Century Cinema

The Embankment,
Bedford, MK40 3PD

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Built as the Castle Roller Skating Rink which opened on 21st December 1911. The skating didn’t last long and it began use as a public hall, attracting artistes such as Dame Nellie Melba to appear and political rallies where Lloyd George and Lord Roberts spoke. It was divided into two, with one half becoming a garage, the other half became the Cafe Dansant. As well as dances film were introduced and alterations were made when the floor was raked and it became the Plaza Cinema on 4th March 1929. Film director Herbert Wilcox performed the opening ceremony and on screen was Harold Lloyd in “Speedy. The proscenium was 40ft wide.

It was taken over by the Granada Theatres chain on 17th February 1969 and with seating reduced to 973 and was re-named Century Cinema. It was closed on 22nd June 1974.

It was converted into a nightclub named the Nite-Spot in 1975. That closed in 1980 and the building was demolished.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

bobtomgrim
bobtomgrim on July 29, 2017 at 5:01 am

There seems to be no mention of the Empire cinema in Bedford? It was also controlled by Granada.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on July 29, 2017 at 5:15 am

bobtomgrim: We have the Empire Cinema, Bedford listed on this site as Granada 3.

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