Apsara Cinema

162 Nedham Street,
Leicester, LE2 0BH

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Associated British Cinemas Ltd.

Architects: Ernest H. Smith

Functions: Mosque

Styles: Neo-Classical

Previous Names: Melbourne Picture Theatre, Melbourne Cinema

Nearby Theaters

Apsara Cinema, Leicester

Located on the corner of Nedham Street and Melbourne Road in the Spinney Hills district to the east of the city centre. These are two of the roads at this five-ways junction. The Melbourne Picture Theatre opened with 700 seats on 18th May 1920 with Carlyle Blackwell in “The Golden Wall” & Sessue Hayakawa in “The Debt”. It proved to be a successful suburban cinema, and the balcony was soon enlarged to give a total seating capacity for 941, and occasional variety shows were held on the stage.

First operated as an independent by the Melbourne Cinema Co. it was taken over by the Associated British Cinemas(ABC) chain in November 1931, and was modernised. In October 1938, it was taken over by the independent Midland Cinema Co., and they operated it until its closure in 1961.

The building was converted into the Five-Ways Bingo Club, and this use lasted for several years. In 1979, it re-opened as the Asian cinema known as the Apsara Cinema, screening ‘Bollywood’ films. With video becoming popular this eventually led to the closure of the Apsara Cinema in 1986.

In the 1990’s, it was converted into a mosque, today known as the Masjid Usman (Markaz Masjid of Leicester).

Contributed by Ken Roe
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