Bonington Theatre

98 Nottingham Road,
Arnold, NG5 6LF

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Additional Info

Architects: George F. Grimwood, William H. Higginbottom

Styles: Greek Revival

Previous Names: St. Albans Picturedrome

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Bonington Cinema

Located in Arnold to the north of Nottingham, at Nottingham Road and Arnot Hill Road. The St. Albans Picturedrome was opened December 26, 1912 with “The Wedding Present” on the screen and variety acts on the stage. I was designed by Nottingham based architect William H. Higginbottom and had 500 seats. It was built for and operated by Joseph Wardle.

In 1929 remodelling began by building the shell of a new larger cinema around the original one, without the original cinema having to close. It was designed by architect George F. Grimwood of Nottingham. As the new 1,000-seat building neared completion, the original cinema was closed for 10 weeks and the new Bonington Theatre was opened on 21st December 1929 with Lila Lee in “Butterflies” a silent film and variety acts on the fully equipped stage stage. It was equipped with a B.T.H. sound system on 3rd January 1930 when Al Jolson in “The Singing Fool” was screened. Variety acts were part of the programming for many years, and there was also an annual pantomime produced at Christmas.

The Bonington Theatre was closed by Joseph Wardle on 30th March 1959 with George Nader & Maggie Smith in “Nowhere to Go”. The seating and projection equipment was transferred to the Arts Cinema on Broad Street. The building was left unused for a while, and was later used for storage. It was demolished in April/May 1963.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

CSWalczak on August 11, 2012 at 8:16 am

These sites have additional theatre history; the second has additional pictures.

View link View link

Carlamather on September 21, 2016 at 2:59 pm

Hi I would like to ask for your help please ? I am in search of the manager/ projectionist name who worked at the Forum cinema in 1944/45 . Possibly going by the name Upton ? We are led to believe that he had a son called Mike Upton . Who would now be mid 80’s ?? If anybody know his son ? I would be so grateful if you could help me . Or can advise the best way possible to retrieve this information some how .. Thankyou for reading …

dave on June 3, 2018 at 4:12 pm

This was the very first cinema I ever went to. My memory is that it faced onto Arnot Hill Road, but that memory might not be right.

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