1 High Street,
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Firms: Morlands Architects
Styles: Tudor Revival
The Picture House was located at the top end of the High Street, quite some distance from the town centre and it was adjacent to the railway bridge & embankment. The Picture House was opened on 12th March 1927 with Dorothy Gish in "Nell Gwyn" and Marie Prevost in "Up in Mable’s Room". The cinema was designed by architectural firm Morlands Architects, and had a half-timber facade, with the Tudor theme carried through to the auditorium which had seating for 519 in the stalls and 178 in the circle. The proscenium was 32 feet wide. On the first floor of the building there was a ballroom and tea lounge, with windows overlooking the High Street.
In 1933, the independent operators leased the cinema to various other operators, and in 1942, the Southan Morris circuit took control. S.M. Super Cinemas then operated the Picture House until they were taken over by the Essoldo Circuit on 24th August 1954.
The Picture House was closed on 22nd June 1963 with Bette Davis & Joan Crawford in "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?". The building stood empty and unused for some time, then it was gutted and converted into a small factory making Venetian blinds until 1979. Today, the exterior has been covered with red tiles and large windows have been inserted at ground floor level. It was in use as office space for Coexis on the first floor, and the ground floor is a health care centre. It has since been demolished and a block of flats has been built on the site.
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