Crescent Cinema

Ropergate and Jubilee Way,
Pontefract, WF8 1LY

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Crescent cinema

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Crescent Cinema occupies a commanding site on the corner of Ropergate and Jubilee Way and was designed by local architects Garside and Pennington.

The Crescent Cinema opened on 2nd November 1926 and within the complex was the 1,190 seat cinema which had a fully equipped stage with associated dressing rooms, a cafe and a substantial dance hall. The original projection box was located at the rear of the stall, under the circle. At some time (date unknown) the interior was given an Art Deco style makeover.

It was taken over by the Leeds based Star Cinemas chain in 1944, (as was the Alexandra Cinema in town) and as the popularity of cinemas waned the Alexandra Cinema was the property turned over to bingo in 1961 with films continuing at the Crescent Cinema. However when the Alexandra Cinema was sold off for redevelopment in 1971 Star sub-divided the Crescent Cinema forming a bingo hall in the former stalls and a new 412 cinema in the balcony that, like many of their cinemas, was renamed Studio 1. A new projection box was built in the roof void, and projection to the screen was via a mirror system.

Further changes in ownership to the Cannon Group took place, bingo was superseded by snooker and the Cannon Cinema closed in 1993. It has not been used since although the snooker continues and a school of dance occupies the former ballroom.

In September 2015 a campaign was launched to gain support to re-open the 412-seat cinema in the former circle area.

Contributed by Ian Grundy

Recent comments (view all 39 comments)

curlyboy44 on June 19, 2010 at 6:55 am

Hello Rachey, I’ll get on to it today. Excellent!! Can’t believe you’ve had the chance to look inside! I spoke to the owner, (Gary?) some time back but didn’t think to ask if I could have a look!! The person I’m thinking of is a long standing friend of my parents and I think he’s retired now! Whatever I find out I’ll let you know as soon as! I’ve also emailed you on your society contact email address. May I just add at this point, it’s been a long standing wish of mine since the cinema closed in 83 that something should be done? I have made some tentative enquiries and as far as I can tell, the building has a covenant on it restricting it’s use for entertainment only! I spotted the new sign above the cinema entrance regarding the dance school so that’s great that at least some of the building will be used again. Hope this is ok as I’ll send another email to your society page with my contact details….

John Farrar
John Farrar on November 8, 2010 at 5:31 am

Has anything come to fruition about converting the Crescent for theatrical use? It seems to have gone very quiet after the initial speculation.

curlyboy44 on November 11, 2010 at 3:46 pm

Not as yet John. Can only assume it’s come to stand still!

lensi on July 14, 2012 at 6:00 pm

Hi Can anyone pass me the contact details of the current owner ? Many thanks

dango on October 23, 2012 at 4:51 am

did u have any luck finding the current owner lensi ?

nic1946 on August 3, 2014 at 9:56 am

I can remember looking at this cinema with a view to renting it from Star in the mid 1980’s, the auditorium was really nice if not a bit tatty, the screen was a good size. The projection box before the building was altered must have been at the rear of the stalls so another one had be created in the roof space with the entrance to it at the rear of the seating area. It had mirrored projection system. The box to me was strange as it was the first one I had been in where the projectors were not pointing downwards and looking though the ports saw nothing!.

JohnTollick on August 2, 2015 at 6:50 am

Hi everyone. There is an active comment thread on the Crescent Pontefract on Streetlife Please feel free to sign in and join in. Cheers JohnTollick

Harry Rigby
Harry Rigby on October 11, 2015 at 4:52 am

There are some excellent pictures of the abandoned cinema on the website at dated September 2015.

mrg231287 on February 3, 2016 at 10:34 am

Hi Everyone!

I am an artist living in Manchester but originally from Pontefract. I remember going to this cinema when i was young to watch Bambi! I had no idea that it still existed. I was sure that it had been converted into the Riley’s Snooker hall.

Des any one have the access to the owners contact information? I would love to get in touch and open up the possibility of renovating and creating a community and professional Arts Centres, as I know that the Arts Council England would be very interested in funding an impoverished area like Pontefract.

Any help would be grand!


Adam Davies

handyandy on September 11, 2016 at 12:46 pm

The Crescent in Pontefract is not on the corner of Ropergate and Front Street. It is actually on the corner of Ropergate and what was Newgate but is now called Jubilee way. The author may be confusing it with the now long gone Alexander cinema which was on Front Street with Stuart Street (now called Stuart Road) on the North side and Victoria street (no longer exists) on the south side. Equally there was another cinema a few hundred yards up from the Alex called the Premier which was on the corner of Front street and Watergate!

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