Unit Four Cinemas

Bolton Road,
Walkden, M28 5AY

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Unit Four Cinemas

Located in Walkden, Lancashire. The Unit Four Cinemas was opened in 1972, and was a replacement for the Criterion Picture House, which had previously been on the site. It was operated by Unit Four Cinemas, and later became part of the Apollo Theatres chain. The four screen operation was initially a 16mm operation and had screens seating 118, 108, 86 and 94. In 1974 it was equipped with 35mm projectors. The cinema closed by November 1999.

Contributed by Lee Walmsley

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

leeo on March 27, 2004 at 10:45 am

Hi I actually came across this website by mistake (would you believe it), I was searching for Curzon Manchester Cinemas and came across this site. Low and behold a site dedicated to Cinemas and their History. I’ve allways liked Cinemas and their Buildings.
Anyway, I actually live in Worsley/Walkden not 10 mins away from Apollo Unit 4 Cinemas in Walkden. I’ve lived in Salford/Manchester all my life and seen cinema buildings come and go. I remember going to Apollo Unit 4 Cinemas quite frequently between 1985-1994 ish. It closed down I think around 94-97 time. I have tried emailing Apollo Cinemas regarding information about this cinema last year, but not reply. Anyway. My Email address is .uk

Take Care.
Lee Oatway.

Grahamh on January 9, 2010 at 2:05 pm

Sorry to correct you, but the Palace and Unit 4 were 2 separate cinemas. The Palace is as you describe it, but was situated on the A6 next to the Bull’s Head? hotel (a Threlfalls pub with awful beer!) and was converted into a bingo hall in about 1968-9. The Unit 4 was on Bolton Rd just north of the shopping centre. My credentials for saying this are that I was the projectionist there almost up to conversion (a moonlighting job whilst I was in 6th form) It was owned by Emery’s up to conversion.

bettyespana on April 11, 2013 at 7:13 am

Slight correction to Graham.I was one of the first receptionists at the Unit 4 when it opened.There was a cinema on the site originally named The Criterion.It was knocked down to make way for the new Arndale Centre.The owners(not the Emerys at the time)had to have some work done in the foyer whilst I was there & the old Criterion Cinema sign was found whilst they were digging.I myself was thrilled as I spent many happy hours at the “Crit) as it was affectionally known to us locals.

Grahamh on April 11, 2013 at 9:00 am

I was at the Palace and I only remember the Unit4 not the criterion. Wasn’t it a bowling alley before it became Unit4? Emerys owned a cinema in Swinton, but that had closed before I was on the scene. As to the Bull’s Head, I gather that it’s now a Wetherspoons, so the berr might have improved!

fthompson on April 14, 2014 at 9:23 am

palace cinema/bingo hall was still running in 1973 and after, I was a bingo caller and midnight projectionist for 4 yrs started in 1969, midnight movies during the winter, children’s saturday morning club, bring a record and sing to it on stage before the film, then bingo in the afternoon , owner at the time was Sam Stockton unit 4 was around the corner next to the Westminster bank

Grahamh on April 14, 2014 at 12:34 pm

I remember Sam. I’d done some work for him before I went to Uni in 1968, but after that was working at Bolton Odeon, so lost touch with the Palace. If anyone remembers him, Gilbert Taylor was manager during my time. Nice to find there’s still someone who remembers the place.

Walton1950 on February 21, 2016 at 5:04 am

Hi Unit 4 actually opened in 1972. I was the Chief Projectionist, and Keith Hampson was the manager. It opened with Escape from the Planet of the Apes and Bandelero in screen 1. Cromwell in screen 2. When 8 bells toll in screen 3. Funny Girl in screen 4 It operated on 16mm projection, changed to 35mm screen by screen in 1974

enc on January 21, 2018 at 11:27 pm

I remember unit 4. Watched the great rock and roll swindle here their age policy must have been quite relaxed as I would have been under age at the time. Also remember watching Hooper here. Anyone remember the bar area ? And the crappy “local adverts” one that comes to mind was for walkden sports and sadelery a shop that was in the arcade at the time.

gavcrimson on January 22, 2018 at 6:07 am

i remember having difficulty seeing Batman here when I was 11 (it was a 12 cert but they eventually relented and let me in) so maybe their age policy had gotten a little less relaxed by the late 1980s. didn’t the bar area have saloon style doors? have a vague memory of that.

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