Cannon Studios 1 & 2
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The Coliseum Cinema opened in 1913 as a silent picture house, listed at this time as having around 1,200 seats. Soon after opening it was taken over by the Biocolour Picture Theatres circuit. They were taken over by the Gaumount British Theatres chain in November 1926. In late-1929/early-1930 it was equipped with a R.C.A sound system. Gaumount continued to operate the cinema until taken over by Rank Theatres.
The paybox was almost directly off the pavement, leading to a small foyer, and the balcony was supported by pillars which from the back of the stalls, made some seating almost impossible to see the screen.
With the more modern Odeon almost directly opposite the Coliseum Cinema, Rank continued to operate the cinema until the late-1960’s, but it became surplus to requirments, and it is listed as closing on 15th April 1967.
The Star Group of Cinemas took over the Coliseum Cinema and after a substantial conversion to a two screen complex reopened on 1st March 1971 as Studios 1 and 2 seating 339 in Screen 1 in the former stalls area, and 140 in Screen 2 in the former circle. A new foyer and frontage with large programme information box was placed above the entrance doors, with 2 square boxes advertising 1 and 2. Projection to Screen 1 was with a conventional two projector change over system, and a periscope projection was fitted to serve screen 2 on a long run projection system. For many years screen 2 was programmed with “sexplotation” films, which didn’t give the cinema a great family image.
When Star Cinemas were taken over by Cannon Cinemas, and with the ABC chain also at this time under their control, it was again deemed surplus to requirments and closed on 19th March 1987 with “The Fly” in screen 1 and “Crocodile Dundee” in screen 2.
The cinema was left unused and boarded up for many years until finally demolished and flats built on the site.
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