Hippodrome Cinema

Carnegie Street,
Ellesmere Port, CH65

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: W.J. Speakman Circuit

Previous Names: New Hippodrome Cinema

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Hippodrome Cinema

The New Hippodrome opened on the 15th May 1933, it replaced an earlier Hippodrome which had operated on Middlewich Lane. It was a single screen cinema with seating for 1,200 people. It was situated on Carnegie Street next to the Majestic Ballroom. The Hippodrome was advertised as having a ballroom (the Majestic) and a cafe attached.

It had a 40-feet wide proscenium and a stage 14-feet deep and there were three dressing rooms. By 1944 the Hippodrome Cinema and the Majestic Ballroom were operated by the W.J. Speakman Circuit. It closed as a cinema in 1959, the last film to be shown was “Cockleshell Heroes” starring Jose Ferrer.

It reopened after refurbishment in 1961 as Quicks of Chester, a Ford dealership garage where my dad worked for many years. When the garage closed in 1986, I got the chance to look around and was fascinated by how many of the interior features remained, original plaster work, lights and projection rooms. I even found the original carpet at the back of the balcony! It was demolished in 1998 to make way for a new Halfords superstore. It is a real shame that more of these buildings are not saved for other uses.

Contributed by Matthew Hale

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

bilmac on November 22, 2008 at 10:39 pm

The Hippodrome was a beautiful cinema, the foyer was especially grand. I was Projectionist there for quite a few years in the 1950’s. The projection room was equipped with Kalee 12 projectors and Western Electric mirrophonic sound heads and Peerless magnarc lamp houses. We installed Cinemascope in about 1956 opening with “Lucky Me” a Doris Day musical.

Ah! those were the days.

bilmac on November 23, 2008 at 8:37 pm

The Hippodrome was owned and operated by B & S Cinemas
(Bates & Speakman.

CARNEGIE on December 27, 2008 at 12:42 pm

Hi bilmac,I am very interested in the hippodrome ellesmere port,have you got any interior or exterior pictures i could copy,I have looked all over and there are very few to be found,my dad worked in the cinema when it became quicks in the late fifties,and we would be grateful of any info or photos ,thanks…

bilmac on January 1, 2009 at 8:58 pm

Hi Carnegie, a very apt nickname …lol. I’m sorry I live in Australia, have done for 48 years now and most photos I did have have long since been lost or destroyed. I do have one taken on the steps of the Hippodrome, it’s a photo of a young lady the ticket seller at that time circa 1954.

CARNEGIE on January 2, 2009 at 3:32 am

Thats a shame,my father has asked me if you knew Catherine Hale (my grandmother) and flo Milward (my great auntie) who both worked as cleaners at the queens in the fifties,it would be great if you could scan that picture and email it to me at ,or if easier,could you copy and post to me and i will reimburse you for any costs incurred,thanks…matt (this would be much appreciated)

bilmac on January 6, 2009 at 8:07 pm

Hi Matt, I will email it to you, it’s not a good one of the Hippodrome, it was really only taken for the photo of the lass. Cheers.. Bill.

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