122 Abbey Street,
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Previously operated by: Levy Circuit, Orr Circuit
Firms: H. Mayo & Son
Functions: Arcade, Office Space
Previous Names: Grand Theatre, Scala Theatre
The Grand Theatre was opened on 1st February 1915, with a stage production of "Babes in the Wood". Seating capacity at opening was for 1,000 and the proscenium was 28 feet wide. Later in 1915, it was screening films as part of the variety programme. By September 1915, it was in cine-variety use, and had been re-named Scala Theatre. This name is still located in the stonework on the handsome Neo-Classical style façade. By 1927 it was operated by the Birmingham based Levy Circuit, headed by Sol Levy.
The Scala Cinema was damaged by German bombs and was closed for repairs for four weeks in August/September 1943. It was always independently operated. It became a bingo club in 1964, although films were still shown on certain evening during the week. The final films at the Scala Cinema were on 27th August 1977 with the double bill; Lilly Lamarr in "The Sexorcist" and Al Cliver in "Waves of Lust"(Una Ondata di Piacere).
The building was sold, and there were proposals to convert to a supermarket, but it was sold again to an Amusement firm and converted into a casino and slot machine arcade. The casino in the former auditorium has since closed and the upper section has been converted into offices. The slot machine arcade remains open on the ground floor in 2010.
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The Scala Theatre photographed in December 2009:
The original architect is listed as being a local company H Mayo & Son.
The upper levels seem to have been converted into offices known as Scala House suggesting that the auditorium was gutted after closure. Windows have been inserted in the side walls. There is no trace of the original left in the amusement arcade.
Exterior photos (November 2010):–
Please Note* A Book “The Auditorium” is available and covers the cinemas of Nuneaton and also the other cinemas of North Warwickshire including Atherstone, Chapel End, Arley Bedworth Coleshill, Attleborough and Stockingford.
A photo from June 2018 here:–
SCALA THEATRE FACADE