Winston Cinema

Britannia Road,
Slaithwaite, HD7 5HG

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Additional Info

Previous Names: New Picture Theatre, New Theatre

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Winston Cinema

Slaithwaite is a small town within the Metropolitan Borough of Kirklees, in West Yorkshire, approximately 5 miles south-west of Huddersfield.

The town’s first cinema, the People’s Picture Theatre, or Picture Palace, was an 800-seat hall operated by Messrs. Hawthorn and King. Thought to have been a chapel conversion, it is believed to have opened prior to World War I, and was replaced by the owners around 1924 by this cinema, originally called the New Picture Theatre.

It is believed that this occupied different premises, but it is not clear whether the ‘new’ building was purpose-built, or an adaptation of another existing building.

The New Picture Theatre, later known as the just the New Theatre, had 558 seats split between stalls and balcony. Occasional variety acts performed on a small stage of 10ft deep. It was equipped with a British Talking Pictures,(BTP) sound system, which was later replaced by Western Electric(WE) sound system.

On 12th July 1943 the cinema was renamed the Winston Cinema, in tribute to Sir Winston Churchill. It was now owned by Ripon-based Winston (Slaithwaite) Ltd. The proscenium was 21ft wide and the screen 19ft wide. By some means, the seating capacity was increased to 600.

The Winston Cinema closed in 1958, the final show being silent footage of Slaithwaite Carnival in 1929. The precise date of closure is not known, but the cinema was offered for sale, as a going concern, in August 1958.

However, another exhibitor did not come forward, and the building was adapted for use as a garage by Messrs. William Brooke & Sons (Dyers) Ltd. It is assumed it has since been completely demolished, but this has not been confirmed.

Contributed by David Simpson
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