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Firms: Drury & Gomersall
Located in Urmston, Lancashire, to the west of Manchester. Originally built as a roller skating rink, the Empress Cinema originally opened in around 1929. Seating was provided for 900 and the decor consisted of flats and cut-outs erected on each side of the screen which depicted Italian scenes, taking away the plainess of the auditorium. There was no plaster ceiling, just the roof trusses showing.
In 1934 it was re-designed into an Art Deco style cinema by architects Drury & Gomersall. A balcony was added and the seating capacity was now 1,228. A new proscenium was also added which was 35 feet wide. It re-opened as the Empress Cinema on 5th August 1935 with Will Hay in “Radio Parade of 1935”. On 29th June 1936 it was taken over by the Union Cinemas circuit, who in turn were taken over by Associated British Cinema(ABC) in October 1937.
The cinema had a large dome over the foyer which is why I suggest Moorish in it design.
Finally it closed on 11th October 1958 and was demolished in 1962 for a shopping center.
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