Comments from Ambak

Showing 1 - 25 of 76 comments

Ambak
Ambak commented about Rio Cinema Inner Foyer on Jul 16, 2021 at 6:18 am

This is most certainly not the Rio/Odeon, which had an auditorium sideways on to the f.o.h. and a single staircase leading up to the circle at the right hand end of the entrance foyer. I was Assistant Manager there for five years, so am rather well acquainted with the layout of the place! This is, perhaps, the Heathway, Dagenham.

Ambak
Ambak commented about Heathway Cinema Dagenham on Jul 16, 2021 at 6:07 am

I believe that this is actually the Rio/Odeon Barking. The side wall decoration differs from that at the Heathway and you can see the long central laylight that remained in use at Barking until closure.

Ambak
Ambak commented about Gaumont Cardiff on Jun 15, 2021 at 8:29 am

Friday February 26th 1960. The fateful tour that ended at Bristol Hippodrome on April 16th. Cochran was killed when the taxi taking him and Vincent to London Airport crashed in Chippenham, Vincent survived with a broken collar bone and serious leg injuries.

Ambak
Ambak commented about La Scala Cinema on May 23, 2021 at 7:21 am

The “7th Great Week” of 3 Coins in the Fountain at La Scala was from Monday October 4th to Saturday October 9th 1954 (no Sunday opening in Glasgow then). This was also the last week of the run and the longest until The King and I (9 weeks) almost exactly two years later. Pity the poor chap who had to clamber up over Barratts shoe shop to change the week number!

Ambak
Ambak commented about ABC Southport on May 20, 2021 at 5:23 am

Essoldo took over the Palace in August 1960, but didn’t rename it until 1971 (when they still put Palace in brackets after Essoldo). When Classic took over they referred to it as the Classic Palace until it began operating as a twin, which was Thursday May 9th 1974 with A Touch of Class in Classic 1 and The Big Boss in Classic 2. It does indeed seem that the conversion was carried out without closing, with advertising in the preceding weeks apologising for any inconvenience during structural alterations!

Ambak
Ambak commented about Warner West End 2 on Apr 21, 2021 at 2:59 am

Actually the 132 seat Warner West End 3, later renumbered Warner West End 1.

Ambak
Ambak commented about Warner West End 2 on Apr 21, 2021 at 2:57 am

This is actually the new Warner West End 3 (132 seats) created in 1974 from the former circle bar area. At this time the former Warner West End was renamed Warner West End 2 and the former Warner Rendezvous was renamed Warner West End 1 (later to be subdivided and become WWE 3 and 4, while the 132 seater became WWE 1).

Ambak
Ambak commented about Warner Rendezvous on Apr 21, 2021 at 2:45 am

Not the Warner Rendezvous, this is the upstairs 890 seat Warner West End, later the Warner West End 2, which remained like this until closure.

Ambak
Ambak commented about Warner Rendezvous on Apr 21, 2021 at 2:43 am

Not the Warner Rendezvous, this is the upstairs 890 seat Warner West End, later the Warner West End 2, which remained like this until closure.

Ambak
Ambak commented about Vue West End on Apr 20, 2021 at 3:11 am

The subdivision of the Warner in the seventies is the subject of some confusion, due to certain published works getting it wrong. When the new cinema was built in the former bar area it was decided that the auditoria would have numbers rather than the names in use since twinning in 1970. The upstairs Warner West End became the Warner West End 2, the smaller downstairs Warner Rendezvous became the Warner West End 1 and the new small cinema became the Warner west End 3. While it might have seemed logical that the largest auditorium would be the number 1 screen, this was not the case, as perusal of advertising shows, all the big new films went into Warner West End 2, which retained this number until closure (note that the whole complex was now referred to as “Warner West End”). The Warner West End 1 was closed on August 14th 1975 and in the space of two weeks (!), a subdividing wall was installed to divide the auditorium into front and back sections. The back section reopened (still as Warner 1) on September 4th 1975 using the original projection box with a new screen in front of the dividing wall. Work on the new fourth auditorium then went on until this opened on November 6th 1975, at which point it became Warner West End 3, with the previous cinema in the old bar area renamed Warner West End 1 and the former number 1 becoming Warner West End 4. These were subsequently joined by the number 5 screen which was in a basement area with mirror projection. Why the Warner decided not to number the auditoria in size order is a mystery, but they didn’t and the order was 2, 4, 3, 5, 1.

Ambak
Ambak commented about Odeon Market Place on Jul 16, 2020 at 9:06 am

Recent perusal articles in the Leicester Illustrated Chronicle on The British Newspaper Archive throws more light on the City/Gaumont’s conversion. It was the original cinema that was ‘back to front’ with entry at the screen end. The new Odeon was reversed with entry at the back in the conventional manner. The cinema was originally scheduled to open on September 21st with Cleopatra in 70mm, but this was postponed and, as stated , the cinema opened on October 12th with a normal continuous performance non bookable run of Goldfinger (in standard wide screen and mono sound). This ran for eight weeks and after a couple of weeks of the two previous Bond films, The Odeon, Market Place finally began its roadshow career on December 20th with Cleopatra in 70mm.

Ambak
Ambak commented about Odeon West End on Sep 9, 2019 at 4:11 am

This is not the “Odeon West End” or, indeed, the Leicester Square Theatre. It is the Empire Leicester Square (Summer Holiday was an MGM film).

Ambak
Ambak commented about Odeon Cinema on Aug 10, 2019 at 9:32 am

Port Afrique was the Gaumont circuit release Week commencing June 17th 1956. I believe that the Odeon East Sheen played the Odeon release Monday to Wednesday and the Gaumont release Thursday to Saturday (with a separate programme on Sundays). The car nearest the camera appears to be a fairly rare Jowett Jupiter (around 900 built 1950-1954).

Ambak
Ambak commented about Cineworld Cinema - Hammersmith on May 28, 2019 at 10:00 am

The Regal Hammersmith is a rare (possibly unique) example of a purpose built ABC which, for decades, did not play the ABC release. In the absence of an Odeon cinema in Hammersmith, the Regal played the Odeon release while the ABC release played the Commodore and the Broadway (and the Gaumont release obviously played the Gaumont). When Rank reorganised its circuits in January 1959 the new Rank release went to the Gaumont, leaving the Regal with the National release or off circuit releases. It was not until the Commodore closed in 1963 that the Regal finally played the ABC release.

Ambak
Ambak commented about Odeon Glasgow on Mar 20, 2019 at 8:19 am

The Odeon Glasgow closed on Saturday September 13th 1969 for reconstruction into three cinemas. Originally intended to take six months, the work lasted over a year and the new Odeon Film Centre reopened on Friday October 2nd 1970 (Gala Opening) and to the public the following day.

Ambak
Ambak commented about ABC Coleshill Street on Feb 18, 2019 at 6:56 am

Now that the British Newspaper Archive has belatedly got around to putting the Birmingham Post from 1965 online, it can be seen that My Fair Lady opened at the ABC Coleshill St. for it’s 70mm roadshow run on April 18th 1965 and ran for five weeks before transferring to ABC Bristol Road on May 23rd (it ran there for a further 21 weeks). It would seem that this was the old Gaiety’s last 70mm presentation.

Ambak
Ambak commented about Odeon London Leicester Square on Feb 16, 2019 at 6:42 am

“Home of premieres”! Except it won’t be because it doesn’t have the seating capacity anymore.

Ambak
Ambak commented about Regal (ABC) on Nov 3, 2018 at 11:22 am

Saturday Night and Sunday Morning played the Regal from Feb 27th to March 11th 1961, an unusual (for the time) two week run. “Linda” was the title of the supporting film.

Ambak
Ambak commented about Cannon Aberdeen on Nov 3, 2018 at 11:14 am

Taken during the week of July 22nd to July 27th 1963. The Scarlet Blade/Son of Captain Blood was the following week’s programme.

Ambak
Ambak commented about Capitol Cinema on Oct 17, 2018 at 6:18 am

After Rank and 20th Century Fox fell out over CinemaScope installations and length of runs the Capitol became the home of Fox CinemaScope films in Aberdeen from 1954 to 1958/9.

Ambak
Ambak commented about Odeon (Regent) on Oct 17, 2018 at 6:12 am

Actually installed May/June 1959. South Pacific opened June 8th 1959 for a 16 week run.

Ambak
Ambak commented about Odeon Aberdeen on Oct 17, 2018 at 6:10 am

The Odeon Aberdeen closed for two weeks from May 25th 1959 for the installation of Todd-AO 70mm screen and projection. On June 8th 1959 South Pacific opened for a 16 week run.

Ambak
Ambak commented about Odeon Newcastle upon Tyne on Jul 4, 2018 at 8:20 am

To clear up a misconception, the circle at the Odeon was never extended forward. When the tripling was done the roof of the minis protruded in front of the circle. When the fourth screen was added, a floor was built from the roof of the minis forward to the original proscenium and the screen raised to sit on this with a new false proscenium around it. The fourth screen was in the old front stalls area, which had retained seats after the original tripling. The original circle seating area remained as built through all these changes. How all this work raising the screen to it’s new position was done without Odeon 1 closing is puzzling, but my records indicate that it never closed.

Ambak
Ambak commented about Odeon Canning Town on Jun 28, 2018 at 9:49 am

Google Earth historic imagery from 1945 shows the Odeon Canning Town to be a complete ruin. I doubt that the condition of the raft came into it!

Ambak
Ambak commented about O2 ABC Glasgow on Jun 16, 2018 at 8:54 am

Remarkably, aerial photographs appear to show the 1967 ABC 2 has survived.