Walsgrave Road and Longfellow Road,
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Located at the corner of Walsgrave Road & Longfellow Road in the Stoke neighbourhood of Coventry. The Forum Cinema was opened on 1st November 1934 with Richard Tauber in “Blossom Time”, and with popular film star Gene Gerard appearing ‘in person’. It was a large suburban ‘super’ cinema, built by the local Philpot circuit, and was designed by their ‘in-house’ architect T.D. Griffiths.
Seating was provided in stalls and circle levels. It was an extremely wide cinema, and the proscenium was 45 feet wide. It was equipped with a Conacher 3Manual/8Ranks organ, which had a console that was designed by noted organist Reginald Foort, who also opened the instrument. The organ also controlled a phantom grand piano on the stage. The projection box was equipped with Kalee 11 projectors and there was a Western Electric sound system.
The Forum Cinema was closed on 14th November 1940 when power was lost during heavy German bombing raids on the city, but it was not damaged. The electric power supply was restored in the first week of December 1940 and the cinema re-opened with Jack Benny in “Buck Benny Rides Again”. Organist Clifford H. Baylis became resident organist after the end of World War II.
The exterior of the building was resurfaced in around 1957, but the interior remained untouched. Still operated by the Philpot circuit, the Forum Cinema was closed on 26th May 1962 with Doris Day in “Lover Come Back”. The Conacher organ was sold to Northampton Grammar School (today Northampton School for Boys) where it was regularly played. It has since been put into storage and in 2020 is being refurbished in Melton Mowbray.
The Forum Cinema was immediately demolished, with demolition completed in August 1962. The Forum Bowl and some shops were built on the site. In the mid-2000’s the bowling alley was closed and the space is used by a church.
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