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Previously operated by: Associated British Cinemas Ltd.
Architects: Frederick Evans, Edwin Sheridan Gray, T.E. Smith
Firms: Gray & Evans, T. Smith & Son
Previous Names: Capitol Super Cinema, Capitol Cinema
The Capitol Super Cinema was opened on 13th February 1929 with Dolores del Rio in "Ramona". Designed by the Liverpool based architectural firm of Gray & Evans for an independent operator. In 1934 alterations were made to the plans of architectural firm T. Smith & Son. It was taken over by the Associated British Cinemas(ABC) chain on 26th July 1935 becoming the Capitol Cinema.
Structural alterations were carried out in July 1956, and in August 1962, it was re-named ABC. The Gala Charity Premiere of “The Family Way” was held at the ABC on 22nd December 1966 with the stars of the film Hayley Mills and Hywel Bennett and others who appeared in the film; Avril Angers, Marjorie Rhodes and Liz Fraser all appeared ‘in person’ together with its director Roy Boulting. The film was filmed on location locally. The ABC was closed on 1st October 1977 with Barbra Streisand in "A Star Is Born".
It was converted into a bingo club, which was not a great success, and soon closed. The building was sold to a local sports consortium and converted into squash courts in the former stalls seating area, with the balcony area disused. The squash courts remained open for nine years, then the building was demolished in January 1988, and an office building named Stone Cross House was built on the site.
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Recent comments (view all 5 comments)
A vintage photograph of the ABC in 1967:
There is silent film footage of the opening day, Wednesday 13 February 1929, at the Huntley Archive on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSjITqG0rd
(I wish I knew how to do links on here.)
I was the chief projectionist at the closure of this cinema. Just to correct you, the site was built on and named Stonecross house, Capiol house is lower down Churchgate.
4 images uploaded.
Colour auditorium photo uploaded courtesy of Kevin Gooding.