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Previously operated by: Gaumont-British-Picture Corp., Ltd., Rank Organisation
Architects: W. Willoughby
Previous Names: Empire Palace of Varieties, Empire Super Cinema
Located on the corner of Stockwell Gate and Rosemary Street. The Empire Palace of Varieties was opened on 3rd August 1914. This variety theatre was equipped to screen films presented on the Bioscope, and was part of the Shapeero circuit. Seating was provided in stalls and circle levels.
The Empire boasted that it was the theatre where the famed Flanagan & Allen duo had their first professional engagement. By 1922, it was screening mainly films, and in March 1928, it was taken over by the Denman/Gaumont Theatres chain and was re-named Empire Super Cinema. It was refurbished in the 1930’s.
The Empire Cinema was closed by the Rank Organisation on 14th January 1961 with Donald Sinden in "The Seige of Sydney Street" and Sonja Henie in "Hello London". The building was sold for re-development in February 1962, but it wasn’t demolished until 1972.
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The rear wall of the Empire still stands behind the billboards.
In 1927 Kine Year Book it is listed as Empire Super Cinema, controlled by Record Cinema Circuit Ltd.