Empress Cinema

Oldham Road and Helga Street,
Manchester, M40 7UN

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Broadhead's Theatres

Previous Names: Empress Electric Theatre

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Empress Cinema

The Empress Electric Theatre stood on the corner of Oldham Road and Helga Street in the northeast inner-city centre district of Miles Platting. It was built in 1912 for W. H. Broadhead and Son. and was located close to and on the same side of Oldham Road as Broadhead’s Royal Osborne Theatre, which was slightly closer to the city centre.

It was re-named Empress Cinema in the early-1950’s. The Empress Cinema was closed in August 1961 with the films “13 Ghosts” and “Screaming Mimi”. It became a bingo club, which closed in the 1990’s, and the building was then used for storage.

The building was listed Grade II on 5 October 2000. It seems it was being used as a warehouse at that time.

Writing that same year, the website britishlistedbuildings.co.uk describes it as having: a “red brick facade, with dressings in contrasting white brick. Red brick return wall, the left return wall rendered. Pitched metal roof. Double-height auditorium with balcony, behind small foyer.”

Unfortunately by that time the Empress Cinema was in a rather desolate and run-down part of Manchester. In June 2006, a fire broke out which caused the front of the theatre to collapse. The remainder of the building was demolished soon after.

Contributed by Geoff Stafford

Recent comments (view all 1 comments)

Ian on June 18, 2011 at 3:26 am

EMPRESS CINEMA PHOTO taken in 2003 after closure in a boarded-up but intact state.

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