National Picture Theatre
144 Beverley Road,
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Located in Hull, Humberside, to the north of the city on Beverley Road at the corner of Fountain Road. Opened on 23rd December 1914, the National Picture Theatre was a long and fairly narrow cinema. It had a handsome facade in redbrick, dressed in Portland stone. There were 1,050 seats in stalls and balcony levels. The proscenium was 24 foot wide, and to begin with there was a resident orchestra. Western Electric(WE) sound was installed in 1930. The cinema was run in conjunction with the Theatre de Luxe (Later the Cecil Theatre), and was a comfortable and popular cinema judging by contemporary accounts.
Both cinemas were destroyed by German bombs on the night of 7/8th May 1941. Hull was only second to London for war damage, and six Hull cinemas were destroyed in that particular raid. After the National Picture Theatre was destroyed in the rain, the ‘National’ name was transferred to the Coliseum/Rialto Cinema on Terry Street (just off Beverley Road) a name it kept until it was closed in 1961.
Whilst the Cecil Theatre’s remains were cleared in 1953, the derelict ruins of the National Picture Theatre lingered on. In February 2007, they were Listed Grade II as an historic building by the Department of Culture, Media & Sport, as one of the last relics of bomb damage remaining in the UK. Only the facade and parts of the foyer remain.
It is hoped that the facade will be stabilised or restored and that the empty space where the auditorium stood will become a garden of remembrance.
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