Lyric Cinema

52-54 High Street,
Northallerton, DL7 8EG

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The Lyric Cinema opened on 28 October 1939 with Gracie Fields in “We’re Going to be Rich”. It was designed as a dual-purpose cinema and theatre and accordingly had a fair sized stage (30 feet deep) with a full fly tower and six dressing rooms. It had 752 seats split between stalls and circle, however the circle barely overhung the stalls, being mainly above the large ground floor foyer. It was designed as an elongated ‘U’ shape with the rounded end forming the very distinctive streamlined facade. The Lyric Cinema was operated by the Star Cinemas chain from 1943.

In 1969 the building was split with the circle becoming a smaller cinema and the stalls and stage area a bingo club. However it became progressively more run down and closed for a few months in August 1993. It was re-opened and struggled on for another few years before finally closing on June 1995 with Harrison Ford in “The Fugitive”. The bingo operation carried on for only a little longer.

Within a short time the New Life Baptist Church had bought it and conversion to a place of worship was undertaken. A new balcony has been constructed further forward than the original and a false ceiling fixed above the stage (all machinery has been stripped from the flytower). The foyer has been restored but otherwise the only visible remains of the Lyric Cinema are the proscenium arch, stage area and ceiling above the former front stalls.

Contributed by Ian Grundy

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

Ian
Ian on January 1, 2007 at 8:08 am

Interior view of the Lyric as a church here:-
http://flickr.com/photos/12494104@N00/340774805/

nic1946
nic1946 on August 7, 2014 at 8:20 am

I remember this cinema in the mid 90’s, it had a floating screen with masking for wide screen that should have dropped down but was broken. My self and a colleague were asked if we could add side masking and tabs. To get the tab track from the original stage we had to go through a small door at the side of the bingo set, climb up a vertical ladder to the fly floor and dismantle a track that like the screen had been flown out of the way to enable the bingo set to be constructed.

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