8 Market Place,
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Elite Cinema (Official)
The Elite Cinema opened by 1929 in the small market town of Ashbourne in Derbyshire, it was run by local proprietor Frank S. Bromwich who also designed the cinema and ran the towns' other cinema, the Empire Cinema (it has its own page on Cinema Treasures).
The Elite Cinema is located in the main square-Market Place of the town and was much more upmarket than the Empire Cinema.
The façade is simple classical red brick with a stone parapet and a series of tall arched windows, and two shop units either side of the entry. It has changed very little since it was built, with only the loss of the ornate metal torch lamps either side of the entry.
Internally there was a small lobby with a tiny box office window and doors into the stalls, and a staircase with metal handrails led up to the balcony. The 550-seat auditorium had a simple barrel ceiling and there was an arched proscenium with ornate mouldings and small stage. There was little other decoration apart from Art Deco style glass wall lights. It was equipped with a British Acoustic(BA) sound system.
The Elite Cinema closed in 1976 and after a few years of lying empty was converted into a mini shopping arcade in the stalls area (no sign of the auditorium remained) and a nightclub in the balcony with a dance-floor inserted across from the bottom of the balcony cutting the auditorium in two horizontally. The upper proscenium arch remained and some ceiling decoration.
The nightclub was still use in 2009, but had closed by 2020. Plans were approved in July 2020 to reopen the former balcony area as a 144-seat cinema & community centre. Work began on the conversion in February 2022 and it reopened on 26th May 2023 as a cinema with the addition for theatre facilities.
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