Palace Cinema

17 Market Place,
Banbury, OX16 5ED

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Associated British Cinemas Ltd., Union Cinema Co. Ltd.

Previous Names: Corn Exchange, Exchange Picture House, Picturedrome Palace of Variety, Blinkhorn's Picture House, New Palace Theatre

Nearby Theaters

old palace cinema Banbury

Located in Banbury, Oxfordshire. The Corn Exchange was built in the mid-1800’s as a general-purpose hall. Around 1900, it was used for skating, and some film shows. It became the Picturedrome Palace of Variety in 1914. Seating was provided in stalls and circle levels. The proscenium was 26 feet wide. It became Blinkhorn’s Picture House in November 1916.

In 1923 it was taken over by new operators and was re-named Palace Theatre, operating as a variety theatre and cinema. In 1930 it was equipped with a British Acoustic(BA) sound system and showed its first ‘talkie’ “The Drake Case” on 17th February 1930.

In 1934 it was leased to the Union Cinemas chain, and they retained the cine-variety programming. Union Cinemas were taken over by the Associated British Cinemas(ABC) in October 1937.

The Palace Cinema was closed on 10th June 1961 with Alber Finney in “Saturday Night, Sunday Morning” and Ian Carmichael in “Brothers in Law”. It was converted into a shopping arcade, but was demolished in 1979. The fa├žade was rebuilt in the same style as the original building, and a bank now operates from the site.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

sisu on December 8, 2013 at 9:09 am

This was the first cinema to close in Banbury followed by the Grand. The Palace was entered by a walk through a long hall, at least you didn`t have to queue in the rain. On entering the cinema there was a large staircase on the right up to the balcony, and, projection room. The cash desk was situated in the right hand corner of the foyer along with the array of confectionary, through a door on the left hand side of the kiosk was the main stalls entrance. The projection room was accessed through a door on the left of the large vestibule when walking through to the balcony area. Upon opening the projection room door, you were met with a spiral staircase and at the top of it, around 20 steps, or so, was the rewind platform, with a window overlooking the main Banbury market was a small projection suite. Was always packed on children’s Saturday morning club, news reels were shared between the 3 cinemas, as they were only around ¼ mile between each. The chief projectionist did sack one of the projection staff for making a hack of one of the adverts, it was a babycham advert, ending in those immortal words, “ Id love a Babycham” the projectionist for a laugh, removed the word “cham” exit stage left!.when chief found out. It became a toy shop for many years, then as it is now, a bank. Google old Banbury cinemas, and you should find a picture of it.

Philip Picturedrome
Philip Picturedrome on April 23, 2017 at 8:14 am

2009 photo:

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