3-4 Alexandra Road,
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Architects: Henry G. Baker
Styles: Art Nouveau
Previous Names: Alexandra Cinema Hall
The Alexandra Cinema Hall was built on the site of a music hall where Charlie Chaplin made his stage debut, in Alexandra Road, hence the name. It was opened on 27th December 1909.
The auditorium was simple Art Nouveau with an apple motif around auditorium, which lay parallel to the road. A projection box was accessed by sliding a steel shutter from balcony staircase. A red neon sign ran the full length of the facade which was stucco with faux Doric columns, similar in style to its younger sister, the Empire/Odeon.
The Alexandra Cinema was taken over by the County Cinemas chain in November 1927, and taken over by the Oscar Deutch chain of Odeon Theatres Ltd. in September 1939. One of five cinemas built in Aldershot, it was always very busy and often pulled a coup by showing new releases before the main Odeon and ABC cinemas in the town. It used to have a commisionaire in full uniform to control the crowds and often the cinema would show the house full sign. It was equipped with CinemaScope (possibly the first in Aldershot). The last film shown was Disney’s “The Jungle Book” on 25th March 1967.
It was then sold to Star Cinemas who turned it over to bingo. The Alexandra Cinema was demolished in 1986. Neo-Georgian style offices named Communications House now stands on the site.
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