Cannon Cecil Cinemas
Anlaby Road and Ferensway,
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Previously operated by: Cannon Cinemas
Firms: Gelder & Kitchca
Previous Names: Cecil Theatre, Take Two Cinemas
The Cecil Theatre is the second cinema of this name in Hull. The original opened in 1911 on a site on the opposite side of the road to the present Cecil Theatre and was called the Theatre De Luxe, being remained Cecil Cinema in 1925. That cinema was destroyed during a night of air raids on the 8th May 1941 but the remains were not cleared until 1953. (It has its own page on Cinema Treasures).
Work on the new Cecil Theatre was begun in April 1955 and it was opened on 28th November 1955 with 1,374 seats in the stalls and 678 in the balcony.
At the time of opening it had the largest CinemaScope screen in the country measuring 57 feet wide, and the first film shown was Marilyn Monroe “The Seven Year Itch”. The proscenium was 60 feet wide, and the cinema was equipped with a Marshall Sykes 3Manual/15Ranks organ, which was opened by organist Vivian Newall.
There was also a 100-seat restaurant & bar which in 1971 was converted into a second screen seating 137 (Cecil 2). The following year the main auditorium was spilt into 2 smaller cinemas in the balcony (Cecil 1 & 3 each seating 307) and an entertainment hall in the former stalls which became a Mecca Bingo Club, with Mecca also operating the cinemas.
In the 1980’s it was taken over by the Cannon Cinemas chain. The cinema operation was closed on 23rd March 1992 and the cinemas were ‘For Sale and/or Lease. It was taken over by Take Two Cinemas and renamed Take Two Cinema. It was closed on 27th February 1997 and the two screens in the former circle were stripped out and converted into a snooker club.
The Mecca Bingo Club continued in the former stalls area of this post war cinema, while the former mini cinemas in the circle still contain the snooker tables, but the space is unused. The screen in the former restaurant/café area remains basically intact, but is unused.
The Mecca Bingo Club was closed on 26th February 2023, leaving the entire building vacant.
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