Abandoned cinema 1962
Image by phill.d
This was the best part of the cinema for me. Dusty Art Deco seats that hadn’t been used since 1962. Elvis Presley was number one in the charts with "Return to Sender" the last time anyone sat in them to watch a film.
This Upper balcony seated 350 people in it’s heyday. The luxury seats were upholstered in Firth’s moquette from Trinity Chair Works of Scarborough. A number of settees to hold two patrons (lovers seats) were installed in the back row.
A real time capsule cinema hides away in the higher reaches of the Glen Royal building in Shipley. The Glen Royal closed as a cinema in 1962, It was to reopen as the Glen casino in 1963. Many alterations were made to the building over the years. Suspended ceilings were added, these effectively hid away the original features of this purpose built cinema.
The upper circle and seats remain intact above the false ceilings.
Kalee projectors, reels of old films, 1960’s paintwork, and other relics are to be found up high in the Glen Royal.
The Shipley Picture House Company opened this state ot the art 1200 seater cinema on the 5th September 1932. An unusual feature of the auditorium were five large windows facing south and overlooking Briggate each with internal geared shutters which could be opened to allow "the entire building to be flooded with sunlight. The Glenroyal was fitted with the American designed Western Electric Sound System, the latest Kalee rear shutter projectors were installed.
The Glen building finally closed it’s doors as Kings Bingo on January 30th 2005.
The cinema has remained closed since then, sadly the vandals have been in at some point doing there worst. False ceilings have been pulled down, holes punched in walls, burst water pipes, tables and chairs tipped over, and grafitti in the bingo hall.
Cinemas are built with very few windows in them. Thankfully the Vandals have been limited to areas with natural light. this has kept the mindless idiots away from the pitch black old cinema, and projection room areas. The best bits remain virtually unscathed for the explorer with torch power 🙂
An abandoned cinema always seem to have a ghost story associated with it. The Glen Royal didn’t break with tradition. Apparently a lady ghost was frequently seen hurrying towards the front where the screen used to be. We didn’t see a ghost that night, just a stray Tomcat who had found a sneaky way in to the building. His eyes lit up in the beam of the torch enough to make us jump. He seemed to have great hunting prowess too, many a headless pigeon littered the floor. With a flick of the tail, he was up and away behind the proscenium, never to be seen, or heard again that night.
I’m not quiet sure how a state of the art cinema managed to only stay open for 30 years. The early 60’s seems an early era for it to close to me. It was well before the masses owned a T.V .
The final films to be shown on Saturday the 8th December 1962 were.
”The Loudest Whisper” Starring Audrey Hepburn, Shirley Maclaine and James Garner.
”Gun Street” Starring James Brown, Jean Willes and John Clarke.
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