43 Regent Street,
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Previously operated by: London & Southern Super Cinemas Ltd., Odeon Theatres Ltd., Rank Organisation
Architects: Frederick Charles Mitchell
Styles: Art Deco
Previous Names: Ambassador Cinema
The Ambassador Cinema was built by the independent London and Southern Cinemas circuit. It was located in Kingswood, a suburb on the eastern edge of Bristol.
It was opened under the control of Odeon Theatres on 26th March 1938 with Edward G. Robinson in "Kid Galahad" and Gracie Fields in "The Show Goes On". Seating was provided for 1,314 in the stalls and 480 in the balcony. There was a café located above the foyer.
The cinema sustained roof damage in December 1940 when a German mine exploded behind the building. No one was seriously hurt, but a sales girl was blown out of the auditorium into the foyer! The cinema was closed for four months while repairs were carried out and it re-opened in early-April 1941.
Southern and London Cinemas had been taken over by Oscar Deutsch’s Odeon Theatres in July 1937 and they had operated the cinema from opening. The Ambassador was re-named Odeon on 6th November 1944. It was closed by the Rank Organisation on 11th March 1961, the last films were Elvis Presley in "GI Blues" and Nyree Dawn Porter in "Identity Unknown". The building was converted into a Top Rank Bowl and operated as a bowling alley until it was closed in March 1969.
The building had been sold to Safeway and was demolished to build a new Safeway supermarket, now an Iceland supermarket.
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A vintage photograph of the Odeon Kingswood in 1950:
A view of the theatre as the Ambassador can be seen here.