Robins Cinema

6 Park Way,
Newbury, RG14 1EE

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Associated British Cinemas Ltd., Cannon Cinemas, MGM Theatres, Robins Cinemas

Architects: Harold Seymour Scott

Functions: Gymnasium

Styles: Art Deco

Previous Names: Forum Cinema, ABC, Cannon, MGM

Nearby Theaters

Robins Cinema

Located in Newbury, Berkshire. The Forum Cinema was opened in November 1939 with George Formby in “Trouble Brewing” and “Killers of the Sea”. The Forum Cinema had a café in the circle lounge. It was taken over by Associated British Cinemas(ABC) on 30th August 1943, and operated by their Mayfair Circuit.

It was re-named ABC in 1964. The ABC was closed on 29th July 1972 to be twinned, re-opening on 26th October 1972 with a 484-seat cinema in the former circle and an Alpha Bingo Club operating in the former stalls area. The cinema was taken over by the Cannon Group in 1986 and it was re-named Cannon. The bingo club was closed in 1988. The Cannon Group was taken over by MGM in 1993, but this was a short lived venture as it was taken over by the Robins Cinemas chain. The Robins Cinema was closed on 20th April 1995. It reopened on 14th July 1995 and closed in November 1998, The building was converted in a gymnasium/fitness club which was closed on 30th June 2014. In April 2015 it re-opened as a BST gymnasium.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

westfieldjeff on August 15, 2014 at 3:57 am

Can someone please confirm the name of the architect for this cinema.

Mike_Blakemore on August 15, 2014 at 10:29 am

It would be very interesting to find out. To me it stylisticly looks like a David Evelyn Nye. design.. Who did Our Regal Cinema Marlow

Dennis on August 31, 2014 at 8:46 pm

The details here are slightly incorrect. The cinema was a Robins cinema in 96, I seem to recall it was also a Robins in 94 as I saw Frankenstein there in 94, well the first half, I nodded off halfway through (I had been working for 14 hours prior to seeing the film!). I’d swear it was a Robins then. I worked there in 96, possibly late 95 but not 100% sure. It was still a Robins in 98. The building was quite tired and required a lot of maintenance – the roof leaked badly, and the lack of working heating meant hiring a large industrial heater that filled the building with diesel fumes during the winter. Despite the wages being only £2.50 ph, I worked there for the love of the job and not to be paid. I enjoyed every day of it. I’m pretty sure it was still a Robins until the minimum wage laws came in.

Techwreckie on June 12, 2016 at 7:51 am

This has now opened as a gym again, under the BST Fitness brand. There’s not much left of the cinema inside, but you can see the proscenium arch at the front of the upstairs gym area.

popcorn_pete on November 21, 2018 at 11:45 pm

You are almost right m1dig. The cinema reopened again on 14 July 1995 with “Batman Forever” and eventually closed in November 1998. Not sure if Robins rebranded the cinema as pictures of it boarded up in 1999 show it as Newbury Forum!! Plans for a multiplex were on the table but dropped when there were no takers. The current BST gym opened in April 2015.

Dennis on August 3, 2023 at 1:27 pm

popcorn_pete why am I almost right? I worked there and I still have the Uniform (The uniform was black jeans and they supplied a Robins branded Fruit of the Loom jumper). The sign was replaced when a wagon was reversing into drop off the weeks supplies and the top of the wagon clipped the sign smashing the corner right off.

There are a few pictures about that have incorrect information tied to them. Don’t rely on the now showing banners, the cost of renting a film for a week was usually £60-110 for the size of cinema at the time. This meant showing old films again more profitable than some of the blockbusters owing to everyone flocking to Basingstoke Warner cinema or the Reading Showcase (if the carpark wasn’t flooded that day). The owners of Robins did a runner owing a lot of cash to staff, suppliers, and film distributors and brokers.

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