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Previously operated by: Cannon Cinemas, Granada Theatres Ltd., Virgin Cinemas
Architects: George Coles
Styles: Tudor Revival
Previous Names: Empire Cinema, Cannon, Virgin
The Empire Cinema was opened on 25th November 1922. It has a Tudor half-timber facade. Seating was provided for 764 in the stalls and 230 in the circle. It was part of the Bernstein Theatres chain, and it was the first cinema in Shropshire to be equipped with sound in September 1929 when a Western Electric(WE) sound system was fitted. In 1931 became part of the Granada Theatres chain.
It was refurbished in May 1973 to the plans of noted cinema architect George Coles. In January 1989, it was taken over by the Cannon Group, and re-named Cannon. In July 1995, it was taken over by the Virgin Cinemas chain and re-named Virgin. Finally from 3rd May 1996, it was taken over by ABC and re-named ABC from 21st June 1996. The ABC was closed on 22nd January 1998. It was converted into a Pizza Express restaurant.
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A picture exterior of the former theatre building as a Pizza Express is here.