22 Washway Road,
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Firms: Drury & Gomersall
Previous Names: Pyramid Theatre, Tatton Cinema
Located in Sale, Cheshire, now part of Greater Manchester. Designed by the famous British cinema architectural firm, Drury & Gomersall, the Pyramid Theatre is a classic example of an Egyptian-style cinema in Britain and had a 1,940 seating capacity.
The frontage although not particularly Egyptian in overall design does have various Egyptian style mouldings and fluted pillars. Internally, the Egyptian theme was again largely mouldings and finishes like Graumans Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. The theme was included in the specially designed Christie Organ, which is currently installed in the Blue Coat School in Oldham.
The Pyramid Theatre changed hands a couple of times between its opening on 24th February 1934 and 21st December 1942 when it was taken over by Oscar Deutsch’s Odeon Theatres Ltd. chain. It was re-named Odeon on 18th June 1945. During the 1970’s a TV programme named “Screen Test”, hosted by Michael Rodd, was broadcast from the Odeon, Sale.
In 1981, the Rank Organisation closed 29 of its Odeon cinemas and the lease for the Odeon Sale was bought by the Tatton Cinemas (Gatley) Ltd. group and it was re-named Tatton Cinema. There were plans to convert into a triple-screen cinema, but these came to nothing. Stage shows returned to the theatre, however the running costs caused the lease to revert back to the Rank Organisation in 1984 and the building was closed.
The cinema was purchased by Trafford Borough council for £200,000, but by 1987 the costs to the council were estimated at £1.5 million. A campaign was started to save it from demolition.
In 1988, it was advertised for sale by tender and by 1990 the cinema was converted into an American themed nightclub, known as JFK’s (quite how the Egyptian theme lent itself to this is anyone’s guess!).
The nightclub closed around 2001 and the auditorium was transformed into a franchised L.A. Fitness Centre, using a former front stalls exit as its entrance. The main entrance and foyers are currently unused. In 2013 it became a Sports Direct Fitness Club.
The Pyramid Theatre was designated a Grade II Listed building in November 1987.
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