New Empress Cinema
St. Ann's Well Road,
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Replacing the former Empress Rink, later Empress Pictures, on King Edward Street. This replacement New Empress Cinema was 100 yards away on St. Ann’s Well Road, adjacent to the Electricity works, which later became the Victoria Hall. It was opened on 29th October 1928 with Ronald Colman in “The Magic Flame”. Seating was provided in stalls and circle levels, and the decorative scheme was Oriental & Chinese styles. It was owned by Cinema Properties Ltd. a company set up by Leon Salberg & Sydney Clift (founders of the Clifton Cinemas circuit).
Taken over by the Associated British Cinemas(ABC) chain around October 1929, they continued to operate it until its closure on 12th November 1960 with Elana Eden in “The Story of Ruth” and “Code Name Small Eyes”.
It was sold to Mecca and became the Empress Bingo Club from 31st August 1963. In later years, the Mecca Bingo Club moved into the former Victoria Hall next door, and the New Empress Cinema became an annexe to that club. Last operated by Granada as a Granada Bingo Club, the New Empress Cinema part of the bingo operation was closed and demolished in 1988. The site is now a car park for what is today the adjacent Gala Bingo Club.
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