Market Cinema

Market Street,
Keighley, BD21 3PT

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In the Yorkshire town of Keighley, on Thursday 8th December 1910, the Cinema de Luxe was opened by the London Animated Picture Company. The first manager was John Watson.

The large hall had an impressive entrance, illuminated by an immense arc lamp which made the building a prominent landmark. The 1,000 seats, on the long, raked floor, were upholstered in leather.

In 1911 Mr Watson was fined £5 for keeping a building for the purpose of carrying on a lottery. For some time, patrons had been given a ticket for a draw in which they could win a trip to Morecambe, or the cash equivalent. Mr Watson maintained it wasn’t a lottery, because the prizes were dependent on the winners delivering a certain number of leaflets advertising future attractions. Unfortunately, the magistrates disagreed.

The Theatre de Luxe closed on 9th April 1914 with “Stolen Plans” and “The Three Gamblers”. It remained unused until it was acquired by a company from Huddersfield and re-opened, after extensive structural alterations, on 17th January 1921, as the Empire Cinema. The seating capacity was reduced to 900.

At the end of that year the cinema changed hands once again. Renamed the Market Cinema, it was run by The Market Cinema Company. The opening films were “Humoresque”, starring Gaston Glass and Vera Gordon, “The Bad Man” and Pathe Gazette.

Presumably not wishing to install sound apparatus, the owners closed the Market Cinema on 8th June 1929.

The building was demolished. The site is now home to Keighley Market Hall.

Contributed by David Simpson
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