Arc Cinema at the Byron
High Street and Portland Road,
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Arc Cinema, UK (Official)
Operated by: Arc Cinema, UK
Previously operated by: United Entertainments Ltd.
Architects: Alfred John Thraves
Functions: Movies (First Run)
Styles: Art Deco
Previous Names: Byron Cinema, Cineplex Cinema
Located in Hucknall, a district to the north of Nottingham. The Byron Cinema was named after English poet Lord Byron who’s body is buried at a church in Hucknall. The Byron Cinema opened on 2nd November 1936 screening Shirley Temple and John Boles in “The Littlest Rebel”. It was built for and operated by the R.L. Kemp Cinemas Ltd. chain. It had a total seating capacity of 1,189 which were located in stalls and circle. The proscenium was 33ft wide and the stage 16ft deep which was used for occasional variety performances. The architect was Alfred J. Thraves of Nottingham who designed an Art Deco style cinema (in the style of an Odeon Cinema) that had a sweeping curved brick façade, highlighted by a vertical fin tower feature on the right hand side that was faced in cream tera-cotta tiles. The Byron Cinema closed as a single screen cinema on 13th October 1967 screening Burt Lancaster in “The Professionals”.
The building was then split into two sections, the former stalls area downstairs becoming a bingo club and the former balcony upstairs became a 404 seat cinema, which re-opened on 31st December 1967 with the James Bond movie “You Only Live Twice”. It had a change of name in 2003 when it was re-named Cineplex Cinema, but the cinema closed in June 2006.
In February 2015 work taken on by volunteers was progressing to renovate and restore the cinema in the former balcony, but this eventually ceased. The bingo club was closed in 2018.
The building was sold in 2019 and work began to create a four screen cinema. It was planned to re-open as the Arc Cinema at the Byron in March 2020, but was delayed sue to the Covid-19 Pandemic. It re-opened on 4th July 2020 with “Jumanji”. All 4-screens are wheelchair accessible and have spaces for wheelchair users. The two upper floor screens are accessible via a passenger lift. There is a Fidelio system for customers who are hard of hearing. The auditoriums are furnished with luxurious leather reclining seats, with huge legroom. The projection is Digital Laser with Dolby Digital 7.1 surround sound. Tasty drinks and snacks are available and there is a fully licenced bar.
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Recent comments (view all 7 comments)
The former Byron Cinema Hucknall, photographed in May 2008 as a bingo club:
And another from February 2010:
The community group called the byron community project is trying to raise funds to restore and reopen this cinema. Its such an amazing building and is one of only five Alfred J Thraves cinemas remaining. They are looking for any old pictures and history to help build a heritage file
Photos taken in August 2015, as the cinema is made ready for reopening, can be viewed here:–
ART DECO WINDOW
STAIRS TO BALCONY
AUDITORIUM TO FRONT
AUDITORIUM TO REAR
Thanks to Ria for access.
Since November 2019, work has been carried out to turn the former Byron building into a four-screen, two-floor cinema, called The Arc. Work on the complex should be completed in March 2020. Melcorpo already runs Arc cinemas in England and Ireland.
Press Release, 11 June 2020. The Irish cinema operator, The Arc Cinema, has invested £3 million in converting the old Byron Cinema into a state of the art four-screen cinema. The cinema will have 425 luxury leather electric recliner seats, laser digital projection and Dolby Digital 7.1 surround sound. It is intended to open on Saturday 4 July 2020.