Studio 1 & 2

173 Cross Lane,
Salford, M5 4AP

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Star Cinemas

Architects: Peter Cummings

Styles: Italian Renaissance

Previous Names: Carlton Cinema

Nearby Theaters

Studio 1 & 2

The Carlton Cinema was the last of the super cinemas to be built in Salford, to the north of Manchester in the Wallness district. It was built by Carlton Cinema (Salford) Ltd.

The Carlton Cinema opened on Wednesday May 5th, 1937 with Will Hay in “Those Were the Days”. With 2,500 seats in stalls and balcony levels, the whole building had an Italian theme with terrazzo floors and was designed by architect Peter Cummings. Above the 42 feet wide proscenium was a carved scene of Venice, “a gondola cleaving the watery thoroughfare”. Grilles in the walls were Venetian in design and there was also inlaid Italian Marble ornamentation. The stage was 22 feet deep and there were 2 dressing rooms. It was equipped with a Christie 3Manual theatre organ which was opened by organist Reginald Liversidge. The cinema also had a café for the convenience of its patrons.

It was equipped with CinemaScope in 1954 and in the late-1950’s it was taken over by the Leeds based Star Cinemas chain. Like many cinemas, the Carlton Cinema struggled with the advent of television and the bingo craze that swept Britain in the 1960’s. It closed as a single screen super cinema on 3rd November 1962 with Sean Connery in “Dr. No” to be converted into a casino and club with bingo and roulette.

After a few months, it closed again in August 1963 reopened as a casino downstairs and a 887 seat cinema in the former balcony opened with “The List of Adrian Messenger” starring George C. Scott. It was finally twinned in October 1970 with a second 130-seat mini-cinema being created in the former café, now known as Studio 1 & 2.

The cinemas closed again in January 1984 with Sean Connery in “Never Say Never Again” and “Revenge of the Ninja”. The former stalls area became a snooker/leisure centre with the cinemas being mothballed, never to reopen. It was demolished in the late-1980’s. A Toyota car dealership was built on the site.

Contributed by Steve Lynch

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

Winspec1 on February 15, 2004 at 1:59 pm

Why was it demolished….i am gutted when i look and see it is not there anymore.
Please restore my childhood memories.
Aaron shaw

mike9675 on May 14, 2004 at 8:56 am

Salford Carlton, Cross Lane. As a child of the ‘70s, I have fond memories of watching my first movies there, from Star Wars to several Spielberg films. A lot of my formative memories and experiences of the cinema came from watching movies at the Salford Carlton. It closed in 1984 and was finally demolished in 1989. As it was being pulled down, a friend and I sneaked in through the demolition site and actually managed to have a look around this old cinema, which was quite an odd experience, uncovering several disused film reels and posters. They should never have pulled it down. How dare they wipe away a local treasure and replace it with a Toyota showroom?

rjcarr on September 17, 2004 at 2:53 pm

yes i totally agree with mike.
i saw star wars, grease, superman and tons
of other great films…….. in comfert and safety. i took
my sister to see these films although she was too young for them who cares as long as she had a good time
and our parents knew we were safe.

fantastic building, great times had by all.

what ever happend to salford quay cinema? didnt last long did it????

craig on September 22, 2004 at 4:54 am

I practically lived in this cinema throughout my childhood and I can still smell the place and can still feel the bloody cold in their…Great Cinema though….anyone have any pictures of the Carlton.

Mr_BTH on April 26, 2015 at 1:31 am

Reading these comments has made me feel very happy as I was the chief projectionist there at that time and my farther was the sound engineer. Parts of the Christie organ still live on.

dizzydevil on June 7, 2020 at 8:19 am

I never got to go to or see may of these picture palaces as most had gone by the time i was a teen or were out of my area being born in Ashton Under Lyne ….but i will point out that you got the last film’s star wrong though you were on the right lines with james bond …Sean Connery starred in Never say Never Again! it was a bond film but not made by the franchise that owned the bond films it was an atempt to do one of the novels that they didnt have the rights to at the time! …on another note i DID get to go to The ABC at Broughton if it was a coral bingo as we had a regional meeting there when i worked at the pavilion cinema / coral bingo in the late 80s before it closed and moved to hankinson way …as that was the 1st purpose built bingo club for coral /gala in the region if memory serves …i loved the interior of the abc when i went there and remember thinking how plush and glitzy it was compared to our club in ashton lol ;)

dizzydevil on June 7, 2020 at 8:21 am

Edit i should have said Pavillon /coral bingo in Ashton ..and before the salford club closed and moved to hankinson way!

UKmender on November 21, 2020 at 6:32 am

It was whilst visiting The Carlton that I looked into The Mount School of Motoring, which is to the right of the cinema entrance in the header photo, above. I used to park my moped, right where that small motorcycle is in the photo. ‘The Mount’ ran Austin 1100s and my instructer was a guy called Neville, an ex-RAF bomber pilot. I passed my test first time. Happy days!

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