The many faces of cinema architect Henry F Elder

cinema architect, art deco, stretford, architeture, auditorium

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.


3 responses to “The many faces of cinema architect Henry F Elder

  1. J David Roberts

    Hi, I just thought I’d drop you a line to say how much I appreciate the website, and its work in keeping the memory of the cinema alive.
    I myself have a somewhat distant connection to the building as my grandfather was the Roberts in Roberts Wood and Elder. Long ago Henry Elder actually gave a reference to my father, when he himself was studying to be an architect. My Dad says Henry Elder always was a bit of a “whizz kid”.
    Anyway keep up the work -it is valued.

    • Thanks so much for your comment. My favourite thing about the site is that it brings together people who have a history or connection to the building, even if only in cyber space!

  2. There was a fifth cinema, the Rota in Denton, which was smaller but equally interesting architecturally. It closed in 1959.

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