Shalimar Cinema

435 Barlow Moor Road,
Manchester, M21 8AU

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Essoldo Chorlton-cum-Hardy 1958

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Located in south Manchester district of Chorlton-cum-Hardy. The Rivoli Cinema was opened on 20th November 1936. It was built for and operated by independent operator Ben Kanter.

Designed in an Art Deco style, seating was provided in stalls and circle levels. The Rivoli Cinema was a popular cinema, but was badly damaged by a German bombing raid in December 1940, when a bomb dropped in the street in front of the cinema, removing the front of the building. It was requisitioned by the Government and used for the remainder of World War II as a food store.

In 1954, the facade was rebuilt and the Rivoli Cinema was restored and re-opened on 17th November 1954. In April 1955, it was taken over by the Newcastle based Essoldo chain, and was re-named Essoldo. In April 1972, it was taken over by the Classic Cinemas chain and re-named Classic.

It was tripled in November 1973, with seating for 400 in Screen 1, 196 in Screen 2 and 192 in Screen 3. Classic closed Screen 2 on 15th April 1975 with "The Other Side of Midnight" and it was converted into a skateboard centre. Screen 3 was closed on 15th December 1978, and Screen 1 closed in March 1979, when Classic Cinemas sold the building.

It re-opened as the Shalimar Cinema, screening Asian Bollywood films in the former Screen 1. This was closed in 1982. The building was demolished and shops were built on the site. Today occupied by a Blockbuster Video store and a KFC Restaurant.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on September 30, 2010 at 1:10 pm

A vintage 1958 photograph of the Essoldo, with its rebuilt facade:
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HJHill on June 22, 2014 at 4:23 am

The Kinematograph Year Book charts the blighted history of the Rivoli. KYB 1937 simply has Ben Kanter as proprietor and 1520 seats as the capacity. KYB 1942 has “(closed)”. Understandably, KYBs 1945, 1947, 1950 and 1954 make no mention of it. 46 years of existence; and closed for 30% of the time!

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