Alexandra Picture Theatre

Heathcote Street,
Chesterton, ST5 7EB

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Alexandra Picture House

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Alexandra Picture Theatre

In Chesterton, a former mining village in Staffordshire, the Miners' Hall was built in 1858. By 1882 it had been acquired by the Salvation Army. When they departed, in the early-1920’s, the building was converted into the Alexandra Picture House.

It is not known when that opened, although the inference is that it replaced the village’s earlier cinema, the Victoria Cinema, which closed in the mid-1920’s (see separate Cinema Treasures entry).

The Alexandra Picture House was not listed in the Kinematograph Year Books until around 1932. By that time, it was owned by Shemilt Bros, of Burslem, an Edibell sound system was being used (later replaced by a Morrison Special system and, later still, by an RCA system), and the proscenium was said to be 45ft wide.

Presumably, with such a wide proscenium, the screen was already a reasonable size, which might explain why CinemaScope does not appear to have been installed.

It is not known when the Alexandra Picture Theatre (as it had been renamed) closed. Listings continued in the Kinematograph Year Books until they ceased publication in 1971, but the building is known to have been demolished in the early-1970’s.

A shop unit, with accommodation above, has been built on the site.

Contributed by David Simpson
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