Posted to M32 group on facebook today. See the notes in full here. Great that there seems to be some dialogue going now, a big improvement.
Notes from the M32 meeting with Theresa Grant CEO TMBC 2/5/13
Essoldo / Longford Cinema
TG understands the value of this building to Stretford.
TG has met with the owner to discuss how TMBC can help him to get Essoldo open.
TG reported this was a very positive meeting.
TMBC are trying to do everything possible to facilitate the opening of this great building
Thought I’d mention a group in Prestwich that exist in real life as well as cyber space! They are focussed on improving Prestwich by sharing information and establishing dialogue between the residents and maybe even the council! And of course the Longford / Essoldo Prestwich is fixed firmly on their radar! Next meeting is May 16th. Find out more on their Facebook group here and don’t forget to sign up to the Longford / Essoldo Facebook group here!
Architect of 4 cinemas including the Longford Stretford
Henry F Elder, architect of the Longford Cinema / Essoldo Stretford designed a further three cinemas / cinema interiors during his career and all within a short space of time. All three were in Glasgow where it is presumed Henry F Elder was based at the time. He had a very busy year in 1938 – 1939! One in Glasgow still stands but the frontages of the othet two still remain.Timeline of Henry F Elder.
Longford Super Cinema, Stretford. Opened 12th October 1936 with 2009 seats. It seems to be Henry Elders first cinema and his most bold design statement.
The ABC Bridgetown (then Olympia Cinema) was remodeled by Henry Elder and re opened 21st November 1938 with 1689 seats and an art deco interior. All but the facade is demolished and flats built behind.
The Lyceum opened on 19th December 1938 with 2600 seats and is the only cinema of Henry Elder still standing with the exception of the Longford / Essoldo Stretford. Like Stretford, the Lyceum has laid empty but in tact since 1981 in the circle and 2006 in the stalls. It is said to contain original art deco features, seating and a wall frieze ,again just like the Longford!
The Ascot Cinema opened on 6th December 1939, 1963 seats, now demolished except for the frontage which is now the facade for a block of luxury flats.
Read Henrys life story here. You can find out more about the Glasgow venues by visiting the Henry F Elder page on the Cinema Treasures site here.
Message from a reader of this site -
Currently I am engaged in Postgraduate research of the history of cinema architecture in Britain. My research is focused on the Longford and the Pyramid, Sale. Although I have a vast amount of archival material, original documents related to the interior, finishes, construction materials and substantial information on the firms used / architect I am lacking quality images of the floor plan, which is quite crucial to the research paper I am writing. Anyone that may be able to help I would be grateful for their assistance. The project is due January 7th 2013!
Thank you in advance, Leanne firstname.lastname@example.org
Extract from today’s Manchester Confidential.
David Bond on the mystery behind the classic. Does anyone know anything more?
AN impressive monument to a bygone age that should be returned to its former glory or a bungled monstrosity that needs to be torn down?
The main architectural guide to Manchester calls The Longford, ‘One of the most entertaining sights in the Manchester area’. It would be a crying shame to lose it.
The debate surrounding the Longford cinema in Stretford is complex, but the only certainty is that local residents, have little to no idea what the future of the building is.
Confidential couldn’t even get in contact with the owner – and Good Lord did we try.
This is a problem because at present the Longford, despite its striking image, is fading. Commuters to Manchester and shoppers heading to Stretford Mall are reminded of this failed building daily. Yet inside it is a spectacular art deco building.
READ THE ARTICLE FROM MANCHESTER CONFIDENTIAL IN FULL HERE
If you’re reading this at the right time, it will be the Longford Park Centenary festival this weekend!
So if you’re stuck for something to do, pop down to the cinemas namesake for some fun! More here.
Photo from around 1970 when people were playing bingo in cinemas!
Still no news (becoming a theme!) but in the absence of any interior pictures, I took a few yesterday from the outside that give away clues from the past.
original tiling and a glimpse through a modern addition back to the past.
The inside is listed as being floored with venetian marble. This design spills out from the interior to the side entrance. Maybe it's the same throughout? There is a distinct lack of period photos from inside the building...