ABC Dewsbury

20 Crackenedge Lane,
Dewsbury, WF13 1PT

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Playhouse

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Built for the independent Lou Morris chain, the Playhouse Theatre was opened on 26th October 1931. It was built for a mixed use of theatre and cinema and had a large stage, which was used extensively over the years. The proscenium was 50 feet wide, and there were six dressing rooms. The Playhouse was equipped with a Compton 3Manual/8Ranks organ. The Playhouse also had a cafe/restaurant for the convenience of its patrons. It was taken over by the Associated British Cinemas(ABC) chain on 6th May 1935.

Re-named ABC in 1963, one-day pop concerts continued to be staged until it was closed as a cinema on 11th December 1970, when Tesco supermarkets were proposing demolition to build one of their supermarkets on the site. This never happened and it was converted into a bingo club, last operated by Mecca Bingo Clubs. In recent years, they have built a new purpose-built bingo club in the town, and closed the ABC/Playhouse building in March 1999. It stood empty until it was demolished in 2002. A Wilkinsons hardware store has been built on the site.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on April 15, 2011 at 8:57 am

Thanks for the photos Ken and Ian.

Ian
Ian on April 15, 2011 at 10:50 am

Interesting how little change there was Рapart from the huge name Рin the fa̤ade from beginning to end.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on April 15, 2011 at 11:10 am

Very true Ian,very nice looking cinema,too bad it has been torn down.

Ron Lake
Ron Lake on November 3, 2011 at 2:39 pm

I started my ‘working’ life at this cinema in 1959 as a trainee projectionist and can well remember climbing the ladder onto the roof on many occasions. If anyone wants any information about the place I will be happy to help.

simonreed
simonreed on November 4, 2011 at 9:45 am

Hi Mr Lake, I was wondering if you were still local to Dewsbury and if it would be possible to get some info on The Playhouse? My email is any information regarding the Playhouse would be of great use for a project i’m working on at present. Many thanks Simon Dewsbury.

Ron Lake
Ron Lake on November 12, 2011 at 7:12 am

Some photos of the demolition:– http://www.flickr.com/photos/electron1944

janespencer
janespencer on November 29, 2012 at 11:58 am

Hi Ron Lake, I wanted to ask you when the film Spencer’s Mountain was shown at the ABC Cinema, I think it was sometime in 1963 – I’m trying to track down a photograph taken outside the cinema as only those named Spencer were invited to see the film!! Best wishes Jane

terry
terry on June 22, 2014 at 4:17 pm

My former Manager at ABC Wigan and good friend, John McIntosh was the very last Manager at the ABC Playhouse when it closed in 1970 with a live production presented by DEWSBURY COLLEGIANS AMATEUR OPERATIC SOCIETY in the December of that year. There were, however, no One Night Stand Pop Concerts on the stage of the Dewsbury ABC as it was barred by Leeds and Bradford from presenting such shows……..

Occasionally on a Saturday Morning at the ABC Minors personal appearances were made on stage by celebrities of the day such as Peter Firth and David Bradley aka'The Flaxton Boys' which was a very popular TV Series produced by Yorkshire Television between 1969 and 1973.

simonreed
simonreed on June 23, 2014 at 8:52 am

Hi Terry

I have read that the building was used for pop concerts at one point Would you say this is not true? Many thanks Simon

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