Classic Stanley

Front Street,
Stanley, DH9

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Classic Cinemas (UK), Essoldo Circuit (Contol) Ltd.

Architects: T.H. Murray

Styles: Art Deco

Previous Names: Victoria Theatre, New Victoria Theatre, Essoldo

Nearby Theaters

Classic Stanley

Located in Stanley, County Durham, 5 miles west of Chester Le Street. The Victoria Theatre was opened in 1893 and had screened some films by 1897 and also that year additions were made to the theatre to the plans of architect W.J. Shell. Seating was provided for 1,200. It was granted a Cinematograph Licence on 21st January 1912. A new roof was added in 1904 to the plans of architect T.E. Crossling.

In 1933 plans for a rebuilding were approved and the old theatre was demolished and a New Victoria Theatre was built to the plans of architect T.H. Murray. It opened as a cinema on 14th March 1935. It was designed in an Art Deco Style and had 860-seats. It was equipped with a Western Electric(WE) sound system.

On May 1948 it was taken over the the Newcastle based Essoldo chain and was re-named Essoldo. In April 1972 the Essoldo chain were taken over by the Classic Cinemas chain and it was renamed Classic. It was closed on 4th February 1974.

It was demolished in 1999 and flats have been built on the site.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 1 comments)

terry on January 28, 2021 at 12:36 pm

The Classic was open throughout 1974 and most if not all of 1975.

Classic initially regarded some of the former Essoldos they acquired to be so bad that they named them simply ‘The Cinema’. Stanley fell into this category as did nearby Houghton Le Spring although after a short while they were ‘awarded’ the ‘Classic’ name.

Perhaps they had acquired a job lot of army war surplus paint with which to ‘tart up’ the fronts of house.

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