23-25 Alderley Road,
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Rex Cinema - Wilmslow (Official)
Architects: Herbert McLellan
Functions: Movies (First Run)
Styles: Art Deco
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 the Stansby 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. 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 sofa store, which was still operating in March 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 teken 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.
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