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A report in The Guardian on Sept. 28th 2023 states that Birmingham Council have voted to demolish the whole Smallbrook Queensway development and replace it with housing.
The Cannon (ex Futurist) closed on Thursday September 5th 1991. The final films were Soapdish in Screen 1 and Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves in Screen 2.
The large scale Ordnance Survey mapping on the National Library of Scotland website, dated 1962, shows this cinema as the Capitol Picture Theatre, so the name was changed earlier than 1969. it is also nowhere near 44 Market Street.
According to the report in the Edinburgh Evening News, the fire that closed the Gaumont broke out around 6pm on Wednesday May 30th 1962 during the second showing of that week’s feature film, A Pair of Briefs. There were around 150 patrons watching the film who were safely evacuated (some apparently taking the time to enquire about a refund on their way out). The fire began above the screen (the Gaumont was a back to front cinema, the screen was at the entrance end), and spread to the whole roof which collapsed into the auditorium. There was not much likelihood that Rank would rebuild the Gaumont. They also had the New Victoria (soon to be renamed Odeon) and due to allocation of product rules didn’t even play all of the Rank releases (many of which went to the Playhouse).
The Plaza closed as a cinema on Sunday January 6th 1962 and reopened as the Plaza Casino on Thursday January 10th with the opening ceremony being performed by actress Pat Phoenix (Coronation Street’s Elsie Tanner). In October films returned following subdivision of the auditorium. Unusually the circle became the “Casino” (i.e bingo club), while the stalls was used for films retaining the original stage. Films returned on Monday October 21st with The Quick and the Dead, advertised as the Manchester premiere, but after that it was almost always second runs and revivals.
It simply isn’t true that the Gaiety had to rely on double bills and films from smaller studios. It remained a first run cinema to the end and in its last six months it played a highly successful eight week run of Room at the Top, a number of other circuit releases like Auntie Mame and The Black Orchid and finished up with three weeks of Look Back in Anger followed by three weeks of Al Capone (a surprise UK box office success). These were all exclusive Manchester premiere runs. I suspect that it closed because its owners received an offer for the site that they couldn’t refuse.
This photo would have been taken during the 1969 re-issue of The Longest Day. The Renault 10 parked outside was not introduced until 1965 and in 1962 Sean Connery would not have had his name on the canopy!
Odeon 2 closed from April 13th 1969 for the installation of a new “Cinerama” screen. Similar screens were being installed in other Rank cinemas around this time, including the Astoria Charing Cross Road, the Odeon Merrion Centre, Leeds, the Odeon Market place, Leicester and of course were installed in the upstairs screens during the rebuilding of the Gaumonts Sheffield and Bournemouth. Odeon 2 Nottingham re-opened in June 1969 with a road show run of Ice Station Zebra in 70mm Cinerama.
The Odeon closed for twinning from Tuesday November 17th 1964. The last film presentation was Goldfinger which completed a six week run on Sunday Nov. 15th. On Monday Nov. 16th was a final stage show featuring The Searchers, Dionne Warwick and The Zombies. Less than two weeks earlier, on Thursday November 5th The Beatles had performed to sell out audiences. Rank announced in its advertising that the new twin cinema would open in the spring of 1965, but this target was missed.
The reference to automation in the article above refers only to Odeon 2, with its Cinemeccanica projectors. The Phillips DP70s which were retained in Odeon 1 from the old theatre were not able to be automated.
The UK (and World) premiere of Saturday Night and Sunday Morning was on October 26th 1960 at the Warner in London. The film opened in Nottingham on November 13th at what was advertised as the Provincial Premiere. There was a personal appearance by Shirley Anne Field at the ABC Nottingham on the opening Sunday evening, although the film had opened in the afternoon and was showing concurrently at the ABC Metropole Nottingham.
The New Victoria’s role as the outlet for 20th Century Fox films was brief. In November 1954 ABC equipped the Elite with CinemaScope and Fox gave the larger cinema all the first runs in spite of it having only mono sound. The New Victoria was reduced to showing second runs of Fox films in between its foreign film runs. It usually emphasized in its advertising that it was the only cinema in Nottingham with 4 track magnetic stereo sound.
Not November 1952, nor 1962. Carry On Constable, supported by Road Racers played the ABC Nottingham for one week from February 29th 1960. There was no second run at the ABC.
This is most certainly not the Rio/Odeon, which had an auditorium sideways on to the f.o.h. and a single staircase leading up to the circle at the right hand end of the entrance foyer. I was Assistant Manager there for five years, so am rather well acquainted with the layout of the place! This is, perhaps, the Heathway, Dagenham.
I believe that this is actually the Rio/Odeon Barking. The side wall decoration differs from that at the Heathway and you can see the long central laylight that remained in use at Barking until closure.
Friday February 26th 1960. The fateful tour that ended at Bristol Hippodrome on April 16th. Cochran was killed when the taxi taking him and Vincent to London Airport crashed in Chippenham, Vincent survived with a broken collar bone and serious leg injuries.
The “7th Great Week” of 3 Coins in the Fountain at La Scala was from Monday October 4th to Saturday October 9th 1954 (no Sunday opening in Glasgow then). This was also the last week of the run and the longest until The King and I (9 weeks) almost exactly two years later. Pity the poor chap who had to clamber up over Barratts shoe shop to change the week number!
Essoldo took over the Palace in August 1960, but didn’t rename it until 1971 (when they still put Palace in brackets after Essoldo). When Classic took over they referred to it as the Classic Palace until it began operating as a twin, which was Thursday May 9th 1974 with A Touch of Class in Classic 1 and The Big Boss in Classic 2. It does indeed seem that the conversion was carried out without closing, with advertising in the preceding weeks apologising for any inconvenience during structural alterations!
Actually the 132 seat Warner West End 3, later renumbered Warner West End 1.
This is actually the new Warner West End 3 (132 seats) created in 1974 from the former circle bar area. At this time the former Warner West End was renamed Warner West End 2 and the former Warner Rendezvous was renamed Warner West End 1 (later to be subdivided and become WWE 3 and 4, while the 132 seater became WWE 1).
Not the Warner Rendezvous, this is the upstairs 890 seat Warner West End, later the Warner West End 2, which remained like this until closure.
The subdivision of the Warner in the seventies is the subject of some confusion, due to certain published works getting it wrong. When the new cinema was built in the former bar area it was decided that the auditoria would have numbers rather than the names in use since twinning in 1970. The upstairs Warner West End became the Warner West End 2, the smaller downstairs Warner Rendezvous became the Warner West End 1 and the new small cinema became the Warner west End 3. While it might have seemed logical that the largest auditorium would be the number 1 screen, this was not the case, as perusal of advertising shows, all the big new films went into Warner West End 2, which retained this number until closure (note that the whole complex was now referred to as “Warner West End”). The Warner West End 1 was closed on August 14th 1975 and in the space of two weeks (!), a subdividing wall was installed to divide the auditorium into front and back sections. The back section reopened (still as Warner 1) on September 4th 1975 using the original projection box with a new screen in front of the dividing wall. Work on the new fourth auditorium then went on until this opened on November 6th 1975, at which point it became Warner West End 3, with the previous cinema in the old bar area renamed Warner West End 1 and the former number 1 becoming Warner West End 4. These were subsequently joined by the number 5 screen which was in a basement area with mirror projection. Why the Warner decided not to number the auditoria in size order is a mystery, but they didn’t and the order was 2, 4, 3, 5, 1.
Recent perusal articles in the Leicester Illustrated Chronicle on The British Newspaper Archive throws more light on the City/Gaumont’s conversion. It was the original cinema that was ‘back to front’ with entry at the screen end. The new Odeon was reversed with entry at the back in the conventional manner. The cinema was originally scheduled to open on September 21st with Cleopatra in 70mm, but this was postponed and, as stated , the cinema opened on October 12th with a normal continuous performance non bookable run of Goldfinger (in standard wide screen and mono sound). This ran for eight weeks and after a couple of weeks of the two previous Bond films, The Odeon, Market Place finally began its roadshow career on December 20th with Cleopatra in 70mm.
This is not the “Odeon West End” or, indeed, the Leicester Square Theatre. It is the Empire Leicester Square (Summer Holiday was an MGM film).
Port Afrique was the Gaumont circuit release Week commencing June 17th 1956. I believe that the Odeon East Sheen played the Odeon release Monday to Wednesday and the Gaumont release Thursday to Saturday (with a separate programme on Sundays). The car nearest the camera appears to be a fairly rare Jowett Jupiter (around 900 built 1950-1954).