7 High Street,
3 people favorited this theater
Previously operated by: Associated British Cinemas Ltd.
Architects: E.H. Walker
Functions: Beauty Salon
The Picture House opened on 28th September 1914 with “England’s Menace”. It was described as ‘sumptuous inside’ and it soon became the premier cinema of the town. It was designed by architect E.H. Walker who gave it a Tudor Revival style exterior and an Egyptian style interior. Seating was provided for 1,222. There was also a café.
It was taken over by Associated British Cinemas(ABC) from June 1929 and it became the first cinema in Doncaster to show ‘talkies’ when Al Jolson starred in “The Singing Fool” from 5th August 1929.
ABC continued to operate it until it closed on 28th October 1967. A new development had been built in Cleveland Street which contained a new 1,277 seat cinema that opened as the ABC, replacing the Picture House. The Picture House was converted into a bingo club from 12th December 1967. The auditorium was demolished around 2005. In 2016 the foyer is in use as a hairdresser & beauty salon.
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Recent comments (view all 9 comments)
The Picture House was equipped with a second-hand Walker church organ which was thought to be of 1899 vintage. The console was fitted to the right of the stage and several pipes were unenclosed, as they would be in a church. A one time noted organist Bobby Pagan was the resident organist.
Thanks for the above photo Lost Memory, Nice try…. but NO, it is of the Picture House, 210 Great North Road, Woodlands (near Doncaster), not the Picture House in Doncaster city centre.
The Picture House had Egyptian style ornamentations in the auditorium, especially around the prosecenium arch. When cinemascope was installed here, these were covered up by the panoramic screen with its festoon tabs and border.I remember seeing Ursula Andress in ‘She’ at the Picture House and later Peter Cushing in the first Doctor Who film ‘Doctor Who And The Daleks’
I feel certain that the picture house closed as a cinema in may 1967 just prior to the opening of the ABC on cleveland street, with all staff & the Manager,Len Key, moving to the new cinema. Chances are that ABC finally sold the picture house in october that year.
On December 15th 2015 a new BFI Cinema 100 Commemorative Plaque was fixed on the surviving 1914 Façade recording Ron Curry MBE Film Projectionist and the Picture House the first cinema in Doncaster presenting ‘Talking Pictures’ August 5th 1929.
Auditorium photo uploaded to the relevant section.
Link to photo of auditorium showing new larger screen and festoon forward of the original proscenium :–
Image added to the photos section.