The West End Theatre, Withington Road and Dudley Road, Whalley Range, Manchester
Later - Odeon Cinema / Top Rank Bingo / Star Bingo
Above - The West End Theatre, Whalley Range, Manchester - From 'The Bioscope', December 1930. The Caption for this image reads:- ' In this elevation Mr. Knight has shown no inclination to be influenced by the modern German movement towards severity, rigid coherence of design and what is aptly called "fundamentalism." The object here is apparently to secure by liberal fenestration an air of warmth and activity, which might have been lost by a more sober and co-ordinated treatment of the masses involved.'
The West End Theatre was situated on the corner of Withington Road and Dudley Road, in the Whalley Range district of Manchester. The Theatre opened with the film 'All Quiet on the Western Front' on Monday the 1st of December 1930. The Theatre was designed by the Manchester Architect John Knight F.R.I.B.A., and its auditorium, which was constructed on two levels, stalls and one circle, could accommodate 2,000 people in some comfort.
The Theatre was primarily built as a Cinema and had a projection box behind the rear of the circle, this was equipped with two Western Electric Kalee Sound projectors. The Theatre was also equipped with a stage for live variety productions, and had four dressing rooms for artistes. A large cafe for the Theatre's patrons was situated over the main entrance. The Theatre's General Manager on its opening was E. Linsdell, and its proprietors were T. Royle and J. T. Wells.
The Bioscope Cinema Magazine reported on the opening of the Theatre in their December the 3rd 1930 edition with an extensive article on the building, including the image shown above, the text of which I have transcribed in full below:
Above - The West End Cinema, Whalley Range, at Night - From 'The Bioscope' July 1931. The Caption for this image reads:- 'A very effective scheme of lighting characterises the West End Cinema, Whalley Range, Manchester, at night. One is only inclined to ask whether a more complete floodlighting installation would not compel greater attention.'
In August 1937 the Theatre was taken
over by Odeon Theatres Ltd and renamed The Odeon, and ran as such until
it was closed on the 23rd of December 1961 to be converted for Bingo
use under the Top Rank Bingo name. Later operated by, and renamed, Star
Bingo, the Theatre was finally closed by EMI in 1980 and demolished
in 1986 to make way for a Housing Development called Crystal House,
see image below.
Above - A Google StreetView Image of Crystal House Whalley Range, Manchester, which was built on the site of the former West End Theatre / Odeon Cinema in 1986 - Click to Interact.
If you have any more information or images for this Theatre that you are willing to share please Contact me.
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