Odeon Cheetham Hill
Cheetham Hill Road and Queen's Road,
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Previously operated by: J.F. Emery Circuit, Odeon Theatres Ltd., Rank Organisation
Architects: H. Patterson, J. Patterson
Previous Names: King George Cinema, Riviera Cinema-de-Luxe, Riviera Cinema
The Riviera Cinema-de-Luxe stood on Cheetham Hill Road and Queen’s Road, north of Manchester city centre, near its junction with Elizabeth Street.
Originally due to be named King George Cinema, it opened on 14th May 1931 with Jean Arthur in “Paramount on Parade”, plus a gigantic variety show on its stage. The architects were J. & H. Patterson and Charles Swain & Partners. The interior decorative artist was A. Sherwood Edwards. It was operated by the J.F. Emery Circuit, but only for one year. By 1935 it had been re-named Riviera Cinema. KYB 1937 has the proprietor as Anglo Scottish Theatres Ltd. of 2 Cavendish Square (London) W1. Capacity is given as 2,117 with 1,625 in the stalls and 492 in the circle. It was equipped with a Western Electric(WE) sound system. The stage was 18ft deep with 4 dressing rooms. Bookings were made at the Pyramid Theatre in Sale, south of Manchester.
In June 1938 it was acquired by the Odeon chain; and given that name on 2nd October 1944. By closure on 4th March 1961 capacity was 1,974. Its final films were Kenneth Moore in “Man on the Moon” and “Marriage of Convenience”.
It was gutted internally and converted into a 10-pin bowling alley which opened on 21st August 1961 as the Top Rank Bowl (Top Rank being a brand name of the Rank Organization (the man with the gong) which then owned the Odeon chain). It was sold on 9th July 1971 to Rayburn Trading who operated within the building. They closed. The site is now a B&Q hardware store, part of the Manchester Fort Shopping Park.
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