Evington Cinema

378 East Park Road,
Leicester, LE5 5AY

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Evington Cinema

Located on the corner of East Park Road and Chesterfield Road in the Evington district of Leicester. The site had previously housed St. Thomas church, which was built in corrugated iron. The Evington Cinema opened on 16th October 1916 with Madame Jane Hading in "The Spirit of France". A ladies orchestra provided the music (local men were away fighting in World War I). It had a columned verandah over the entrance, and the facade was dominated by a hexagonal tower on each side. Seating in the auditorium was provided for 778 in the stalls and 200 in the circle.

Always independently operated, the Evington Cinema became the head office for a small chain of local Leicester cinemas. In April 1970, it was sold to another operator for use as an Asian cinema screening ‘Bollywood films, but this use ceased in 1978, and the building lay empty and unused, apart from being used as a shelter for some homeless people. In November 1984, the building was seriously damaged by a fire, leaving the auditorium roofless. Four teenagers were charged with arson.

The auditorium section of the building was demolished in 1989 and a block of flats named Scarborough House was built on the site. The facade and foyer area were saved to be used for offices for Fara Estates, and is known as Fara House.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on September 16, 2010 at 5:47 pm

The former Evington Cinema facade can be seen in the background of this November 2009 photograph:
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CSWalczak
CSWalczak on September 16, 2010 at 6:21 pm

There is another picture of the former cinema’s facade on this webpage: http://www.faraestates.co.uk/fe/project1.asp

Peter Williams
Peter Williams on July 23, 2011 at 10:00 am

My mum and dad saw Bing Crosby and Louis Armstrong there in 1956. My mum remembers being shoved under the seat by her brother when they went to see Westerns as a child. I never personally visited but I did see and was so impressed by its impressive twin tower exterior and took a snap of it the week before the original name sign was taken down.

Peter Williams
Peter Williams on April 2, 2012 at 6:00 pm

Look at that building. Isnt it impressive.

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