119 Front Street,
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Located in Chester-le-Street, County Durham on Front Street and King’s Head Yard. The Empire Theatre opened on 12th January 1911. It was built for the Chester-le-Street Theatre Co. It was closed on 8th June 1928 to be re-modelled to the plans of architect Albert H. Fennell and re-opened 20th September 1928. It now contained the Empire Ballroom. It was equipped with a British Acoustic(BA) sound system in 1930. By 1939 it had been taken over by the Smelt’s Theatre chain.
In December 1946 it was taken over by the Essoldo chain and re-named Essoldo. The Essoldo Cinema was closed on 16th January 1971, but the adjoining Empire Ballroom continued to operated. The building was taken over by the Classic Cinemas chain on 2nd April 1972 and they closed the Empire Ballroom. The cinema never re-opened.
The building was demolished in 1979.
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