Scala Cinema

19-22 Fossgate,
York, YO1 9TA

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Gaumont-British-Picture Corp., Ltd.

Architects: William T. Whincup

Functions: Retail

Previous Names: Electric Theatre, Scala Super Cinema

Nearby Theaters

Scala Cinema

The former Electric Theatre survives as a furniture store for MacDonalds (NO burgers)!

It opened on 3rd June 1911 and was unusual in that patrons entered at the screen end of the auditorium. The pay box was outside in the centre of the arch and entrance was either side at the corners of the front.

The faience clad exterior was restored recently and has an abundance of swags of fruit and a central Lions head. Seating was on one level.

Since 1928, it was operated by Gaumont British Cinemas and it was sold to an independent operator in 1951. It was renamed Scala Super Cinema and closed on 16th March 1957.

Inside the floor has been levelled but the plaster ceiling is intact.

In 1980, the Electric Theatre was designated a Grade II Listed building by English Heritage.

Contributed by Ian Grundy

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

blythespirit on December 5, 2003 at 9:34 am

Well worth a visit if you are in York. Inside this building, it’s original origins as a cinema are very apparent.

Ian on January 1, 2007 at 5:05 am

Photo of the ceiling above the balcony in 2006 here:-

CSWalczak on September 17, 2012 at 3:45 pm

A picture supposedly from 1957, though the film advertised was released two years prior: View link

HJHill on May 12, 2022 at 12:57 pm

It was opened by the Lord Mayor of York as the Electric Theatre on the afternoon of Saturday 3 June 1911, and was reported to be 125ft long and 38ft wide with 600 seats. The screen measured 21ft by 14ft and was made of ‘special cement plaster’. The Yorkshire Evening Press reported the building was originally destined to be two shops. The report emphasised the prodigious ventilation system, the plentiful exits, and the fireproof construction of the ‘operating room’.

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