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City Hall (Official)
Previously operated by: Albany Ward Circuit, Gaumont-British-Picture Corp., Ltd., Rank Organisation
Architects: William Edward Trent, William Sydney Trent
Functions: Concerts, Conference Center, Live Performances
Styles: Art Deco
Previous Names: New Picture House, Picture House, Odeon
Built by Gaumont British Theatres and Albany Ward as a replacement for the original (almost adjacent) Picture House, the New Picture House opened on 27th September 1937 with Cedric Hardwick in "King Solomon’s Mines". Designed by Gaumont’s favoured architects E.A & W.S Trent, together with R.C.H. Golding.
The exterior was set back slightly from the pavement and had two small brick towers each side of the entrance. Seating in the 1,313 capacity auditorium was on a stadium plan, with no overhanging balcony, instead there was a raised stepped area at the rear.
By 1945 it had been re-named Picture House. It was re-named Odeon from 27th February 1950 and was closed by the Rank Organisation on 30th December 1961. The Odeon name was transfered to the Gaumont, which still operates in 2008.
The building was sold to the city of Salisbury and was converted into a live performance/concert venue. Now known as the City Hall, it had a major re-furbishment in 1985 and most of the original interior decoration was removed, apart from in the foyer area.
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Recent comments (view all 3 comments)
It has a very large foyer area with two entrances. Was shown round last year. Staff very friendly and helpful, which makes a change. Very often when I ask to look around an old theatre, I’m told no, everything is locked up for security reasons, so this made a welcome change.
Three photos taken in March 2009 here:–
Here is an exterior view of the theatre in 1945 when it was the Picture House.