Troxy Cinema

117 Fratton Road,
Portsmouth, PO1 5AJ

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Located in the Fratton district of Portsmouth, Hampshire. The Troxy Cinema was opened on 30th July 1936 with Gracie Fields in “Queen of Hearts”. It was built for and operated by Tivoli (Portsmouth) Ltd. It is set slightly back from the road, and the fa├žade has no decorative detail, just a mass of red brick, with a large central window which allowed light into the circle foyer. Above the window in large letters was the name TROXY. Recessed across the top of the building there were a series of five porthole windows which served the projection suite.

Inside the auditorium seating was provided in stalls and circle levels. The proscenium was 40 feet wide and the stage 35 feet deep. There were five dressing rooms. The Troxy Cinema was equipped with a Western Electric(WE) sound system.

In 1941, the Troxy Cinema was closed and was taken over by the Government to be used as a food store during the duration of World War II. It was re-opened on 30th September 1946 with Gene Kelly in “Anchor’s Away”.

The Troxy Cinema was taken over by the Newcastle based Essoldo chain in November 1950. It became the first cinema in Portsmouth to be equipped with CinemaScope and stereophonic sound when “The Robe” starring Richard Burton played for a short season in February 1954.

The Troxy Cinema was closed on 30th June 1963, and was converted into an Essoldo Bingo Club, later becoming a Top Rank Bingo Club. It closed in 1993, and the building was converted into retail use, today operating as a United Footwear store.

Contributed by Ken Roe
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