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Architects: Percy Lindsay Browne
Styles: Renaissance Revival
Previous Names: Havelock Picture House
The Havelock Picture House was a project of Provincial Cinematograph Theatres(PCT) and it opened on 16th December 1915 with "The Girl Who Might Have Been", "The Night Before Christmas", "Climbing the Jung Frau" and "The Haunted Hat". It occupied a prominent postion on Fawcett Street at Mackies Corner and the entrance was dominated by a large square tower which was illuminated at night. In 1926 a Wurlitzer 2Manual/8Ranks theatre organ was installed and it was opened by organist Frank Matthew. This made the 10-piece orchestra redundant. The Havelock Picture House had a cafe for the convenience of its patrons.
From February 1929 PCT were taken over by Gaumont British Theatres chain. The Havelock Picture House was the first cinema in Sunderland to screen ‘talkies’ and Al Jolson in "The Singing Fool" ran from 15th July 1929 until 10th August 1929, attracting an audience of 120,000 during its run.
It was renamed Gaumont from 29th May 1950 and closed on 15th June 1963 with Susan Strasberg in "A Taste of Fear". It was demolished later in 1963 and shops and an office block were built on the site.
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