Scala Cinema

Upper Sans Street,
Sunderland, SR1 3DY

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Star Music Hall, Pavilion Cinema

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Scala Cinema

The Assembly Rooms, in Upper Sans Street, Sunderland, opened in 1857. On 26th December 1882 the building became the Star Music Hall, with “Signor Durland” (actually George Thomas Rudland) as proprietor.

The Star Music Hall could accommodate 1,000 patrons: 500 in the pit and pit stalls, 400 in the galleries and about 100 in the boxes.

The Star Music Hall was badly damaged by fire on Saturday 16th August 1883, caused by a huge gasoline burner that hung from the roof. Although Signor Durland was insured, he never recovered financially and he vacated the hall in 1892. It became home to Salvation Army barracks until 1906.

When the Salvation Army moved out, Messrs. Lough and Richardson re-opened the building as the Pavilion Cinema. This was on 11th February 1907, the opening show including “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”, “Village Fire Brigade” and “Dead Men Tell No Tales”. The Pavilion Cinema had 750 seats.

At some stage it was renamed the Scala Cinema, under which name it closed in 1924. The building lay disused until 1930, when it was purchased by Charles Jolly for use as a motor garage.

The building has since been demolished.

Contributed by David Simpson
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