Astonia Cinema

Pound Avenue,
Stevenage, SG1 3HU

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Additional Info

Architects: H.W.J. Dutton

Nearby Theaters

Photo taken February 2012

Located in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, at the corner of Pound Avenue and Letchworth Road. The Astonia Cinema was built for Noel A. Ayres, obtaining its rather unusual name by adding “ia” to his middle name, Aston. It opened on Saturday 20th April 1935. In the 1960’s the cinema became such a prey to hooliganism that Martin Ayres, who had succeeded his father, considered banning teenagers. New films were also hard to come by, but the last straw came when a new cinema was proposed as part of the New Town development.

Bingo was introduced in September 1968 and, on Saturday 1st March 1969, after a seven-day run of “The Thomas Crown Affair”, starring Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway, and “Submarine X-1”, starring James Caan, the building’s days on film ended.

The Astonia Bingo and Social Club operated until March 1982. The building became Stevenage Snooker Club and, in 2002, Riley’s American Pool and Snooker, with two floors, new low ceilings and no traces of its former days as a cinema. It was demolished in late-2015 and housing has been built on the site.

Contributed by David Simpson

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

simon0169 on March 5, 2017 at 5:26 am

After many years as Rileys Snooker Hall, the building was demolished in late 2015 and replaced by flats/houses.

David Rayner
David Rayner on December 3, 2020 at 10:12 am

There is a two page article about teenage vandalism in the Parade magazine dated April 7th, 1962, which has a photo in it of an usherette examining seating that had obviously been slashed and ripped open with a knife. The article identifies the cinema as the Astoria, Stevenage, when they should have spelt it Astonia. The magazine has a colour photo on the front cover of Scilla Gabel as she appears in the forthcoming Biblical epic “Sodom and Gomorrah” I will scan the photo of the seat damage and upload it here presently.

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