Shaftesbury Cinema

140 Kingston Road,
Portsmouth, PO2 7PD

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Classic Cinemas (UK)

Functions: Housing

Styles: Neo-Classical

Previous Names: Shaftesbury Hall

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Shaftesbury Cinema

The Shaftesbury Hall was opened in 1890. By 1910 it was operating as a cinema. In 1921 it was equipped with an organ, manufactured by James Ivimey which had the organ pipes exposed on each side of the proscenium. The organ console was on the left side of the proscenium. Around 1930 it was equipped with a Western Electric(WE) sound system, and was re-named Shaftesbury Cinema. It suffered some damage by German bombs on 10th January 1941. Repairs were carried out and it soon re-opened. After the end of World War II the organ was sold for scrap.

The Shaftesbury Cinema was closed in 1959, and was the first cinema in the city to be converted into a bingo club in 1960.

By 1966 it was operated by the Classic Cinemas chain of London as one of their Vogue Bingo Clubs. In 1969, the former circle was converted into a 220-seat cinema. In April 1974 it was taken over by Mecca Bingo, and they closed the cinema in April 1975, converting the entire building back into a Mecca Bingo Club. For many years it has been operated by the local Crown Bingo Clubs chain.

By 2018 the bingo club had closed and proposals were made to demolish the auditorium and build flats on the site. The front of the building and foyer would be retained and converted into a shop in the former foyer and a flat above. In June 2019 the building was ‘For Sale’ with residential development approved. The auditorium was demolished in spring of 2023.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 1 comments)

Ian on June 24, 2023 at 2:09 am

It would appear in 2023 that the majority of the auditorium has been demolished and the residential / retail plans for the remainder are well advanced.

former Shaftesbury Cinema facade

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