Savoy Cinema

Christchurch Road,
Bournemouth, BH1 4AN

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The Picture House and opened in 1914, probably on Monday January 19th. The opening programme consisted of “Between Man and Beast” plus “His Inspiration'”. It closed for refurbishment in 1930, reopening as the Savoy Cinema on 14th July 1930, with an Eric Von Stroheim film “The Great Gabbo”. Unfortunately, just a month later on the 18th August, a nitrate fire took off the roof and destroyed the auditorium. The frontage was left largely undamaged.

Remarkably it reopened on 26th December 1930, with Harold Lloyd in “Welcome Danger” plus “A Holiday In Storyland”. The Savoy Cinema had a 30 feet wide proscenium. It then had an uninterrupted run as a cinema until it closed on the 27th September 1958 with a programme consisting of “The Lone Ranger” starring Clayton More and “The Flame Barrier”.

A forgotten cinema, now, as it closed relatively early. It was in fact the first purpose built cinema in Bournemouth to succumb to the bulldozer. The cinema was quickly demolished and a nondescript retail outlet erected on the site. It eventually became an extension to the adjacent Marks and Spencer store. In 2012 the premises are occupied by Primark.

Contributed by John Thornley
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