150 Church Street,
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Architects: William Edward Trent
Styles: Art Deco
Previous Names: New Victoria Theatre, Gaumont
News About This Theater
- Mar 19, 2009 — New Victoria news
Provincial Cinematograph Theatres(PCT) opened the New Victoria Theatre in Church Street, Preston on 17th September 1928.
It is a huge structure, PCT had bought up an unfinished but largely complete cinema planned to open as the Coliseum and seat 900 and turned this auditorium into the crush hall! They then employed architect W. E. Trent to build a sumptuous cine/theatre behind the existing structure complete with full stage and café. There was seating for 1,450 in the stalls and 670 in the single balcony. The New Victoria Theatre was equipped with a Wurlitzer 2Manual/9Rank organ that was opened by Leslie J. Rogers.
PCT were taken over by Gaumont British Theatres in February 1929, and the cinema was re-named Gaumont in 1952. It closed for sub-division in 1962 and reopened on 28th January 1963 with the circle extended forward to create a new (and much plainer) Odeon with 1,229 seats. The re-opening film was Norman Wisdom in “On the Beat” and was attended by film star Leslie Phillips and comedian Stanley Baxter. Odeon 2 was opened in 1970 using the former café space and seating 105. The stalls became a dance hall named Top Rank Suite with a new fully sprung maple floor installed.
The whole complex closed in September 1992 and the upper parts of the building remain unused in 2008. A nightclub operated from the former stalls/dance hall section.
On May 14, 2022 a fire damaged the vacant upper parts of the building. It was being treated as arson. Another fire on 19th May 2022 totally destroyed the auditorium of the building and a 14 years old boy was arrested. Demolition of any auditorium walls which survived the fire commenced immediately. The street entrance and foyer are still standing.
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