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Previously operated by: Essoldo Circuit (Contol) Ltd.
Firms: Frank Matcham & Company
Styles: Art Deco
Previous Names: Theatre Royal, Theatre Royal Super Cinema
Located on the bend on Ainsworth Street. The Theatre Royal & Opera House was originally opened in 1818. It was rebuilt in 1851, and operated as a music hall, known as the Theatre Royal.
In 1886, it was rebuilt to the plans of noted theatre architect Frank Matcham, and was refurbished in 1909, to the plans of another noted theatre architect Bertie Crewe. Films began to be screened as part of the variety programme at around this time, and a young Charlie Chaplin appeared on stage.
On 24th August 1931, it was converted into the Theatre Royal Super Cinema with 1,550 seats. This was closed on 3rd May 1937. The interior was totally gutted and a new modern cinema was built within the shell and given a new modern facade, all to the plans of architect C.R. Cooper.
It re-opened as the Cinema Royal on 23rd May 1938 with Jeannette McDonald in "The Firefly". The seating capacity had been increased to 1,600, and the proscenium was 26 feet wide. There was a cafe provided for the convenience of patrons.
The Cinema Royal was taken over by the Newcastle upon Tyne based Essoldo Cinemas circuit in October 1957. It retained the name Cinema Royal until it was closed on 18th March 1967, due to a compulsorily purchase order, to be demolished for a new town centre redevelopment.
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