King's Cinema

Old Market Street,
Bristol, BS2

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Located in Bristol city centre. The former King’s Hall was converted into the King’s Cinema in 1911. In July 1920, it was closed for modernisation with a new facade and internal decorations, becoming one of Bristol’s most luxurious cinemas when it re-opened in May 1921.

There was a fire on 26th March 1926, and repairs were carried out, to re-open on 4th September 1926. In 1927 it was taken over by the J.F. Emery Circuit. On 11th March 1929, it was taken over by the Associated British Cinemas(ABC) chain. The King’s Cinema became the first in Bristol to screen sound films, when "The Singing Fool" srarring Al Jolson played four performances a day, for five weeks. Further modernisations were carried out in 1931, and the King’s Cinema became the main ABC cinema in the city.

The King’s Cinema was closed by ABC on 4th December 1976 with the (X) certificate double bill; "Hot Dreams" and "Man Hungry". The cinema stood empty for a while, and was demolished in December 1981 for an office block named King’s House to be built on the site, located on the corner of Old Market Street and Bond Street at Old Market Roundabout.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on November 11, 2010 at 1:52 pm

A vintage photograph of the King’s Cinema in 1958:
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Ken Roe
Ken Roe on November 11, 2010 at 2:06 pm

Inside the auditorium of the King’s Cinema in the 1920’s:
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Photographed during closing week in December 1976:
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Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on November 12, 2010 at 2:12 pm

the “X” rating in Britian is not the same as in the states,right Ken?

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on November 12, 2010 at 2:37 pm

Correct Mike, In the 1950’s & 1960’s, an (X) certificate was given to horror films and films with a sexual content, and could only be viewed by persons over 16 years old. Strangely, nudist films (which were popular at that time and showed more bare flesh than the (X) certified sex films) were given an (A) certificate which meant that persons under 16 could view them if accompanied by a person over 16 years old. The reason is that they were considered ‘educational’!

mike5731
mike5731 on May 5, 2012 at 2:25 am

another one of my places of employment during the late 60s as a projectionist where i met my wife. one of my all time favourite films was Bullitt steve mcqueen never got tired of showing it.

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