ABC Empire Coventry

Hertford Street,
Coventry, CV1

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Showing 7 comments

rivest266 on July 23, 2021 at 2:45 pm

1933 grand opening ad posted.

terry on January 10, 2018 at 1:04 pm

Yes, Mike in Golden Square were listed the names of all the associated companies…

Mike_Blakemore on January 10, 2018 at 11:00 am

Terry The Empire was one of the many oddities on ABC It was still owned by the Clifton syndicate in disguise :0) Most of Birmingham ABCs and Wolverhampton was by the same arrangement ASSOCIATED BRITSH CINEMAS meant what it said on the label. They had the Mayfair Circuit which was an arrangement with Essoldo

terry on January 10, 2018 at 10:29 am

True enough, Mike. The Haymarket, Newcastle (one of the very last to have the ‘ABC’ lozenges added to the Front of House in 1972) was always referred to simply as “the Haymarket” whilst the triangular sign outside, in true ‘ABC’ fashion, said ‘ABC Haymarket’.

Press advertising usually stated ‘ABC Haymarket’ but quite often the ‘ABC’ reference was omitted totally in the Evening Chronicle ‘semi display’ ads which all city centre cinemas used (for the sake of economy) in weekday editions.

Even when , from 1972, it was simply the ‘ABC’ the locals always said “the Haymarket”. Ironically, from 1974, when the former Essoldo came under the ABC banner, press advertising had to say ‘ABC Haymarket’ to distinguish this from the ‘ABC Westgate Road’ and so there was never going to be any chance of it being referred to as simply the ‘ABC’.

In Coventry’s case, of course, there were obviously long term plans to replace the Empire (as there were for Newcastle Haymarket for decades but these never materialied) and so it never became the ‘ABC’ and the title ‘ABC Empire’ would have applied from the 1930’s until its closure in 1971 and not from 1969.

A little long – winded, I know but I am guessing that at least some younger people may reference this site so it is just as well to have things correct.

Mike_Blakemore on January 10, 2018 at 8:11 am

When Cinemas had theta names. They were always Prefixed with ABC even when they were just managed cinemas

JohnGn on January 10, 2018 at 2:28 am

A question that arises is when did the Empire change it’s name to ABC. Allen Eyles in the ABC of ABC and Brian Hornsey in his booklet on Coventry cinemas both state that it changed to ABC but neither give a date. In an effort to pin this down more precisely, I have looked through local newspapers, and I found that it appears to never have changed it’s name. It advertised as the Empire (or more exactly as the ABC Empire) right up to closure.

terry on May 26, 2016 at 2:44 pm

2 photos uploaded of the auditorium courtesy of a friend who managed the replacement new ABC which occupied the same site as the ABC Empire.