Dalton Square and Friar Street,
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Functions: Office Space
Previous Names: Hippodrome, Opera House
The fine looking building that was once the County Cinema is still extant on Dalton Square at the corner of Friar Street and is now called Palatine Hall (office premises). It was originally built in 1798 as a Roman Catholic chapel, later becoming a concert hall/music hall known as the Hippodrome/Opera House. Films were first screened in 1910. It became the County Cinema in 1921.
It was equipped with a Jardine 2Manual orchestral organ in 1927. Alterations were carried out and a Western Electric(WE) sound system was installed with a reopening on 30th June 1930. (Kinematograph Year Book for 1931 shows bookings being made at the Tivoli Cinema in Blackpool) which was acquired by the Union Circuit in 1936 (though ownership was technically “Hippodrome (Lancaster) Ltd”).
In October 1937 it passed into the ownership of Associated British Cinemas(ABC), though with the same Union/Hippodrome structure (see KYB 1954). ABC owned the Palace Cinema, also on Dalton Square (which has its own page on Cinema Treasures).
The County Cinema closed on 1st December 1956. In 1983 it was converted into office space named Palatine Hall.
On 16th May 1989 it was designated a Grade II Listed building.
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