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Architects: Percy Hothersall
Styles: French Renaissance
Previous Names: Piccadilly Picture Theatre
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Located in the centre of Manchester in Piccadilly Gardens. The Piccadilly Picture Theatre was a conversion of the former Mosley Hotel. Designed by architect Percy Hothersall, it opened on 31st July 1922 with Mable Poulton in “The Old Curiosity Shop”. Seating was provided in stalls, dress circle and upper circle levels, and the proscenium was 38 feet wide. The two semi-circular balconies curved around to meet the rather plain proscenium opening. Beneath the orchestra stalls in the basement was a 500-seat restaurant with a dance floor and a cafe. It was equipped with a Wadsworth 4Manual organ which had 42 stops, the organ chamber was behind the screen at dress circle level.
In November 1924, the basement ballroom was enlarged to twice its size, due to its popularity.
The Piccadilly Theatre was closed in the week of 2nd August 1937 with Gracie Fields in “The Show Goes On”. Gracie Fields was appearing at the Grand Theatre, Blackpool that week, and spoke to the Piccadilly Theatre audience on closing night via a telephone hook-up. The closure was sudden, and was said to be financial, and also due to the opening of the Paramount Theatre(later Odeon) and Gaumont Theatre, both huge cinemas in the city centre. The Piccadilly Picture Theatre was converted into retail use, becoming a Littlewood’s department store for several decades. In recent years a Co-Op supermarket, a branch of Boots pharmacy and a Bella Pasta restaurant operate from the ground floor of the building.
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