111 Lumley Road,
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Tower Cinema (Official)
Previously operated by: United Entertainments Ltd.
Architects: Alfred John Thraves
Functions: Movies (First Run)
Styles: Art Deco
Located in the seaside resort of Skegness, Lincolnshire. Built and opened by local exhibitor Fred Clements, the Tower Cinema opened on 27th March 1922, with a total seating capacity of 966. It is located in the corner of the Pleasure Gardens near the town’s famous clock tower, hence the name of the cinema.
It was listed in the 1931 edition of Kinematograph Year Book as the only cinema in town to be equipped for sound, at the Tower Cinema it was Western Electric(WE). It was closed for three months in January 1937 for internal alterations.
It was badly damaged by a German bomb on 18th January 1941, during a matinee performance, but luckily, no-one was hurt. Damage was sustained mainly to the roof, but it put the cinema out of action until repairs were begun in late-1949. Most of the original building was demolished and a new Tower Cinema was designed by Nottingham based architect Alfred John Thraves & Son, which had an enlarged seating capacity of 1,200; 750 in the stalls and 450 in the circle. A stage 32ft wide and 28ft deep was added and eight dressing rooms were added to enable live shows to be performed in the cinema, in addition to film performances. An organ was installed (make unknown). The entrance foyer had two island payboxes. The interior colour scheme was in gold, crimson and autumn tints. The projection box was equipped with Western Electric’s latest Westrex projectors. The cinema had it own electric power plant. The Tower Cinema was re-opened on 6th July 1951 with Bette Davis in "Payment on Demand" and John Payne in "El Paso".
In the Summer of 1984, the balcony was converted into a 420 seat cinema and the stalls area was converted into an amusement arcade. In January 2003, the former balcony cinema was twinned, each screen seating 142. In 2004 these were slightly enlarged and the seating is now for 160 and 152.
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