37 Queen Street,
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Previously operated by: London and Provincial Electric Theatres Ltd.
On Monday 27th September 1909 the Electric Theatre opened "to interest, amuse and elevate" showing Bioscope pictures. The American Bioscope had been a feature on the programme of the nearby Variety theatres but this was the first show exclusively consisting of film.
A picture survives showing the frontage but examination of planning records reveals that a "temporary" building with permission for five years was located behind it.
New-build cinemas opened in the same street and existing halls were converted within months and the Electric Theatre soon started calling itself "The Old Original" in advertisements. By 1914 it was operated by London and Provincial Electric Theatres Ltd.
A motor dealer occupied the site afterwards and by 1921 the site was built over as part of the Dominion’s Arcade block, home for many years of some of the major film distributors.
The fact that the name Electric Theatre became a generic term for early cinemas has caused some confusion in attributing old photographs as the same phrase was used on the frontage of the cinema which became known as the Imperial, though this name was not used in advertisements in the first weeks of its existence.
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