Category Archives: History

Happy(ish) 80th Birthday

It’s now 80 years since the building opened and 50 YEARS since the last film was screened! It’s also be 21 years since the general population of Stretford were last allowed to step inside and 19 years since it was purchased by the current owners. That’s quite a set of anniversaries! 

Whilst this website has been tracking the life and times of this pickled building for nearly 1/8th of its existence now (10 years!) there’s not ever been much to report. If you really want to get your cinema geek on however and feel the force of like minded people across the U.K., you’d do well to get yourself a membership of the Cinema Theate Association. 

What’s in a name – bingo!

Find out how the Essoldo in Stretford passed through the hands of a string of national companies and name changes between the 1960s and 1990s. Stretfords very own cinema played its part in the evolution of picture palace to bingo hall. Article here

Dolly & Her Zebra -1949

  
From an original article here

More Top Rank staff pictures

                    

Top Rank staff photos and Coronation Street signing

Thanks again to the kind person who sent these in via Facebook. They feature in many of these photos!   From Ladbrokes to Rank, another refit and the prize shop moves from the inner foyer to the stage. Mid 80s?

  Staff party in the final staff uniforms. Photo in Buffet.   Who needs Muhammad Ali at Stretford Arundale flogging Ovaltine at Tescos when you can have Lynne Perrie at Stretford Top Rank Bingo flogging her autograph!

Ladbrokes days interior pictures 

More fantastic pictures submitted from a Facebook user. Late 70s, early 80s, the user think the photos were taken as part of a refit from the Ladbrokes ownership (1965-1986), maybe it was a special event to mark the occasion, hence the brass band? The man featured in one of the pictures is Jim Pass, the last chief projectionist when the building closed as a cinema in 1965 who stayed on for some time as an engineer with the building in its new format before moving on. These are some of the best historical colour interior pictures unearthed to date!   

     

The last / lost images

This video was accidentally set to private by its owner some time ago. It’s now back in the public domain. It’s the last known images taken inside the place during the pre auction viewing in the late 90s. Since then not a single picture exists!