46 Belgrave Gate,
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Architects: William Riddell Glen
Styles: Art Deco
Previous Names: Savoy Cinema, Cannon, MGM
The Savoy Cinema was built for and operated by the Associated British Cinemas chain(ABC), and opened on 4th June 1937 with John Lodge in “Sensation”. It was designed in an Art Deco style by ABC’s in-house architect William R. Glen with further input from C. Wilford Smith. The cinema was equipped with a Compton 3Manual/6Rank organ which had an illuminated console and a Melotone attached. It was opened by Wilfred Southworth. There was a small stage and dressing rooms which was used in the early days and in the 1960’s pop concerts were held. In 1959 the Savoy Cinema was equipped with Todd A-O and 70mm projection and it had a long run with a Roadshow presentation of “South Pacific”.
It was re-named ABC in 1960 and the cinema was twinned on 31st Ocotber 1970 with 606 seats in the former circle and 910 seats in the screen located in the former stalls. It was at this time that the organ was removed and it is now installed in the Regent Theatre, Fleggburgh near Great Yarmouth. On 18th March 1973 the rear of the former stalls was divided into two screens that seated 410 and 232.
ABC were taken over by EMI and then Cannon and it was re-named Cannon Film Centre. In 1991 Cannon were no long in charge and the name changed again to MGM and finally back to ABC. It closed on 16th January 1997 with a screening of “Star Trek-First Contact”. It then remained closed and boarded up. In March 2006 plans were approved to demolish the building and build a ten-storey apartment block, 100 bedroom hotel, casino and shops on the site. This never happened.
In 2007, the bulldozers moved in and by the end of the year, the former Savoy Cinema was no more. In November 2020, the site is an empty plot, used for car-parking.
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