Majestic Picture House

95-97 Brook Street,
Chester, CH1 3DX

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Majestic Picture House

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The Pat Collins Cinema de Luxe was opened on 18th April 1921 with “Carnival” starring Ivor Novello. The opening ceremony was presided over by Lady Arthur Grosvenor, who described it as handsome and spacious. Pat Collins, who ran a travelling fair, owned several other static cinemas. His plans to open another one in Foregate, Chester, never materialised. The auditorium was 106ft long and 54ft wide. The walls had a dado of embossed paper.

In 1926 Pat Collins pulled out of the cinema, and its name was shortened to Cinema De Luxe. It closed in June of that year, reopening in July as the Majestic Picture House, with “The Sporting Chance” starring Lou Tellegen and Dorothy Phillips.

In March 1928 the General Theatre Corporation took over, and in May 1928 they were taken over by Gaumont British Theatres.. In 1930 the cinema showed its first sound film, “Three Live Ghosts” starring Beryl Mercer and Hilda Vaughn. The ageing cinema became nicknamed ‘The Blood Tub’. CinemaScope was installed only a short while before closure, which occurred on 29th September 1956 with “Woman’s World”, starring Van Heflin and Lauren Bacall. The final operator was Circuit Management Association(CMA) who would soon form the Rank Organisation.

The building became a dance hall from 15th March 1957, then a Top Rank Bingo Club from 22nd August 1965. The building was sold to the city council on 22nd January 1973 and the auditorium was demolished for road widening. The frontage remains, and in December 1998 it was occupied by Camp & Climb camping shop.

Contributed by David Simpson
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