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In late-1971, it was announced that the American based Network Cinema Corporation, which Jerry Lewis was a major shareholder, were planning the first of a chain of Jerry Lewis Cinemas in the UK. Originally planned for two screens, each seating 325 to open in a new multi-million pound shopping centre being built in Corby, Northamptonshire.
The Jerry Lewis Twin Cinema was opened on 7th April 1973 with stars of the ‘Carry On’ films in attendance, and free screenings of ‘Carry On….’ films to packed houses. The following day the cinema presented Simon Ward in “Young Winston” and Marlon Brando in “The Godfather”.
Almost as they opened, former boxing champion Billy Walker purchased the Jerry Lewis franchise in the UK, (only two had been built out of a planned 32 in the UK), and the Jerry Lewis Twin Cinemas were integrated into his Oscar Cinemas chain and eventually re-named Oscar Cinema.
By 1980 it had been re-named Focus Cinema and it had a licenced bar. In September 1983, it was taken over by Ashley Wyatt and Norman Smith who operated the Ritz Cinema, Nuneaton and re-named Forum Cinema. The Forum Cinema was closed in September 1991 due to its entertainment licence being refused by the council due to lack of maintenance.
Eventually the No. 1 screen was twinned, and the No. 2 screen became a lazer centre. Forum Cinema was closed and became an over-25’s nightspot known as ‘Talkies’ on 24th September 1992. It was closed in 1996.
The Forum Cinema was demolished when the shopping centre was rebuilt in the summer of 2005.
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