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  1. #21
    Senior Member Country: UK kelp's Avatar
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    name='BobL']Sadly not true see Odeon Cinemas - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



    Deutsch opened his first cinema in 1928 and his publicity department used the blurb as publicity....



    There were nickelodeons in 1905 and Odeon Cinemas in France in the EARLY 1920'S..



    The word Odeon comes from the Greek



    One fact that I didnt know was that The First Odeon was built in my home town Brierley Hill
    Funny, I was always told that the very first Odeon was The ODEON PERRY BARR, BIRMINGHAM. Now, I could be wrong but, this is in some detail somewhere reference Odeons. Can someone confirm please? I wonder who is right?

    (Exciting isn't it)

  2. #22
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    name='kelp']Funny, I was always told that the very first Odeon was The ODEON PERRY BARR, BIRMINGHAM. Now, I could be wrong but, this is in some detail somewhere reference Odeons. Can someone confirm please? I wonder who is right?

    (Exciting isn't it)


    Kelp ..I reread the Wikipedia article and it says Oscar Deutsch opened his first cinema in Brierley Hill but the first to be called Odeon was as you say Perry Barr



    This means I have to ask "What was the name of The Oscaar Deutsch cinema in Brierley Hill."



    In the 1950's there were 3 cinemas in the town centre and I am pretty sure one was the Danilo

  3. #23
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    Hello there, Thank goodness for search engines ! In yesterdays Chronicle extra there was a photo of the Plaza stating that in 1926 Soloman Sheckman brought in heating and the latest amusements and it opened as the Plaza.Prior to that it was the Palace Theatre.



    We had an Essoldo cinema in the town and I remember as a kid that the names were made up from their christian names though I always thought the "Do" was Doris, You live and learn.



    I have just searched and come up with this site and all the information you have written.

    I can sleep at nights now !!!

    Pat

  4. #24
    Junior Member Country: Great Britain
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    It is true to say that Essoldo had a lot of acquired 'dumps' around the country, but they also had the odd purpose built 'supers' (Newcastle and Blyth in the North East).



    I was Manager at the Newcastle venue for a few years after its acquisition by the larger ABC Circuit.



    Essoldo in many locations played 'first run', particularly in towns where there was an Odeon but no ABC and the Essoldo would play the latter's product; conversely, first run Rank product would play at the Essoldo in towns with an ABC but no Odeon.



    In Newcastle upon Tyne, the big Essoldo played 'road show' for much of its life with extended runs of 'The King and I', 'Ben-Hur' (this played concurrently with the Empire Leicester Square, where 'Ben-Hur' was the last presentation prior to its subdivison into a smaller cinema and a ballroom), 'My Fair Lady', 'Doctor Zhivago', 'Battle of the Bulge', 'Far From The Madding Crowd', 'The Bible', 'Paint Your wagon' and many others.



    When the 'blockbusters' were drying up and the writing was on the wall for 'road shows', Essoldo asked ABC if they wanted to buy the Newcastle Essoldo (ABC's Haymarket Theatre - very large and very busy - had been compulsorily purchased by Newcastle University and was operated on short term leases by ABC) but the offer was refused.



    Essoldo told ABC that the Essoldo would be converted to luxury twin cinemas and that application would be made to the Board of Trade for an allocation of product. The twinning duly went ahead and an allocation of 20% was granted; this entailed that every 5th West End release would play at Newcastle Essoldo.



    Essoldo were very fortunate with the allocation and it 'stole' films like 'Love story' from ABC and 'Diamonds Are Forever' from Rank after the trailers had been screened for several weeks in those organisations' Newcastle venues!



    ABC did eventually buy the twinned Essoldo (at a premium price!) and the allocation remained for quite some time before being revoked. This enabled ABC to play their own releases at the Haymarket while certain Rank product would play at the ABC Westgate Road (as they renamed the Essoldo) - much to the fury of the Rank Organisation.



    The week ABC aquired the Essoldo the presentations were 'Papillon' in ABC1 (which would have played at Newcastle Odeon) and 'The Exorcist' in ABC2 (which would have played at ABC's Haymarket).



    As a young boy the Essoldos I remember well in South Durham where I lived and went to school were :-



    Essoldo (Hippodrome), Bishop Auckland (the only remaining theatre building in Auckland)

    Kings, Bishop Auckland (this played the 3D films in the 1950's such as 'House of Wax')

    Eden Theatre, Bishop Auckland (this had been owned and run by Stan Laurel's father)

    Essoldo, Shildon (built as a Mechanics Institute by the Stockton and Darlington Railway)



    The Bishop Auckland cinemas shared first run ABC release (there was a modern Odeon in the town) and National release (what Rank did not want!)



    Shildon played mainly second run Rank (usually a week or so after Bishop Auckland Odeon) as there was a large Hippodrome in the town which played mainly ABC release.

  5. #25
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    name='Tom Bancroft']Remember When is published by the Newcastle Evening Chronicle, Groat Market, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE1 1ED. Editor is Roy Marshall - Telephone 0191 201 6239 (e-mail: ray.marshall@ncjmedia.co.uk. The cover price is 50p and the issues you want are Nos. 59 and 60 published in April and June, 2008.


    Thanks Tom.

  6. #26
    Senior Member Country: Scotland julian_craster's Avatar
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    In the early 1960s (1961-65) I recall our local Essoldo (a large, grand ex-theatre which had fallen in hard times and in a state is disrepair) as being the home of those Italian [badly dubbed and in muddy colour] 'peplum' movies (Hercules, Ursus, Masisite etc etc) as well as those salacious Compton 'documentaries' such as 'Naked as Nature Intended' and 'London in the Raw' which Rank and ABC refused to touch......

  7. #27
    Senior Member Country: Vietnam hankoler's Avatar
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    [IMG][/IMG]



    This was the essoldo Sheffield, it was formerly named the Forum but later changed to the essoldo. I've been in there a few times when I lived in sheffield.

  8. #28
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    name='hankoler']This was the essoldo Sheffield, it was formerly named the Forum but later changed to the essoldo. I've been in there a few times when I lived in sheffield.


    That looks remarkably similar to the architectural style used for many Odeon cinemas



    Steve

  9. #29
    Senior Member Country: Vietnam hankoler's Avatar
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    Quite right Steve there were one or two others in Sheffield similar in style to this one. I think the cinema in the picture, sadly, no longer exists.

  10. #30
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    name='terrycha']It is true to say that Essoldo had a lot of acquired 'dumps' around the country, but they also had the odd purpose built 'supers' (Newcastle and Blyth in the North East).



    I was Manager at the Newcastle venue for a few years after its acquisition by the larger ABC Circuit.



    Essoldo in many locations played 'first run', particularly in towns where there was an Odeon but no ABC and the Essoldo would play the latter's product; conversely, first run Rank product would play at the Essoldo in towns with an ABC but no Odeon.



    In Newcastle upon Tyne, the big Essoldo played 'road show' for much of its life with extended runs of 'The King and I', 'Ben-Hur' (this played concurrently with the Empire Leicester Square, where 'Ben-Hur' was the last presentation prior to its subdivison into a smaller cinema and a ballroom), 'My Fair Lady', 'Doctor Zhivago', 'Battle of the Bulge', 'Far From The Madding Crowd', 'The Bible', 'Paint Your wagon' and many others.



    When the 'blockbusters' were drying up and the writing was on the wall for 'road shows', Essoldo asked ABC if they wanted to buy the Newcastle Essoldo (ABC's Haymarket Theatre - very large and very busy - had been compulsorily purchased by Newcastle University and was operated on short term leases by ABC) but the offer was refused.



    Essoldo told ABC that the Essoldo would be converted to luxury twin cinemas and that application would be made to the Board of Trade for an allocation of product. The twinning duly went ahead and an allocation of 20% was granted; this entailed that every 5th West End release would play at Newcastle Essoldo.



    Essoldo were very fortunate with the allocation and it 'stole' films like 'Love story' from ABC and 'Diamonds Are Forever' from Rank after the trailers had been screened for several weeks in those organisations' Newcastle venues!



    ABC did eventually buy the twinned Essoldo (at a premium price!) and the allocation remained for quite some time before being revoked. This enabled ABC to play their own releases at the Haymarket while certain Rank product would play at the ABC Westgate Road (as they renamed the Essoldo) - much to the fury of the Rank Organisation.



    The week ABC aquired the Essoldo the presentations were 'Papillon' in ABC1 (which would have played at Newcastle Odeon) and 'The Exorcist' in ABC2 (which would have played at ABC's Haymarket).



    As a young boy the Essoldos I remember well in South Durham where I lived and went to school were :-



    Essoldo (Hippodrome), Bishop Auckland (the only remaining theatre building in Auckland)

    Kings, Bishop Auckland (this played the 3D films in the 1950's such as 'House of Wax')

    Eden Theatre, Bishop Auckland (this had been owned and run by Stan Laurel's father)

    Essoldo, Shildon (built as a Mechanics Institute by the Stockton and Darlington Railway)



    The Bishop Auckland cinemas shared first run ABC release (there was a modern Odeon in the town) and National release (what Rank did not want!)



    Shildon played mainly second run Rank (usually a week or so after Bishop Auckland Odeon) as there was a large Hippodrome in the town which played mainly ABC release.


    Thats very interesting. What was the Essoldo in my town of W.B. was later known as the Playhouse. At the moment it is being re vamped as a long awaited regeneration scheme. Years before I was born I was told that my Grandmother used to take Theatricals in when it was known as the KURZEL(?) Apparently one Donald Peers stayed with her and cleared off owing her the princely sum of something like a shilling !!! I have recently returned from a visit to Richmond,Yorks and went on a guided walk.It was mentioned that Donald Peers lived there for years.

  11. #31
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    With the major circuits arguing with Fox about the installation of Cinemascope screens and in particular stereo sound in the early 50s, Essoldo and some other smaller 'circuits' jumped in and installed ,thus taking the early Fox Cinemascope product on first run. My father was chief at the Queens in Waterloo near Liverpool, a small ciruit of around 6 cinemas stretching from Walton in Liverpool to Wallasey and Wrexham, and they also installed Cinemascope before their local ABC and Odeon. The first Scope picture at ABCs was I think Doris Day in Lucky Me.

    Eventually Odeon and ABC heeled their differences with Fox and the glory days for Essoldo and The Queens circuit and others quickly passed.

  12. #32
    Senior Member Country: England Tom Bancroft's Avatar
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    An update on the uniquely designed Essoldo cinema in Stretford, Manchester which I mentioned earlier in this thread.



    This Grade II listed building has been slowly deteriorating. However, this week the Manchester Evening News carried an article which appears to give some hope for the place.



    The present owner, who bought the place in the 90's, says that although they have not been able to fund work on the exterior yet, a lot of work has been done to spruce up the interior. The local council and others are planning to open the building again as a theatre and leisure complex if possible.



    To read more about this fine but quirky example of 1930's art deco, check this website Essoldo and you can check out an abridged version of the newspaper article by going to the Manchester Evening News website and clicking on 'Archives' - then type Essoldo Cinema in the search window.

  13. #33
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    name='Tom Bancroft']An update on the uniquely designed Essoldo cinema in Stretford, Manchester which I mentioned earlier in this thread.



    This Grade II listed building has been slowly deteriorating. However, this week the Manchester Evening News carried an article which appears to give some hope for the place.



    The present owner, who bought the place in the 90's, says that although they have not been able to fund work on the exterior yet, a lot of work has been done to spruce up the interior. The local council and others are planning to open the building again as a theatre and leisure complex if possible.



    To read more about this fine but quirky example of 1930's art deco, check this website Essoldo and you can check out an abridged version of the newspaper article by going to the Manchester Evening News website and clicking on 'Archives' - then type Essoldo Cinema in the search window.


    I'm a former (temporary) resident of Manchester and got to know of a number of local history locations to do with transport and entertainment. The Essoldo Stretford has got a few choice b/w photos on the Manchester Libraries website. Owing to their rather protective viewing policy I can give you the main page reference which is this one:-



    http//:www.images.manchester.gov.uk



    When you've got that far, steer clear of the Libraries information portion and click on the specialised "archive images" section. When you get that departmental homepage insert "Essoldo" in the search box and the info is up there for you. If you keep on clicking on the image of the cinema itself, you can get enlargements in several different sizes.

  14. #34
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    Does anyone know if the Longford, later Essoldo, was the only cinema in Stretford in the late 1930's? The reason I ask is that my late Godmother, Sarah McGough (1887 - 1964), who lived in Birchfield Road, Cheadle Heath, Stockport, had a son named Dominic (1920 -1943), who was killed in action overseas during the Second World War at the age of 23. His obituary in the Stockport Express newspaper stated that before he joined the army in 1940, he worked at a Stretford cinema (although it doesn't give his job there).



    Now the strange thing is that when I was born in 1947, Sarah McGough thought the world of me and regarded me as Dominic come back to her and much later on, as I grew into a teenager, I also went to work in the cinema industry, in my case as a projectionist.



    Now, I know it's 70 years ago now, but if the Longford cinema was the only cinema in Stretford in the late 1930's, is there any way that I can find out in what capacity Dominic McGough was employed there?

  15. #35
    Senior Member Country: England Tom Bancroft's Avatar
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    name='Rick C']I'm a former (temporary) resident of Manchester and got to know of a number of local history locations to do with transport and entertainment. The Essoldo Stretford has got a few choice b/w photos on the Manchester Libraries website. Owing to their rather protective viewing policy I can give you the main page reference which is this one:-



    http//:Manchester City Council



    When you've got that far, steer clear of the Libraries information portion and click on the specialised "archive images" section. When you get that departmental homepage insert "Essoldo" in the search box and the info is up there for you. If you keep on clicking on the image of the cinema itself, you can get enlargements in several different sizes.


    Thanks for the info Rick, but I've been a devotee of the images.manchester website for quite a while now. For example, I was able to find pics of the printing company premises I worked at as an apprentice in the late 50's and the four later premises we moved to. They were all evetually demolished in the clearance shemes, so it was good to have a photo record of them. You're right about their strict rules. I believe that if you apply to use their pics in a publication (even a non profit one) they charge quite steep fees.

  16. #36
    Senior Member Country: England Tom Bancroft's Avatar
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    Darren, I found this very comprehensive article on a history website. It shows that there was at least one other cinema in Stretford, ironically owned by the people who built the Longford. It was situated almost opposite the Longford on the other side of Chester Road (A56).



    THE LONGFORD CINEMA, STRETFORD (now the Essoldo)

    It was in the late 1930’s that Manchester businessmen Jackson and Newport, set their sights on building a new Super Cinema in Stretford. The pair already owned Stretford’s Picturedrome Cinema on the corner of King Street and Chester Road (next to where the Post Office now stands) as well as cinemas in Stockport and Reddish. They purchased the site on Chester Road and demolished a terrace of Georgian shops.



    They employed architect Henry Alder to design the new building. Alder’s architecture was the height of art deco fashion; the main entrance on Chester Road was designed in the shape of a cash register flanked by two phallic symbols and the side entrance on Edge Lane was surmounted by a third phallic symbol, these represented Alder’s view that the modern film industry was dominated by money and sex. The commission for the work was given to local firm Normantons of Plymouth Grove, Mr Jackson was Clerk of Works and Jack Siddy was night watchman. The internal decoration was done by Holdings of Brooks Bar and included two huge murals to either side of the main stage by famous artist Frederick H. Baines, they depicted ‘Music and Dance’ on one side and ‘Comedy and Drama’ on the other.



    The Longford was a revolution in Cinema Design. The building featured; sound-proofing, under-seat heating and air-conditioning. The foyer was floored in Venetian Marble. The Auditorium was decorated in tangerine and silver-blue art-deco designs. The room also contained a stage, which could be used for theatrical performances by various groups including the Streford Amateur Operatic Society.



    The building was the first in Britain to be illuminated by neon tube lighting. The arrangement of the business was that the Longford would be used as a Cinema for three weeks of the month and as a theatre for the fourth week. Cinema attendants were forbidden from accepting gratuities. The stalls sat 1400, the balcony sat 600 and the café sat 146.

    There was a car park to the rear of the building for free use of patrons, access to this car park was down Trafford Grove. Trafford Grove, which runs in three double blocks along the Bridgewater Canal from St Ann’s Church to the Cinema was built in the 1860’s by Sir Humphrey de Trafford. The Grove was built for Pedestrian access only, the houses having wide front gardens with a narrow walkway between.



    Jackson and Newport approached the de Trafford estates for permission to remove the front gardens and put a road between the houses, but due to the tenant’s contracts, this could not be done without the permission of the residents.

    The company therefore approached the tenants of the end block and told them that if they agreed to the proposal then they would modernise all their houses and true to their word when the road was completed the Longford Cinema Company installed Bathrooms and hot running water in all the houses which had sacrificed their front gardens.



    The new Longford Super Cinema & Café was finally opened on 12th October 1936 by the Mayor of Stretford, Alderman Albert Smith. The debut film screened was ‘Tudor Rose’ starring Nova Pilbeam. Entrance tickets ranged from 1s 6d for a seat in the stalls to 3s for a seat in the circle. The Longford Bar & Café occupied part of the first floor, with windows looking out across Chester Road, with comfortable sofas and furniture.



    During the Second World War the building was used for Sunday Concerts featuring various stars of screen and stage including a young Julie Andrews and when the Halle Orchestra was bombed out of The Free Trade Hall in 1940, the Longford played host to the dislodged orchestra under Sir John Barborolli.



    In August 1950, the Cinema was purchased by the Essoldo Circuit, who renamed the building ‘The Stretford Essoldo’ and who continued to run the cinema for about fifteen years, however the television revolution of the late 1950’s and early 1960’s knocked the bottom from the cinema industry and the decision was taken to close the Essoldo in 1965.

    The building was put on the Market and purchased by The Ladbrokes Company who reopened it as a bingo hall.



    In 1979, Trafford Council were widening Chester Road into a dual carriageway and Compulsory Purchase Orders were put on all the buildings nearby. St Ann’s Church and The Bingo Hall were exempt, but were forced to give up their frontal land. The council bulldozers moved in and cleared the tiled walkway and low walls which led up to the entrance doors of old Cinema, leaving the remaining architecture unbalanced and incomplete.



    On the 23rd June 1986 the site was acquired by ‘The Rank Group’, who reopened the old cinema as ‘The Top Rank Club’. They were responsible for the painting of the exterior tiled façade in its distasteful primary colours. The building was listed in the mid 1990’s by The English Heritage but due to falling profits The Rank Group closed the Club in 1995 and it was eventually sold in January 1997 to a business man from Sale.



    Since that date various plans have been put forward for its future including a gym and health club however nothing has ever come to pass although the current owner says that the interior has had some improvement work done.

  17. #37
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    Many thanks for that, Tom. It seems that whatever job he did there, he worked either at the Picturedrome or the Longford.

  18. #38
    Senior Member Country: England Tom Bancroft's Avatar
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    Another excellent site to read about this unique cinema is here:- www.longfordcinema.co.uk

  19. #39
    Senior Member Country: England Santonix's Avatar
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    name='darrenburnfan']Does anyone know if the Longford, later Essoldo, was the only cinema in Stretford in the late 1930's? The reason I ask is that my late Godmother, Sarah McGough (1887 - 1964), who lived in Birchfield Road, Cheadle Heath, Stockport, had a son named Dominic (1920 -1943), who was killed in action overseas during the Second World War at the age of 23. His obituary in the Stockport Express newspaper stated that before he joined the army in 1940, he worked at a Stretford cinema (although it doesn't give his job there).



    Now the strange thing is that when I was born in 1947, Sarah McGough thought the world of me and regarded me as Dominic come back to her and much later on, as I grew into a teenager, I also went to work in the cinema industry, in my case as a projectionist.



    Now, I know it's 70 years ago now, but if the Longford cinema was the only cinema in Stretford in the late 1930's, is there any way that I can find out in what capacity Dominic McGough was employed there?


    There were three cinemas in Stretford, The Essoldo, The Picturedrome and The Corona.

  20. #40
    Senior Member Country: England Tom Bancroft's Avatar
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    That's interesting Santonix. never heard of that one.



    Do you have any idea where the Corona was situated in Stretford and when it existed?



    I know that there was a Corona in the West Gorton area of Manchester until it closed in the 60's or early 70's.



    Perhaps it was owned by the same people.

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