Glenroyal Cinema

Briggate and Otley Road,
Shipley, BD17 7BU

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Star Cinemas

Architects: Ernest H. Dawson

Styles: Art Deco

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Glenroyal Cinema

Located in Shipley, Yorkshire on Briggate, close to Otley Road. The Glenroyal Cinema was designed in an Art Deco style by Manchester based architect Ernest H. Dawson. It opened on 5th September 1932 at 2;30pm with the film “Emma” starring Marie Dressler, and a live jazz band on the small stage.

It seated 1,200, including 350 in the balcony. An unusual feature of the Glenroyal Cinema was five large windows with internal geared shutters, which could flood the auditorium with natural light.

There was a 2Manual Hammond organ on a rising lift which was regularly played until the cinema closed, when it was removed to a Working Mens Club nearby. CinemaScope was installed in 1955, and the capacity of the hall was reduced slightly.

The Glenroyal Cinema closed on 8th December 1962 with Shirley MacLaine in "The Loudest Whisper". It was immediately converted into a bingo club operated by the Star Cinemas chain, which later became owned by EMI. Walkers reopened the Glenroyal Cinema in 1990 again for bingo, by this time a false ceiling had been installed at balcony level, only the ground floor of the building was used. Finally it was operated as an independent Kings Bingo Club.

This too closed around 2008, and the building left derelict until it was destroyed by a fire in the early hours of 18th January 2013. The site remains an overgrown plot of vacant land in 2023.

Contributed by Ian Grundy

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

CSWalczak on June 5, 2012 at 3:29 am

This webpage has several pictures of the theatre after it closed as bingo hall.

CSWalczak on June 7, 2012 at 8:15 pm

There are additional historical details and pictures on this webpage.

Ian on January 18, 2013 at 12:40 am

The Glenroyal was destroyed by fire in the early hours today (18 January 2012). The remains are deemed unsafe and are due to be demolished later in the day – Briggate being closed for the duration.

Biffaskin on January 12, 2021 at 6:45 am

Final bingo operators were an independent called Kings.

Biffaskin on December 19, 2023 at 4:42 am

Is this opening date correct? The Bioscope dated 27 February 1913 refers to this cinema by this architect. Certainly the design and decor seem earlier than the 1930’s…

Ian on December 19, 2023 at 5:11 am

Hi Biffaskin,

I believe it is correct. All sources seem to agree on the date of opening (for example - in some detail):- Bradford Timeline

and Dawson does not seem to have started work until around 1922:- Manchester Architects

Perhaps it replaced an earlier cinema?

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