Winter Gardens Cinema
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Previous Names: Alexandra Music Hall, Folly Theatre of Varieties, Tivoli Theatre of Varieties
In Manchester city centre, on a site adjacent to the Free Trade Hall, stood a Methodist Chapel. On 18th November 1865 this was converted into the Alexandra Music Hall. On 3rd November 1879 Edward Garcia acquired it and re-named it the Folly Theatre of Varieties. One of the ‘variety’ offerings was the Adolphe Langfriers Cinematographe.
On 6th December 1897 following alterations to the exterior, it was re-named the Tivoli Theatre of Varieties. It operated under that name until October 1921, when live shows ended.
On 8th December 1921, after further refurbishment, the former theatre re-opened as the Winter Gardens Cinema. The proprietors were the Winter Gardens Picture Theatre Ltd., the managing director being Jonah Lever.
The cinema opened with “The Tiger’s Cub”, starring serial queen Pearl White, and Jackie Coogan in “Peck’s Bad Boy”. Patrons were further entertained by the Winter Gardens Orchestra.
The Winter Gardens Cinema continued until New Year’s Day 1927, when it was severely damaged by fire. Most of the seating was destroyed and the lead roof and part of the walls fell away. With repairs estimated at £25,000, it was decided it would not be re-built. However, it was not until February 1936 before the remains were finally cleared away.
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