1 Oxford Street,
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Previous Names: Oxford Picture Theatre, Oxford Picture House
Located in Workington, Cumbria at the corner of Oxford Street & Gray Street. The Oxford Picture Theatre was built in 1920 and opened around 1921 with 1,100 seats. Initially, it was not successful. In May 1923, it was taken over by the Graves Cinemas Ltd., and they operated it successfully until it was closed.
The Oxford Picture House was equipped with a Western Electric(WE) sound system in 1929. When the Ritz Cinema opened in 1938, the Oxford Picture House became a second-run cinema. CinemaScope was installed in 1956, and the Oxford Picture House was closed in the early-1970’s.
The building was converted into a discotheque named Rendezvous, and a theme pub named The Bull & Bush. The front of the building was covered in sheet metal cladding. At some period of time, the Rendezvous discotheque suffered damage from a fire, and as the Ritz Cinema had closed in 1988, the Graves family decided to re-open the disco area of the building as twin-screen cinema, with seating for 265 & 165, named Rendezvous Cinema. The Rendezvous Cinema was closed on 24th May 2001.
It was taken over by the J.D. Wetherspoon chain of pubs and re-opened on 10th December 2001 as ‘The Henry Bessemer’, named after Henry Bessemer, who invented a steel making process used in the town.
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