ABC Derby

East Street,
Derby, DE1 2

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Showing 15 comments

terry on April 25, 2015 at 4:13 pm

I took over here for a fortnight in 1976 whilst it was still a single auditorium – and a very impressive place it was throughout. The double width circle staircase alone conjured up images of Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers musicals…..

The film showing the first week was ‘Aces High’ one of EMI’s films which floundered during the record hot summer that year although the returns were quite respectable in Derby. I recall the Manager of the Odeon (Gaumont) presenting himself at the main office upstairs to ask permission to see the film and I took him into the circle just as the house tabs parted onto the BBFC Certificate…..brilliant timing!

I cannot for the life of me remember what was showing the second week but I recollect vividly my last evening there which was the opening Sunday of HG Wells' ‘The Food Of The Gods’ and while I was standing in the main foyer I heard an almighty sound of cheering and guffawing coming from the stalls. Bearing in mind that there was a large stalls foyer between the entrance hall and the auditorium it had to be loud indeed. When I entered the stalls I discovered that the racket was in response to a scene of a poor unfortunate being stung to death by giant wasps…..such was Sunday night audience behaviour back then!

Mike_Blakemore on January 14, 2013 at 7:56 am

In the 1970’s I did the Winter Relief there while the Manager was on holiday..

Mike_Blakemore on October 17, 2011 at 7:27 pm

I have loaded 3 pictures from 1959.. Hope you enjoy..

woody on April 20, 2009 at 7:48 am

some more demolition phots scanned from the orignals i took
looking down on where the rear of the lobby and stairs to the circle lounge were
the rear of the circle
the auditorium
from the street with the frontage gone but the plasterwork of the lobby visible
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one of the ornate proscenium organ grills hidden for years by the tripling which moved the screen forward to the front of the circle
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KingBiscuits on April 2, 2008 at 5:12 pm

According to Woody’s clippings, Angel and Police Academy were two of the final films shown.

smoothie on March 11, 2008 at 5:59 am

Thanks for that Ken. i knew someone would come to the rescue!

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on March 9, 2008 at 2:49 pm

Hi there smoothie! Best to go to:– then go to ‘Search the Images’ then type in ‘Cinemas’ and click place name in drop down box. Currently, all the Derby cinemas are on Cinema Treasures, (apart from the Metro). I was raised in the town, so know them all and have added them to this site.

smoothie on March 9, 2008 at 2:14 pm

Hmm! It doesn’t seem to want to link. But the reference is there. you’ll just have to do it longhand! Other Derby cinemas there,none on CT as yet……

woody on March 6, 2008 at 5:07 am

derby cinema ads from 1964 (came across them while clearing out my parents garage, for the odeon (St Peters St) Gaumont (London Rd) and ABC (East St)

Ian on February 3, 2008 at 10:44 am

A frankly poor picture of the exterior in 1984, just before closure:–

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Ken Roe
Ken Roe on December 8, 2005 at 5:28 pm

The facade of the Regal Cinema, photographed in the Summer of 1946:

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on November 5, 2005 at 6:24 am

The exterior of the ABC on its last day of operation, 14th July 1984 (not 1985 as the caption states):
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Ken Roe
Ken Roe on September 30, 2005 at 3:31 pm

Thanks to woody, a couple of photographs of the Regal Cinema/ABC Derby here:

Auditorium in 1938

Demolition in 1984