251 High Street,
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Previously operated by: Granada Theatres Ltd.
Architects: George Coles
Styles: Art Deco
Previous Names: Palace Cinema
The Palace Cinema was opened in 1921 and originally had 950 seats. It was independently operated. In 1929, a Spurden-Rutt ‘straight’ organ was installed and opened by noted organist G.T. Pattman.
It was closed on 3rd July 1937 for modernisation and the setting back of the proscenium to increase the seating capacity, all to the plans of architect Kenneth Freise-Greene. Re-opening in August 1937, it now had 1,336 seats, but the organ had been removed from the building. The Palace Cinema was closed on 16th August 1945 (V.J. Night celebrating the end of World War II)) when it was badly damaged by a fire.
The wrecked building was taken over by the Granada Theatres chain in around 1949, and repairs were carried out to the plans of noted cinema architect George Coles, with internal decorations by Howell Jones and W.F. Mudd. It re-opened on 2nd January 1950 as the Century Cinema. With Granada now operating their own Granada Theatre and from 1953 also the Adelphi Theatre in Slough, the Century Cinema was no longer needed, and it was closed on 27th January 1957.
It was converted into a Waitrose supermarket, but has since been demolished and Wilkinsons store now stands at this address.
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