15 North Street,
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Previously operated by: Associated British Cinemas Ltd.
Architects: William Riddell Glen
Styles: Streamline Moderne
Previous Names: ABC Bedminster
The Rex Cinema opened in North Street, Bedminster, Bristol on the 9th December 1940, the opening film Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rebecca” starring Laurence Olivier. When the cinema opened it only had the stalls on ground floor in operation seating just over 1,200, the circle was not added until 1954, due to the shortage of steel and war restrictions on construction.
During the heavy bombing of Bristol the cinema was hit by a bomb on Good Friday 1941, putting the cinema out of action for four months.
After the circle was finally added in 1954, this added a further 483 seats, making the total capacity of 1,634.
Always a very popular suburban cinema, it remained a single screen operation until ABC disposed of the lease to an independent operator in 1978, and reverting back to its original name of Rex Cinema.
Remaining in independent control for a further two years, the final film to play was Christopher Reeve in “Superman” on 16th August 1980.
The cinema was converted into a Granada Bingo Club, and remained open as a Gala Bingo Club until closing in late-2010. It was demolished in January 2014. A block of flats with office space named Picture House Court now stand on the site.
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