Crescent Cinema

Ropergate and Jubilee Way,
Pontefract, WF8 1LY

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Showing 1 - 25 of 41 comments

john Wojowski
john Wojowski on November 27, 2016 at 5:43 pm

Adam at mrg231287 – do you think you could contact me please as I am also in Manchester. john.kino “AT”

john Wojowski
john Wojowski on November 27, 2016 at 5:42 pm

Well i used to know the guy who last ran this cinema (into the ground), he did the same with a cinema he ran here in Manchester, and in Buxton and in Hyde. Ran them all into the ground from what I remember. Nice cinema this and would be nice to help get it open again.

handyandy on September 11, 2016 at 9:46 am

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!

mrg231287 on February 3, 2016 at 7:34 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

Harry Rigby
Harry Rigby on October 11, 2015 at 1:52 am

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

JohnTollick on August 2, 2015 at 3:50 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

nic1946 on August 3, 2014 at 6:56 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!.

dango on October 23, 2012 at 1:51 am

did u have any luck finding the current owner lensi ?

lensi on July 14, 2012 at 3:00 pm

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

curlyboy44 on November 11, 2010 at 12:46 pm

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

John Farrar
John Farrar on November 8, 2010 at 2:31 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 June 19, 2010 at 3:55 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….

swainy on June 19, 2010 at 3:24 am

Hi Carousel10, yes we actually had a look inside. One of the workmen showed us around. The owner has started to rent out the old ballrooms to a dance teacher, and she told us that the cinema was in a better state that we thought, so we telephoned the owner and had a look! If you can ask around as soon as you can as I know some grant deadlines are coming up at the end of this month. We have not yet been able to find anyone who would be willing to do this favour for us unfortunately. Thanks

curlyboy44 on June 19, 2010 at 3:08 am

Hello Rachey, when you say you and your partner recently had a look around the cinema, do you mean inside? I can certainly ask round to see if anyone knows of an architect who’d be willing to have a look and give advice?

swainy on June 17, 2010 at 8:34 am

My partner and I have recently had a look around the Crescent Cinema and we feel it has real potential for being converted into a theatre through the use of various grants. We are an amateur theatre group based in Pontefract and have ideas on how we could go about making the necessary alterations. The owner does not want to invest in the place but has no restrictions or issues on what is done to it. At this early stage, we need some free advice from an architect or retired architect who can tell us whether the changes needed are feasible (as we are no experts on architecture!). Can anyone help or point us in the right direction please?

John Farrar
John Farrar on April 25, 2010 at 3:29 am

There are some photos of the Crescent Auditorium, The Playhouse and Thr Alexandra at Go into museum collections and scroll down to historic photographs. There was a fire in the Crescent, (not sure of the date) and the original auditorium was gutted so there are photos of the original auditorium (1926) with windows above the proscenium and some of the reconstructed art deco auditorium which lasted until conversion in 1970, the two pillars at each side of the screen were removed for the installation of cinemascope.There are also a few photos that are definitely not the Crescent but could possibly be the Alexandra auditorium. Hope this helps.

curlyboy44 on March 21, 2010 at 2:25 pm

Just a thought, does anyone have any interior photos of the Crescent Cinema?

curlyboy44 on March 15, 2010 at 11:19 am

Well said John, I was thinking along the same lines especially now that there is so much parking available towards the back of the cinema. Surely a one screen venue showing older films rather than trying to compete with the multiplexes could be workable. There are some venues like this but none too near to Pontefract that it couldn’t be made viable. Just wish I had the knowledge to know how to get the ball rolling!

John Farrar
John Farrar on March 15, 2010 at 10:56 am

In reference to carousel10’s question of ‘Whats behind the screen’– There is about 6 feet of space behind the screen and the wall, housing the massive speakers (mono only, i’m afraid. Dolby never got to Pontefract.) The top and about 3 feet down of the old Proscenium Arch is visible in the original colours of the old Crescent colour scheme (blue and pink). The lower part of the proscenium and stage was removed from the old stalls area in the 80’s. I agree would be great to use the old place as a Live Venue again. Possibly with Film shows too like the Pictureville at Bradford. It is easily accesible from the motorway and has ample free parking on an evening at the car park at the back.

swainy on March 14, 2010 at 10:40 am

Thanks for the information – it seems from people’s comments that using the Crescent cinema as a theatre venue would not be possible, which is a shame. Regarding the comments made by ‘Carousel10’, if you’re interested in getting involved in our amateur theatre group, then I suggest you first have a look at our website, which is We rehearse two nights per week and are performing a play in April at Thornycroft (some know it as CISWO) on Halfpenny Lane. On the website there is an email address and telephone number if you would like to know more or would like to arrange to pop down to a rehearsal to meet us.

curlyboy44 on March 14, 2010 at 8:18 am

Oh also! I noticed today that there’s a council notice on the side door which lead to the dance hall above. It’s a request for an alcohol licence. I hope this is only for the rooms above! it’s a recent application so i suppose it’ll be a wait and see job!

curlyboy44 on March 14, 2010 at 8:14 am

Regarding the comments made by ‘Rachey?’ I for one would certainly be interested in being involved in an amateur theatre group. I’ve been involved with numerous societies in the local area for a long time now. Certainly given other comments its sounds very much like using Pontefract cinema as a theatre venue would be difficult due to the alterations made over the years which really is a shame. Some months back I spoke to the owner of the building ringing him on the number listed on the rent advert to the exterior of the cinema. I didn’t get a great deal of info but he sounds like a local property developer. He did tell me that the interior is basically as it was when it closed in 1993 even down to the projector! I have many fond memories of the Crescent Cinema and always found it tardis like in the main screen area considering what area the building covers outside! It’s a shame about the stage being removed but it would be interesting to know what’s behind the screen! Wouldn’t it be great to get a consortium together and see if it’s possible to use this building again and certainly by the comments on this page I get the impression there would be enough interest in such a project! I’d value any comments and thoughts people have.

John Farrar
John Farrar on August 18, 2009 at 12:55 am

My involvement with the Crescent began in 1965. I was 10 years old and was a Saturday morning monitor. We had the job of trying to make the other children behave during the rowdy mornings.I also helped out tearing tickets, seating customers, filling up ice cream trays etc during school holidays.I did this for 8 years and loved every minute of it, until I left school in 1973. Even after leaving school I still worked on a part time basis for the big films of the day until it closed in 1993. I remember the times when the 1200 seater was packed for films like The Sound Of Music, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Thunderball, the queues stretched all the way along Ropergate. Some of the films were special presentations and the seats were bookable with separate performances.I was there the night it closed in 1970 for conversion. We were showing ‘The prime of Miss Jean Brodie’,the builders arrived before the film had finished and started ripping out the foyer and offices, when the customers came out at the end of the film they had to make their way carefully around the wood and rubble. It was sad later to watch the screen and festoon curtain taken down and the seats taken out prior to the major work starting. The Bingo club was the first to open on 22nd June.The cinema opened as Studio One on Monday 6th July 1970. The opening film was ‘Kes’. Highlights of the later years were Jaws in 1977, Star Wars and Close Encounters in 1978. The longest run at the cinema was ‘Grease’ in 1978, it ran for 6 weeks filling nearly every seat for every performance seat. In those days it was continouous performances and it was quite a job getting 400 people out and another 400 in within 10 minutes. I Have many happy memories of my time at the cinema and still keep in touch with a few of the staff,
Geoff Ward the projectionist, Mary ,Irene, Carol, Pauline the usherettes. Mrs Smith who was the assistant manager and then Manager for many years, died a couple of years ago aged 99.I have fond memories of Maureen during the run of Lawrence of Arabia in the 60’s, after a particularly busy intermission said ‘I’m going to end up bowlegged if I carry many more drinks on this tray!'We had some great fun, happy days!

John Farrar
John Farrar on August 18, 2009 at 12:02 am

I believe the building is now privately owned.The problem with using the Crescent for live productions is that the old stage and dressing rooms, in the old stalls area, have long gone.They were removed when bingo was replaced by snooker in the 80’s.The stage in the upstairs cinema is only a false floor and is not suitable for any kind of stage production.The only way the building could be used is to restore it to somewhere near its former glory, before subdivision.