593 Bridge Road,
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Previously operated by: Clifton Circuit
Firms: Satchwell & Roberts
Styles: Art Deco
Located in Wellington, Shropshire, at the corner of Bridge Road and Wrekin Road. The Clifton Cinema was opened on 18th January 1937 by the Clifton Cinemas chain. The opening films were “Captain January” starring Shirley Temple and “The Big Noise” starring Alistair Sim. The building was a carbon copy of the Rosum Cinema, Leamore near Walsall, which Satchwell & Roberts had designed in 1936. Seating was provided in stalls and circle levels. It had a 42 feet wide proscenium. There was a car park which could accommodate 150 cars.
In 1975, it was equipped with new Westrex projectors. In 1979, Modernisation Ltd. were employed to refurbish the cinema. A drop wall was constructed under the front of the circle, and the rear stalls area was converted into a bar & café. The rest of the auditorium walls were draped, new screen curtains were installed as well as a new screen. Seating was also recovered and carpets replaced.
The Clifton Cinema was closed on 27th April 1981 with “Hot Bubblegum” and “Going Steady”. The building was purchased by Saverite supermarkets and the stalls converted into a supermarket. The former circle re-opened as a cinema in May 1987 and closed on 24th December 1988. The building later went into use by Dunelm Fabrics furnishing store until they moved out in September 2012. With the building standing empty, in 2013 the Clifton Community Arts Centre (CCAC) was formed, with the aim of re-opening the Clifton Cinema for the benefit of the community. Unfortunately, they were unable to purchase or lease the building, and, in 2017, a developer Telford Investments Ltd. confirmed that they were purchasing the site for residential and retail development. In June 2020 plans for demolition were announced to take place in March-June 2021. In late-August 2021 the building was being prepared for demolition to take place in early-September 2021.
However, in 2016 HSBC Bank moved out of their branch in Station Road. CCAC was able to acquire that building and convert it into a centre for the community. This includes the Orbit Cinema, which opened in June 2019. (It has its own page on Cinema Treasures)
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