Rex Cinema

23-25 Alderley Road,
Wilmslow, SK9 1HY

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Rex Cinema - Wilmslow (Official)

Additional Info

Architects: Herbert McLellan

Functions: Movies (First Run)

Styles: Art Deco

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 440162.525.2345

Nearby Theaters

Rex Cinema

The Rex Cinema sits on the main junction in the centre of Wilmslow, Cheshire, to the south of Greater Manchester.

Built by, and operated by W. Stansby & Sons, it remained in the family throughout its entire lifespan as a cinema. It is an Art Deco styled red brick building with cream rendered panels and tall windows, it still retains the ‘REX’ signage above the front doors. The Rex Cinema opened on 15th October 1936 with Errol Flynn in “Captain Blood”.

The 856-seat auditorium had a 35 feet wide proscenium and there was a 40 feet deep stage and five dressing rooms which were well used until 1985, when plans were proposed to seal off the stalls area and create a cinema in the circle. There was a cafe provided for the convenience of patrons, plus a ballroom. It was equipped with a Western Electric(WE) sound system. The auditorium runs parallel to the street and it became a mix of retail and leisure units. The lobby, cafe and part of the auditorium are a Multiyork furniture store, the rear of the auditorium is split into bars and cafes.

Next to the front doors is the archway entry to the car park (still in use).
The cinema closed on 8th June 1995 with Hugh Grant in “An Awfully Big Adventure”, by that point the cinema was just operating in the 338-seat circle area and the stalls were a large Multiyork sofa store, which ceased trading in November 2017, but has since closed.

In late-summer 2018 it was announced that the Rex Cinema would be reopening as boutique twin screens following renovations. It had been taken over by the Mundin family who operate the Ritz Cinema, Belper, the Regal Cinema, Melton Mowbray and the Savoy Cinema, Heaton Moor. The original 338 circle now has luxury seats and sofas and the second screen with 60 seats has been created in the former ballroom. It re-opened on 20th December 2018 with a special gala screening of Hugh Jackman in “The Greatest Showman” It opened to the public on 21st December 2018. In 2019 the seating capacities were 140 & 60.

Contributed by woody

Recent comments (view all 20 comments)

davepring on September 6, 2018 at 2:03 pm

This cinema should be listed as renovating now. Work in progress to refurbish the circle screen and build a second screen in the former dance hall

davepring on December 21, 2018 at 5:04 pm

The Rex has now reopened after a fantastic refurbishment. 2 screens and very luxurious. Pictures to follow

terry on December 21, 2018 at 7:20 pm

I see that the proud new owner operators have made a fine job of the restoration of the circle and , unlike the Odeon Leicester Square, which today reopened its doors after the best part of a year and many millions of pounds of expenditure, it has fine quality house tabs to give that all important finishing touch.

terry on December 21, 2018 at 7:34 pm

Article re the reopening in The Knutsford Guardian:–

I used to carry out Managerial relief duties at the long lost huge nearby ABC Stockport and amongst the numerous theatre names I would type on ‘Opposition Report Form Number 6’ was the Rex. How marvellous to see its return!

CF100 on December 22, 2018 at 10:20 am

Article including photos taken during the refurbishment — photos of new stadia under construction and seating installation initiated.

Planning application including existing and proposed plans.

The plans are to be found on the last page; most of the documents are public representations.

Plans are by architect Bill Chew.

terry on January 6, 2019 at 3:31 pm

If the new owners of the Rex ever visit this site they may be interested to read the following extract from an e-mail I received from a friend in Germany whose family happen to operate cinemas over there.

This was in response to articles I had forwarded re the reopening of two cinemas on the same day, namely the Rex – and the Odeon Leicester Square:–

“What a warmhearted, lovely article you sent me about the recent opening of the glamorous “REX” Cinema in Wilmslow. I could truly sense that this family are doing their business with “heart and soul” and as we say over here in Germany with “Herzblut” = Heartblood. What a lovely auditorium ——-..with S C R E E N – C U R T A I N S in function for giving the audiences not only the ultimate warm welcome but supplying them with the ultimate “Movie -Feeling” too.

Yet, the ‘OLS’ London, recently opened after more than one years costly refurbishing, transforming this once cinematic “flagship” into a Dolby Luxe Cinema looks somehow “poorly” and “cold” in comparison with the lovely ‘Rex’ Wilmslow – if I may say so.

N o S c r e e n – C u r t a i n s…….this really is an absolute “no go” for a Cinema with that history and background."

So the Mundin family may like to know that their dedication (and attention to detail) is well and truly noted and appreciated!

LoveCinema on January 6, 2019 at 4:42 pm

My best wishes go out to the Mundin Family – keep on with the absolutely inspiring and most intrepid work you perform to breathe new life into the beautiful old Cinemas of Great Britain. The refurbishment of the newly reopened lovely “REX” Cinema has been done in a most charming and very warmhearted way.

May the aisles of the REX auditoria always be filled with satisfied and enthusiastic audiences.

Wishing you success and happiness for 2019…and beyond.

Best regards from Germany


terry on January 6, 2019 at 9:47 pm

I have just remembered something my Dad told me about the Rex when he was based at RAF Wilmslow during WW2. At that time, of course, the Rex was still in its original form with the circle, stalls and stage.

The splay walls of the auditorium were decorated in a most unusual and original manner with the ‘Bass Clef’ at one side and the ‘Treble Clef’ at the other. I wonder if these motifs still exist behind the subdivision treatment of the 1980’s?

DavidSimpson on November 10, 2019 at 4:34 pm

When I visited, on 24th October 2019, I was made very welcome by the clearly very enthusiastic staff. I saw “All at Sea”, starring James Fox, and with Lauren Bacall, in the smaller auditorium, designated “The Ballroom Screen”. That seats 60, while the larger auditorium, “The Balcony Screen”, seats 140. This is another splendid project from the Mundin family.

Biffaskin on December 19, 2023 at 4:57 am

Not mentioned as yet are later alterations made in 1970s by W. S. Hattrell and Partners.

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