160 Congleton Road,
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Previous Names: Grand Electric Picture Palace, Picture Palace, Grand Theatre
In Talke, a small Staffordshire town to the north of Newcastle-under-Lyme, the Grand Electric Picture Palace opened in April 1914 and is listed in the 1914 Kinematograpgh Year Book. (The cinema’s address has been consistently given as Butt Lane. However, the present day address is 160 Congleton Road (the main A34), at the junction with Cedar Avenue. Many of the local businesses carry the ‘Butt Lane’ name - the chemist’s shop next door to the former cinema is the Butt Lane Pharmacy - so that appears to refer to the area, rather than a road.)
In 1914 the cinema was owned by Statham, Turner & Co. This is assumed to be the same cinema that is listed as the less-grand sounding Picture House in the 1931 KYB, by then a partnership of four, with F. C. Pass as controlling partner. There was one show nightly.
By the 1940 KYB we have the Grand Theatre, again in Butt Lane and still with the same 500 seating capacity, so presumably the same building. The owner is given as a local chap, David Wilde, of 145 Congleton Road, Butt Lane. The proscenium was 21ft wide.
By the 1953 edition, with David Wilde still the owner, the cinema was now called the Regent Cinema.
It is not known when the Regent Cinema closed. By the time of my visit, in July 2001, the boarded up building was being advertised to let. Fortunately, it has survived, and has been spruced up and, more recently, become home to Mr Latif’s Balti Cuisine restaurant.
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