Empress Cinema

Manchester Road and Denby Lane,
Heaton Chapel,
Stockport, SK4 2RB

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Additional Info

Architects: J. Brian Cutts

Styles: Art Deco

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Empress Cinema

Located in the Heaton Chapel district to the north of Stockport. The Empress Cinema was opened on 6th May 1938 with Leslie Howard in “The Scarlet Pimpernel”. It was designed by architect J. Brian Cutts, who was also a director of the owning company. Seating was provided for 700 in the stalls and 663 in the balcony. It was equipped with a Western Electric(WE) sound system. There was a ballroom which could accommodate 500 and a car park which could accommodate 1,000-cars.

The Empress Cinema was independently operated for most of its life, but was taken over by the G.B. Snape Cinema Circuit in 1956. It was closed on 18th April 1959 with Jerry Lewis in “Rock-A-Bye-Baby”. The ballroom remained open.

On 9th December 1959 part of the former cinema was opened as the Empress Cabaret Club. In 1961 another part of the building was opened as the Flamingo Coffee Jive Club and the Empress Bingo Club. The Empress Club closed in May 1967 due to a fire and it re-opened in December 1968 as the Poco a Poco Club & Casino. It attracted performers such as Frankie Howerd, Bill Haley & his Comets, Ray Charles, Karl Denver and David Bowie. In 1983 it was known as Chesters which closed in May 1987 following another fire.

The building was demolished in June 1987 and a pub The Hinds Head was built on the site.

Contributed by Ken Roe
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