Palace Theatre

28 Gabriel's Hill,
Maidstone, ME15 6JG

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Located in Maidstone, Kent. A replacement for the towns' Hippodrome Theatre which had been built in 1900 and was destroyed by fire in 1908. The Palace Theatre opened as a live theatre in 1908, and from opening night it screened films on the Palacescope as part of the variety programme. It was closed for a period of time during World War I. It was equipped with a Western Electric(WE) sound system on 24th April 1931 after being closed for a while for refurbishment.

It was taken over by the Union Cinemas chain on 3rd October 1935., and they were taken over by the Associated British Cinemas(ABC) chain in October 1937. The Palace Theatre was leased out to a repertory theatre company in 1948, with films screen on Sundays only. It was closed on 1st April 1951.

Taken back by ABC on 7th April 1952, it was leased out on 9th March 1953. It re-opened as a cinema on 18th July 1955 after a fire had closed ABC’s Central Cinema in June 1955. Films continued at the Palace Theatre until it closed on 19th October 1957. The building was purchased by Sainsbury’s and was demolished in 1960 to build their new supermarket. They have since moved out and the building on the site has been taken over by Rober Dyas ironmongers shop.

Contributed by Ken Roe
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