Coronet Cinema

Otley Road,
Bradford, BD3 0

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Previous Names: Coronet Picture House

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Coronet Cinema

Built purposefully for the exhibition of films, the Coronet Picture House opened on 2nd July 1923 with “The Second Mrs. Tanqueray”. Positioned on a triangular plot of land bounded by Otley Road, Cliffe Road, and Airedale Road, in the Undercliffe area of Bradford. The cinema originally had 750 seats (later reduced to 603, and still later to 597), all on one level. It was built of Yorkshire stone with a slate roof.

An early sound system was installed in 1930, but soon after a Western Electric sound installation was made requiring extensions to be added to the rear wall to house the speaker horns as there was no significant space behind the screen. The proscenium was 22 feet wide. By 1944 it had been renamed Coronet Cinema. A larger screen was installed in 1954, subsequently modified for CinemaScope, but the impact was blunted owing to the theatre’s small proscenium. A fire in early 1955 destroyed the screen, small stage, and proscenium, but repairs were quickly made, and the theater reopened about a month later.

In its early years, it was managed by a Mr. Albert Harrison; it later became part of the C&H Cinemas chain, an still later it was a part of the A. S. Hyde circuit. Declining patronage and competition from other larger nearby cinemas caused the theater to close on 27th September 1958 with Tommy Steele in “The Duke Wore Jeans” 1958.

Afterwards, the building became known as Coronet House and the building was used for wholesale grocery warehousing and distribution. A fire gutted the building in 2003. The cleared site was then made available for development.

Contributed by Christopher Walczak
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