Cannon Luton

51 George Street,
Luton, LU1

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ABC Cinema

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The 1,892 seat Savoy Cinema opened on George Street (a main town centre thoroughfare) on 17 October 1938. It was designed by Associated British Cinemas(ABC) in-house architect William R. Glen and immediately assummed the leading position in the ABC cinemas in town (the Empire Cinema closed two days earlier, but the Alma Cinema and Union Cinema continued for many years).

It closed in April 1971 for tripling and emerged as a three screen complex in September 1971. There were 632 seats in Screen 1 (former circle) and 458 and 272 in screens 2 & 3 (former stalls).

It was renamed Cannon in April 1986. When a new 10-screen Cineworld multiplex opened just a short walk down the street in 1998, the Cannon continued for another two years, finally closing in November 2000. It has lain empty since, despite several plans to establish an arts centre / theatre in the building.

Contributed by Ian Grundy

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

Keithmockett
Keithmockett on May 19, 2004 at 9:23 am

I have fond memories of many visits to the ABC Savoy (as it was known when I was a child). In the 1960’s it was one of two ABC Cinemas in Luton – the other was the ABC Ritz in Gordon Street. I think the tripling was significant because it was one of the first (?) and unlike later subdivisions the building was gutted and three distinct auditoria were created (not like the “cheaper” and more common practice of dropping a wall from the front of the circle and making two auditoria out of the space underaneath as in the Odeon at Luton and many other locations!). Architecturally the three auditoria were pretty much featureless. At the time of opening as a triple, Screen 2 had 70mm facilities. Screen 1 was upgraded to Dolby Stereo in 1984.

Ian
Ian on September 27, 2010 at 9:43 am

The above shot is the ABC – another 1988 view here:–

http://www.flickr.com/photos/stagedoor/5028623975/

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