Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Cinemas

Before the Great War cinemas were being built at an ever increasing number and opening at a rate of about 60 a month, this is one such cinema and stands on the corner of Grosvenor Street and Oxford Road in Manchester.  It takes part of its name from its location, The Grosvenor Picture Palace, although today it is now a Sports Pub called The Footage with two big screens for the sports enthusiast.  Designed by Percy Hothersall in 1913 its green and cream faïence tiles are striking.  You will observe the two sides are different
the longer one being located along Oxford Road, I rather like the stained glass circular windows.  It must have looked like an entrance to another world when it was all lit up for its opening in 1915 with the historical drama Jane Shore starring Blanche Forsythe.  Hothersall designed at least two other cinemas locally, one which does not survive, and the other, a 'supercinema' of 2,324 seats The Piccadilly Picture Theatre only the façade survives and it is now a retailing outlet, one the residents is Co-operative Food which also moved into an old cinema premises further north in 
Carnforth.  Once again only the façade survives but this has a bit of cinema history in that it stands near Carnforth station where the filming of David Lean's Brief Encounters took place in the 1945 and it stood in for 'Kent'. (Worldwide Guide to Movie Locations)  Locals were used as extras so I imagine when it was screened in Carnforth the interest was not only in the film's story. I have in the past asked what the cinema was called but nobody ever seemed to know but thanks to the Cinema Treasures site I eventually discovered it was built some time pre 1923 as the Kinema (Frith postcard image here) and later renamed The Roxy it closed in the 1960s.  In those early days it was one of the James Brennan's portfolio of cinemas and theatres who was sometimes called the 'cinema king' because of the number he owned  in this corner of north west of England including
my local, also called the Roxy (a lot of his cinemas were called The Roxy). Here is a postcard image from possibly the 1950s and in this case the cinema survives (but not the Rose Garden) although the art deco interior has been split horizontally with the cinema now living on what used to be the balcony.  This is not my nearest cinema which is a rather unadventurous multiplex but it is my cinema of choice for its atmosphere and large screen, it celebrated its 75th birthday in 2012.

An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey through the alphabet, this week sojourning at C here

10 comments:

Norma Ruttan said...

Oh, my, what a gorgeous, unique building! I am so glad that it survived to be used in a different way. Only one of our old theaters survived; it's now used for stage plays. It's too bad that the theater that started out as a theater for vaudeville was torn down a long time ago; the land became a parking lot for a bank. None of present day theaters have any style.

Reader Wil said...

The first building is very beautiful with those green tiles!
Thanks for this post.
Wil, ABCW Team.

Berowne said...

You used "cinema" for "C"? So did I!

Photo Cache said...

very nice post.

My ABC WEDNESDAY

Roger Owen Green said...

I LOVE going to the cinema in the winter!

ROG, ABCW

happywonderer.com said...

What a great choice for the letter C! So many of these great old cinema buildings have been re-purposed.

fredamans said...

That cinema is a beautiful old building!

ChrisJ said...

I know I'm getting old and crochety, but cinemas just raise the idea of bugs for me. Too many people, too many germs.

Marie said...

Fantastic old cinemas! Beautiful structures.

Lmkazmierczak said...

Handsome...I like to see old cinemas being refurbished♪ http://lauriekazmierczak.com/crystal-crunch/