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Previously operated by: Associated British Cinemas Ltd., Cannon Cinemas, MGM Theatres
Architects: William Riddell Glen
Styles: Art Deco
Previous Names: Savoy Cinema, ABC
The Savoy Cinema was built on the site of Her Majesty’s Theatre, which had become a cinema and was operated by the Associated British Cinemas(ABC) chain in its final year. ABC built the replacement Savoy Cinema on the prominent site at the top of Town End Bank (today re-named Park Street).
The Savoy Cinema opened on 3rd October 1938 with Robert Taylor in "A Yank at Oxford". The huge brick building had a semi-circular central section over the entrance, which contained large windows allowing light into the circle foyer. In the auditorium seating was provided for 1,358 in the stalls and 811 in the circle.
The Savoy Cinema was re-named ABC in late-1960. In 1973 it was tripled, re-opening on 20th September 1973 with 500 seats in the former circle, and screen 2 & 3 seating 278 & 143 in the former front stalls area opened on 16th November 1973. A Painted Wagon bar opened in the former rear stalls area.
Taken over by the Cannon Group in around 1986, it was last operated by MGM, but retained the Cannon name. The Cannon was closed on 18th November 1993. It was demolished in April 1995, and a large Woolworth’s store was built on the site (by 2017 a Poundland discount store).
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Recent comments (view all 7 comments)
Vintage photographs of the ABC:
In March 1962:
Rear of the building in 1962:
In November 1973:
Auditorium of Screen 2, in the former front stalls:
In August 1975:
Later in 1975:
Awaiting demolition in 1994:
A final look in colour in 1995:
Looking at the photo above of Screen 2, that appears to be the full width of the original cinema, or is the photo very deceptive? So where was screen 3, they cannot both have been in the front stalls surely? Was it perhaps on the stage?
The number 3 cinema came backwards under the circle. so it was back to back the other5 side of the number 3 was the pub..
Of All The Cinemas I have worked at in 40 years. This was my favorite. I did 6 ½ years as Assitant Manager under Frank W. Attoe. before going to Work for The Birmingham Cinema Owner B.T.Davis becoming his General Manager and Having Cinemas of My Own..
The Film Producer Euan Lloyd started as a Trainee Manager Here Noted for working on the Bond Movies and later his own. “Shalako” “Wild Geese” “Sea Wolves” “Paper Tiger” to name a few. Plus some Travel films to accompany the Bond Movies. to achieve the British Quota showings ..
The Shop is Now “Poundland”
As the Savoy this was the first cinema I recall attending for the ABC Minors Club on Saturday mornings during the mid-fifties. Although I never managed to master the song, even with the little ball bouncing over the words! If the Gaumont/Odeon was the grand aristocratic lady, the Savoy was the art-deco flapper and a beautiful example too. Though remodelled as a multi, some of the original 1930s decorative detail was revealed during demolition I remember seeing Ben-Hur and Zulu here