Cannon Wakefield

Kirkgate and Sun Lane,
Wakefield, WF1 1JG

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Associated British Cinemas Ltd.

Architects: William Riddell Glen

Styles: Art Deco

Previous Names: Regal Cinema, ABC

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News About This Theater

Regal Cinema

The Regal Cinema was designed by Associated British Cinemas(ABC) in-house architect William R. Glen, and opened on 9th December 1935. It has a town centre location on Kirkgate at the corner of Sun Lane facing into, and visible from, the town centre.

Not as large as some later ABC houses the Regal Cinema accommodated 1,594 but had a full stage 26 feet deep behind the 43 feet wide proscenium. The interior was rather plainer than many of Glen’s cinema designs with concealed lighting under the balcony and at the rear of the ceiling and pendant fittings casting light upwards towards the front of the cinema.

It was renamed ABC in 1962 and became a triple operation from 11th November 1976 with screen 1 seating 532 in the balcony using the original screen and projection suite and screen 2 (236 seats) and 3 (170 seats) in the rear stalls area.

It was taken over by Cannon Cinemas chain in April 1986, and was renamed Cannon. It closed in 1997 following the Cineplex multi-screen cinema opening in December 1996 and has been empty and ‘For Sale’. A covenant restricting its use to film exhibition has been the reason the site has not been redeveloped or alternative uses found for the ever deteriorating building. The building was acquired by Wakefield Council. In late-July 2021, despite protests, the Council passed a resolution that the building would be demolished.

Contributed by Ian Grundy

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

Ian on March 23, 2004 at 3:58 am

Demolition of this former cinema has been approved and will commence in the near future. It will be replaced by a housing / retail scheme and the curved building line will be retained – but not the facade itself.

capnb on June 14, 2004 at 12:45 pm

This is part of the new Marsh Way redevelopment. I did some work in the cinema building a couple of years ago and the photos are at

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on December 18, 2007 at 10:00 am

A wonderful, but very sad set of photographs of the former ABC Regal Cinema, taken in December 2007:
View link

phill on December 20, 2007 at 6:01 pm

Thanks for adding the link Ken. I’ve done a more detailed piece with extra pictures added here

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I’d be especially keen to get some archive pictures of this place, With stories, recollections or more history for my article if anyone can help me out. I’d also like to hear from anyone what the last film was shown & why the cinema is so badly flooded.
Many thanks.

ticktock11 on December 25, 2007 at 8:30 am

Be SURE to follow the blog link posted above on Dec. 20. Fabulous—and sad—shots of this place.

Ian on December 25, 2007 at 8:52 am

Some more photos before closure here:–

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RobertR on December 26, 2007 at 5:53 am

Very sad shots in spite of the flooding this place could have easily been restored.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on May 24, 2009 at 3:42 pm

A view from the rear of the circle in 2009, twelve years after closing:
View link

terry on December 29, 2014 at 2:56 pm

The last name this cinema was known by was the A B C.

I used to do managerial relief stints here in the 1970’s whilst based initially at A B C Wigan and subsequently A B C Huddersfield. This was still a single auditorium then with stalls and circle and the stage still had occasional use.

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