Rio Cinema

Price Street and Duke Street,
Birkenhead, CH41

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Essoldo Circuit (Contol) Ltd., S.M. Super Cinemas, Ltd.

Architects: Arthur Ernest Shennan

Firms: Nagington & Shennan

Previous Names: Palladium Picture House

Nearby Theaters

Located in the north-end of the town centre. The Palladium Picture House was opened on 29th November 1913. It was designed by architectural firm Nagington & Shennan of Liverpool. Seating was provided for 800.

It was equipped with a British Thomson-Houston(BTH) sound system and the first talkie to be screen was Colleen Moore in “Smiling Eyes” on 16th June 1930. By then it was operated by Cheshire Picture Halls Ltd. The Palladium Picture House suffered damage by German bombing in 1941 when one side wall was blown out and the girders in the roof were loosened.

It was closed until repairs were carried out in 1944, and it re-opened on 3rd July 1944 as the Rio Cinema with Alice Faye in “The Girls He Left Behind”. Seating was now provided for 600 is the stalls and 74 in the small circle. It was now operated by Southen Morris and his chain S.M. Super Cinemas Ltd. They were taken over by the Newcastle based Essoldo group on 26th August 1954.

The Rio Cinema was closed on 13th April 1957. In the early-1960’s it became a bingo club and was eventually closed. The building was demolished in 1987.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

Philip Picturedrome
Philip Picturedrome on December 11, 2018 at 10:55 am

1982 photo:

rivest266 on June 21, 2021 at 10:49 am

Tiny grand opening ad posted.

Biffaskin on July 24, 2023 at 3:16 am

Bingo operations will have commenced after 1960, when the gambling laws were eased in the UK. Last operated as Roxy Bingo.

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