Trocadero Cinema

Uppingham Road,
Leicester, LE5 2BE

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Trocadero auditorium  after fire

Located in the Humberstone district of Leicester at the corner of Scraptoft Lane and Uppingham Road. The Trocadero Cinema was built and operated by local builder Bert Cole, and opened on 1st October 1931 with Walter Pidgeon in “Toast of the Legion”(aka"Kiss Me Again") plus a full cast variety programme on the stage. Actress Dodie Watts attended the opening.

Designed by Manchester based architect Herbert Langham. There was a prominent octagonal shaped corner entrance set back from the road junction. Inside the auditorium, the decorative scheme resembled a sunset effect. Seating was provided in stalls and circle levels, and the proscenium was 50 feet wide, with a fully eaquipped stage and four dressing rooms. The cinema also contained a 400-capacity ballroom and a cafe, and there was an open-air swimming pool at the rear, known as the Humberstone Lido, plus a 500 capacity car-park. The building was located in a landscaped Alpine garden setting.

In 1938, it was taken over by the Associated British Cinemas(ABC) chain, and they operated it for the remainder of its cinematic life. The Trocadero Cinema was closed on 16th March 1963.

It was converted into a bingo club. Sadly, it was badly damaged by a fire on 8th September 1967, and 750 bingo players were safely evacuated. The remains were demolished soon after. Today a Shell petrol station is located on the site of the corner entrance, while a small block of flats occupies the site of the former auditorium. Some trees and foliage from the Alpine garden setting survive.

Contributed by Ken Roe
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