Astor Cinema

18 Spa Road,
Bolton, BL1 4AG

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HJHill on November 16, 2015 at 1:20 pm

The following text is from a ‘RootsWeb’ page and was by “Linda Hindley” whose parents acquired the building for its return to roller-skating in the 1950s. She credits a Bolton Evening News article for some of the facts.

“The Olympia roller skating rink was erected on the site in 1909 and opened on Saturday Sept 25 of that year. The admission charge was 6d and hire of skates a further 6d and there were 3 sessions daily. The Olympia only lasted 3 years and closed on 27 May 1912.

Later that year, it opened as a picture house with the same name and had the largest seating capacity of any picture house in Bolton. On Sept 15 1929 it became the Regal and reopened as a ‘talkie’ cinema. From Sept 1929 until Sept 1952 the Regal led a relatively untroubled life except for hooliganism which resulted in destruction of many seats.

In (1952) the Progressive Publicity Co Ltd, a Manchester firm, took over the lease and Reginald Liversedge, the well known organist was appointed manager. On November 24 the cinema once again changed its name, this time to the Astor and the first film was ‘Le Ronde’. The major decline in the Bolton cinemas began in the mid 50s. Between 1955 and the end of 1959 eight closed, the first being the Astor. The building then was converted back to roller skating by my parents and was opened by footballer Nat Lofthouse on November 9th 1955."