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Previously operated by: Hutchinson Cinemas
Previous Names: Empire Picture House
Situated in Crewe, Cheshire, the Empire Picture House opened on Monday 4th May 1914. The proprietor was C. W. House, the proscenium was 29ft wide and there were 950 tip-up seats. It was situated opposite the Lyceum Theatre (see separate Cinema Treasures entry).
The Empire Picture House passed to C. D. Cinemas [Joseph Cohen and Mortimer Dent] in 1927 and then to ABC [Associated British Cinemas] around January 1929. An RCA sound system was installed in 1930, but superseded by a BTH [British Thomson Houston] system by 1940.
The Empire Cinema was acquired by Arthur Hand around September 1941. CinemaScope was installed in late-1954: the first ‘Scope’ film being “The High and the Mighty”, starring John Wayne and Claire Trevor, showing from 17th January 1955.
The Empire Cinema closed, it is thought, on 25th September 1961, with “Butterfield 8”, starring Elizabeth Taylor.
Bingo took over. Around 1966 it became a Surewin Bingo Club operated by the Hutchinson Leisure Group. It was closed on 10th September 1983. It was quickly demolished as part of area redevelopment; part of the site is now a car park.
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