Cosmo Cinema

87 Upper Boundary Road,
Derby, DE22 3NU

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Additional Info

Functions: Supermarket

Previous Names: Cosmopolitan Cinema, Meena Cinema

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Cosmo Cinema

Built in 1910 as the Cosmopolitan Public Hall, it was used for public meetings, dances and roller skating. It was converted into cinema use and opened as the Cosmopolitan Cinema on 10th December 1923 with Georges Carpentier in “The Boxing Cavalier” (aka “The Gypsy Cavalier”) & Larry Semen in “Well I’ll Be ___”

This was a very basic conversion, a balcony was added and a raked floor was built on top of the former roller skating floor. There was little decoration and it did not even have a proscenium arch. The ceiling consisted of the wooden roof support beams which were stained a dark colour.

Although being some distance away from the City Centre in the California district, it was the first cinema in Derby to screen sound films on 8th June 1929. These were only ‘shorts’, the main one was Moore Marriott in “Mr. Smith Wakes Up” which supported the silent feature film “Heroes in Blue” starring John Bowers. Derby audiences had to wait until 29th August 1929 before they could see a ‘talkie’ feature film “The Singing Fool” which opened at the Empire Cinema in the City centre. The Cosmopolitan Cinema screened its first sound feature film Edward Everett Horton in “The Terror” later in 1929. It was sound on disc, a system that was removed two years later.

Always operated as an independent cinema, by 1944 its name had been shortened to Cosmo Cinema. It closed on 23rd May 1959 with Arthur Askey in “The Love Match”. It was offered for sale and purchased by an independent bingo club operator and called the Cosmo Bingo Club. But this was a short lived venture as the police raided the bingo club and it was closed down because several players were found to be in possession of more than one card, which was illegal at the time!

After many years of closure, it was re-opened again as a cinema from Spring 1978 as the Meena Cinema, screening Asian Bollywood films on Sundays only. A Cinemascope screen was installed and from October 1978 it began screening classic British and Hollywood films. This was not a great success and it closed in May 1979 with a screening of Richard Todd in “The Dam Busters”.

The building then became a disco dance club and this continued until it closed and films returned again in March 1981. They were hard core pornographic films and within weeks the police had raided the cinema and it was closed down.

The building lay disused again for several years until developers came in and gutted it, removing the balcony and raked floor in the stalls and converted it into a cash & carry supermarket called I.C. Discount Warehouse.

Contributed by KenRoe

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on October 3, 2005 at 6:05 pm

A photograph I took in 1961 when the former Cosmo Cinema was operating as a Bingo Club, just before its closure by the police.
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Two recent views of the building I took in October 2003.
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rivest266 on June 16, 2021 at 9:15 am

Grand opening ad posted as well as the ad for the first talkies posted.

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