St. Swithins Square,
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Previous Names: New Central Hall
The New Central Hall was opened on 20th October 1902, replacing an older Central Hall. It screened its first film in 1904 during the run of a pantomime “A Christmas Dream”. Seating was provided for 1,000 in stalls and circle levels.
Gradually over the years, the building went from presenting live theatre to full time cinema use. Originally the projection box was at the rear of the stalls under the circle, but it was later moved to the rear circle. The Central Cinema was the first in the city to present a sound on disc film “The Donovan Affair” on 12th August 1929. The first sound on film was presented on 23rd September 1929.
A Christie 2Manual/6Ranks organ was installed in 1944, but during installation, the building was set on fire (arson) on 6th March 1944, and was destroyed. The ruins stood until they were demolished in 1960. A office block named Thorngate House was built on the site (now converted into a block of flats).
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