62-68 Eldon Street,
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Parkway Entertainment Company Ltd. (Official)
Operated by: Parkway Entertainment Company Ltd.
Firms: T.P. Bennett & Son
Functions: Movies (First Run)
Previous Names: Gaumont, Odeon
News About This Theater
The Gaumont was a rather bland replacement of the former Empire Palace of Varieties/Empire Super Cinema/Gaumont (which had been destroyed by fire on 2nd January1954). It was opened on 27th February 1956 with Julia Arnall & David Farrer in in “Lost”. It was designed by the architectural firm of T. P. Bennett & Son. What it lacked in ornamentation it made up for in comfort and spaciousness seating 706 in the stalls and 532 in the circle.
It was twinned in 1980 (having been renamed Odeon in 1962) and still shows first run movies on its two screens which seat 636 and 419.
However, long held plans for a multiplex could well have brought the cinema in Eldon Street to darkness. The Odeon closed on 17th September 2005 and it seemed that was the ‘last picture show’ in the building. Almost two years later it was taken over by an independent Parkway Entertainment Company Ltd. and re-opened as the Parkway Cinema on 8th August 2007.
In January 2023 a second 35mm projector was installed and the film “Empire of Light” starring Olivia Colman was screened using single spool reels, with changeovers every 20 minutes, which gave great pleasure to audiences.
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