Strand Cinema

Irlam Road & Strand Road,
Bootle,
Liverpool, L20

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Located in the north Liverpool district of Bootle. The Royal Muncaster Theatre was opened on 6th October 1890 as a variety theatre. From 1893, it became a drama playhouse, which continued until 1901.

Films were then presented by the American Phono Bioscope Co. from 5th August 1901. Dramatic plays were still performed, but with occasional film performances. It reurned to being a variety theatre from 1st August 1911, and in 1912, it was taken over by George Prince. It was redecorated and re-opened as the New Prince’s Theatre on 19th August 1912, and films became the main entertainment.

In 1921, it was taken over by the small Bedford Cinemas chain, and they employed architect A. Ernest Shennan to restyle the cinema. The old boxes and circle were removed, and it became a 975-seat stadium style cinema, with a raised stepped section at the rear. It re-opened on 19th September 1921 as the Strand Cinema.

In March 1928 it was taken over by the General Theatres Company who were taken over by Gaumont British Theatres chain.

Gaumont British operated the Strand Cinema until August 1936, when it was leased to an independent operator. It was closed in November 1940, but reopened as part of a small independent circuit operated by W.J. Speakman in 1942.

The Strand Cinema was closed on 26th December 1947 with Richard Dix in “Secret of the Whistler” and “Medicine Man”.

The building was taken over by Cork Industries Ltd. and used as a warehouse until July 1954, when it was destroyed by a fire, thought to have been started by an intruder.

Contributed by Ken Roe
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