ABC Staines

Clarence Street,
Staines-upon-Thames, TW18 4BW

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Associated British Cinemas Ltd., Cannon Cinemas, MGM Theatres, Odeon Theatres Ltd.

Architects: William Riddell Glen

Styles: Art Deco

Previous Names: Regal Cinema, Cannon, MGM

Nearby Theaters

ABC Staines

Located in Staines-upon-Thames, Middlesex, to the west of todays' Greater London. Built for and operated by Associated British Cinemas(ABC) the Regal Cinema opened on 20th February 1939 with Janet Gaynor in "Three Loves Has Nancy". Designed by W.R. Glen ABC’s in-house architect, the facade was a plain brick mass, only broken by a central window. Inside the auditorium, seating was provided for 1,103 in the stalls and 510 in the circle.

The Regal Cinema was closed on 30th May 1970, for an expensive twinning and didn’t reopen until 11th March 1971 with Frankie Howard in "Up Pompeii" and Clint Eastwood in "Kelly’s Heroes". Now re-named ABC 1&2 it had seating provided for 694 in the former stalls and 586 in the former circle. The original internal Art Deco style decorations of W.R. Glen had been totally removed.

This only lasted a short time, as on 11th November 1972 ABC 2 in the former stalls was closed for twinning, creating two screens seating 361 and 174. The cinema reopened as ABC 1,2,3 on 22nd January 1973.

Taken over by the EMI Group in 1979, it was taken over by the Cannon Group in February 1986, and was re-named Cannon later that year. From 16th April 1993, it was re-named MGM. Taken over in a management buy-out in 1998, it became the ABC again.

But the writing was on the wall as a new multiplex was planned in the area, and plans were proposed to demolish the ABC. Taken over by Odeon Theatres Ltd, it finally closed on 14th January 2001 with "Unbreakable", "Meet the Parents" and "The Family Man". The building was demolished in August 2001, and a block od luxury flats named Thames Edge Court were built on the site.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on January 14, 2010 at 8:44 am

A set of vintage photographs of the Regal/ABC Staines:
View link

Mike_Blakemore on September 25, 2011 at 10:35 am

Correction. ABC was NOT taken over by ODEON… ABC bought out Odeon and as the Strongest name brand was Odeon they chained the whole chain to Odeon..

Mike_Blakemore on September 25, 2011 at 10:46 am

Have put a photo view of the Stage just before the opening…

John Griffiths
John Griffiths on May 8, 2018 at 1:07 pm

I have fond memories of this cinema when I was the Manager throughout the 90s, being transferred just before it closed. I organised its 60th anniversary and name changes from Cannon to MGM and back again to ABC. I re-introduced children’s Saturday Morning Pictures where the stage was used in Screen One for various entertainers before the film. I remember the queues circling the building on a busy night – down to the river at the back and up the other side, where I would be organising the queues and eventually turning away disappointed patrons as we had full houses in all three screens. It had a popular licensed bar and two busy kiosks – one in the main foyer and the other upstairs, all manned by dedicated, enthusiastic staff. The Number One auditorium (the original circle space with a new screen, gold tabs and stage extended forward) was equipped for 70mm and Dalby Digital stereo. To me it was one of the finest cinemas to watch a film.

ABRAHAMLITTLEHALES on August 3, 2018 at 5:33 am

On the 27 December 1977 STAR WARS was showing I went to see this at this cinema with my parents ,i was just a young child at the time and I use to go to this all the way to my mid 20s when i was living in Staines I ,My mum even worked here from the early 1990s ,her name was Sonhia ,it was the best cinema,sad they destroyed a peace of excellent history rather than renovating it,even Staines looks so different now,wheres my KFC gone and my old school is now a new police station.

ABRAHAMLITTLEHALES on August 3, 2018 at 5:35 am


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