Cannon Huddersfield

Huddersfield, HD1 2RB

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Cannon Huddersfield

The building started life as a riding stable in 1846, and was converted into the Armoury Theatre, which opened 3rd February 1902. It was converted into a music hall, known as the Hippodrome Theatre which opened on 21st July 1905 with Vesta Tilley topping the bill. Some films were being screened as part of the programme by 1911. In May 1926, it was closed for modernisation, and re-opened as a legitimate theatre named New Hippodrome Theatre. It closed in September 1930.

It was fully refurbished and re-opened 6th October 1930 as the Tudor Super Cinema. It was equipped with a Western Electric(WE) sound system, and there was now a café for the convenience of its patrons. By 1957 the Essoldo Group had taken it over, but but was destroyed by fire in 1960. It was rebuilt using the surviving exterior walls and the façade was given a modern look. At some point in the 1970’s a second screen was added on the former stage area with a separate entrance, and taken over by the Classic Cinemas chain it was re-named Classic. The cinema was then taken over by and renamed Cannon.

Both cinemas closed and after a short period of dereliction the Cannon was converted into a bar named ‘Livingstones’. The former flytower has been reduced in height, both entrances are in use, the frontage has been restored to its original condition, but inside nothing remains to suggest it was ever either a cinema or a theatre.

Livingstones bar closed in 2010 and building stood unused in August 2011. It has since reopened as a pub name Rat & Parrot.

Contributed by Ian Grundy

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on May 30, 2005 at 8:32 am

The Cannon Cinema closed on 23rd February 1995.

Ian on December 25, 2006 at 1:39 am

Photo of the Cannon whilst still a cinema here:–

jasper on May 11, 2007 at 8:07 am

The Hippodrome Theatre was one of Huddersfields two variety theatres, the other being the Palace (also still standing) which operated in nearby Kirkgate. Even after it reopened as The Tudor, it continued to offer some live shows, the last to my knowledge being a Dusty Springfield concert in the early 1960’s. When Classic cinemas took it over in 1972, a cinema showing ‘adult films’ and called The Tatler- was opened on the former theatre stage area. It did not finally close as a Cannon Cinema, and infact operated as an independant cinema for about a year in 1993/4, when the name of Essoldo was restored albeit for a brief period. The proprietor infact hosted Huddersfield first Lesbian & Gay film festival at the venue, which included a showing of the newly released ‘Pricilla Queen Of The Desert’ as a ‘lighter offering’.As a note, the 1967 fire resulted in the destruction of the auditorium only, to my knowledge the ‘fly tower’ was never reduced in height, and the stage remained undamaged. If one observes the structure from Back Queen Street, it is possible to see the roof line that origionally existed above the hippodromes gallery. Up to about 15 years ago if one observed the building from the heights of the central services tower at the university of Huddersfield it was possible to see the words ‘Hippodrome’ painted in big white letters accross the roof of the flytower

jasper on May 11, 2007 at 8:10 am

Adendum: Ive got it wrong when the cinema briefly reopened in 1993/4 it tokk on the name of TUDOR- not Essoldo as said above.

Ian on May 13, 2007 at 8:38 am

If you compare this photograph, taken in 1994 by myself,

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with this photograph taken more recently:

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it is very clear that the fly-tower has been reduced in height.

jasper on May 15, 2007 at 7:22 am

Point taken Ian

carlosthedeadloss on July 13, 2008 at 3:52 am

indeed the cinema did re open for a while in 1993…..I seem to remember it was open for more than twelve months maybe three years.
It was run by two lads David Hepworth and Colin Platt under a company called Page Media Limited. They also took on the running of the Palace Cinmea Malton and I worked for them at the Palace as Manager / Projectionist. I left in 95 after a falling out but the Palace went on for a further Twelve months until the Tudor Huddersfield closed and the company went into administration.
The Palace Malton reopened five years later run I believe by two university media studies graduates and is still open and just holding its own!

wowser on March 1, 2009 at 7:27 am

Wow what a blast from the past! I can remember working here as a volunteer in the early to mid 80’s. Then the manager was a great friend Philip Bradley whome I would love to be able to contact if possible. I do have photo’s somewhere of the projection room at the time with Peter Quinn head projectionist who sadly died. Every Thursday i would be the one in all weathers changing posters and letters above the canopy on classic one and number 2 on Zetland street. If anyone from that era remembers me it would be great to here from you, if anyone else would like any info about the cinema at that time please ask, I got to know the place quite well.

robb1569 on July 17, 2012 at 4:35 am

My father Philip Bradley managed the cinema for a number of years up to it’s closure and I have some great memories of time spent at the cinema.

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