Electric Palace Picture House
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The Picture Palace was opened on 6th April 1914. Originally, it had 650 seats on a single floor it was designed by architect C.W. Joynson of Wednesbury. The screen was at the entrance end of the building. In October 1919, a 242-seat balcony was added, bringing the total seating capacity up to 842. It was re-named Picture House in 1920. By 1937, the seating capacity was 933.
The Picture House was taken over by the Newcastle upon Tyne based Essoldo Cinemas chain on 1st September 1968. It was remodeled and modernised, reopening as the Essoldo on 7th September 1969 with John Mills in "Oh! What a Lovely War". Seating was now provided for 403, in a luxurious curtained auditorium.
It was taken over by the Classic Cinemas chain on 2nd April 1972, and they added a second 180-seat screen at the rear of the building in March 1978, it was re-named Classic. Taken over by the Cannon Group in 1984, it was re-named Cannon, then went over to MGM briefly, and was renamed again.
On 7th April 1995, an independent operator took over and it was re-named Picturedrome. This was closed on 25th February 2005. The building suffered damage by a fire in July 2008.
However, it was refurbished and re-opened as the Electric Palace Picture House on 13th November 2009. Now with three screens, the main auditorium has seating for 200 in the stalls and 60 in the balcony, the secend screen at the rear seats 170, and a small third screen seating 40 has been created in another part of the building.
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