound was installed in August 1929.

The Empire Cinema was turned over to bingo in the 1960’s but the decline of cinema and the rise of bingo meant a surprise return to films for the Empire Cinema when Essoldo, who also owned the vast Ritz Cinema opposite, decided to switch and operate bingo at the Ritz Cinema and movies at the Empire Cinema, which was refurbished and renamed New Essoldo Luxury Cinema to mark the occasion. Reopening took place on 14th February 1969 with seating down to around 500 for the film “Thoroughly Modern Millie”.

The Essoldo Cinema then passed to Classic Cinemas Ltd. and then the Cannon Group, both of whom renamed the venue. Closure came in the 1990’s and the former cinema became the Marbella Mambo nightclub. This closed in the mid-2010’s and following a fire in the vacant building on 24th April 2019, the remains were immediately demolished.

Contributed by Ian Grundy

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

Scouser on December 22, 2013 at 10:28 pm

Does anyone know what bands played at the Plaza ‘Theatre’ Cinema on Borough Road (B-Head) in the 1960s.

Did the band Marmalade do a gig there and does anyone know if the Hollies did a gig there? Dates as well please if possible? Kind Regards, Scouser from the one eyed city:)

Philip Picturedrome
Philip Picturedrome on March 26, 2017 at 5:05 am

The Empire was a converted Victorian building.

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