Unit Four Cinemas

Burnley Road,
Brierfield, BB9 5HY

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Unit Four Cinemas

The Brierfield Cinema was the first purpose-built cinema in the town. It was on Burnley Road at the junction with Crabtree Street. The entrance façade was on the Road and the auditorium ran along the Street. It had a barrel vaulted ceiling, a small stage (24ft wide, 15ft deep, two dressing rooms) and no balcony. Opening night was 15th July 1915 with Mary Pickford in “Tess of the Storm Country”.

In the early years, stage acts supplemented the films shown. Having changed ownership, it opened as the New Star Cinema on Monday 18 January 1932 with Western Electric(WE) sound. It closed around 1956; reopened with another owner a few weeks later; and then closed again in March 1957. Yet another owner reopened it on Friday 23rd May 1957 with “The Admirable Crichton” with Kenneth More and Cecil Parker; that owner lasted until closure on Saturday 24th January 1959 with Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra in “Anchors Aweigh”.

In Kinematograph Year Book 1954 capacity is 603 seats; down from the 653 seats in KYB 1934.

In April 1959 it opened as a sports hall; that failed. It then opened as the Rockin’ Shoe Disco on Sunday 21st July 1961; that too didn’t last. It opened on 15th December 1961 as the 77 Club: cabaret and gambling. That went well until changes in the gambling laws affected business and it closed in November 1967.

On 14th July 1969 it reopened as a four-screen cinema: Unit Four Cinemas with seating for 70 in screens 1 & 2, 61 in screen 3 and 66 in screen 4. The ownership passed to the Apollo Group in 1989. However, they opened a 9-screen multiplex in nearby Burnley on 30th May 1997 and closed the Unit Four in July 1997. It was showing “Batman and Robin”, “The Fifth Element”, “Con Air”, and “Beavis and Butthead in America”.

The site is now (2014) Maria’s World Food Store and Dixy chicken take-away; a single-storey development.

Contributed by H J Hill

Recent comments (view all 1 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on October 21, 2014 at 2:32 pm

HJHill; I have found the seating capacities of Unit Four and updated the details in the introduction text and the number of seats box.

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