Lost cinemas where we flocked to see the big blockbuster movies of the 80s and 90s

by admin
Lost cinemas where we flocked to see the big blockbuster movies of the 80s and 90s

With the simultaneous cinema release of the Barbie and Oppenheimer movies taking place last month, cinema box-office revenues have seen a welcome boost.

Cinemas have faced a battle for their survival over the past few years due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the rise in popularity of streaming technologies such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.




But nothing quite beats the experience of watching a great film in a crowded cinema, and many will have fond memories of seeing their favourite films for the first time in cinemas with a parent or friends.

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The 1980s and ’90s were a great time for blockbuster movies, with some of the biggest of all time being released during those decades, including E.T. the Extra Terrestrial (1982), Star Wars – Return of the Jedi (1983), Titanic (1997), Jurassic Park (1993), and Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991).

Sadly, many of the cinemas we first saw these great movies in have closed and been demolished.

In honour of these Greater Manchester movie meccas of the ’80s and ’90s, the M.E.N. has dug through the archives for some of our favourite cinemas that are now sadly lost to time.

This won’t be a complete list of all the cinemas popular in the ’80s and ’90s, so if you think we’ve missed any out let us know in the comments below.

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Tatton Cinema, Gatley Road, Gatley, Stockport, 1982-1995. The Tatton Cinema opened in 1937. It seated approximately 1200 people in the stalls and circle, and also had a restaurant. It was divided into the Tatton Minor and Tatton Major Cinemas in 1971, and was again subdivided to create the Tatton Mini Cinema in 1976. It was renamed the Apollo Cinema after being bought by Apollo. The cinema closed in 2000 and the building was demolished, though the façade was retained

(Image: Heritage Images via Getty Images)

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In Bury, the Warner Brothers cinema was opened in June 1989 by Cabaret star Liza Minnelli. Later renamed Warner Village, the 12-screen cinema was located on the Pilsworth Industrial Estate. The Warner building was taken over by Vue in 2004 but closed in June 2010, to be replaced by the Vue Bury at The Rock shopping centre as part of a £220m regeneration of the town. The old cinema was demolished in 2016

(Image: David Simpson/Cinema Treasures)

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The Mayfair cinema in Bury on August 18, 1994, showing the films Baby’s Day Out, Blank Cheque, and Maverick. The cinema underwent a large renovation in the 1980s to turn it into a two-screen complex. In 1992, Apollo Leisure took over the venue which closed shortly after. In 2003 the building was demolished

(Image: Mirrorpix)

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The Roxy Cinema in Hollinwood, Oldham, opened in December 1937. Redevelopments over the years meant that the independently operated cinema had seven screens by the late 1990s. It was announced the cinema would close at the end of September 2005. The building was left empty for a short while before sadly being demolished in February 2007

(Image: Mirrorpix)

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In its bustling heyday, one cinema was ‘the’ place to be for kids in Stockport. An institution in the area, Grand Central, off the A6 in the town centre, first opened in 1991 and shared a site with a bowling alley, laser quest and a nearby swimming pool. Trading under different names over the years, many will remember it began life as an MGM – Metro Goldwyn Mayer cinema. But 2018 marked the end of an era for the big screen in Stockport, as it was announced that the Grand Central Cinema was to close after 25 years. It was demolished later that same year

(Image: Mirrorpix)

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The late Caroline Aherne outside Cine City on Wilmslow Road in Withington, Manchester, in April 1996. It opened in 1912 originally as The Scala and was the third cinema to open in Britain. Cine City closed in 2001 and was demolished in spring 2008

(Image: Manchester Evening News)

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The late Caroline Aherne enjoying popcorn in Cine City in Withington in 1996

(Image: Manchester Evening News)

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The Curzon Cinema opened in Urmston in 1936. Later it continued to be operated by an independent despite nearby multiplexes. Sadly, it was closed in September 2008

(Image: Manchester Evening News)

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Derick Moss, former owner of Urmston’s Curzon cinema, still doing well even with the Trafford Centre on his door step. February 2003

(Image: Manchester Evening News)

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The Odeon started life as The Paramount Theatre on October 6, 1930, before becoming the Odeon in 1939. It was also used for glitzy film premieres. In 1992, the Jack Nicholson and Tom Cruise film, A Few Good Men, premiered in Manchester. The seven-screen Oxford Street cinema closed in September 2004 after 74 years. The building was not listed and despite efforts from campaigners, development plans were originally approved in 2007 before the iconic cinema was demolished in 2017

(Image: @Manchester Libraries)

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Showcase Cinema at Belle Vue, Gorton, Manchester in 1996. The cinema opened on the former Belle Vue complex in 1989 and closed in 2020. It was demolished a year later

(Image: Manchester Evening News)

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Originally opening in January 1914, the Deansgate cinema reopened in November 1930 as the Deansgate Picture House. In the late 1950s, the site was taken over by Associated British Cinemas(ABC) and modernised. By 1971, a second cinema opened, named the ABC 2, which is believed to have been formed out of the former café. In 1986, ABC was bought out by Cannon and operated under its new name until August 1990, when both screens closed. Retaining much of the former original cinema, the building was later converted to a bar for the J.D. Wetherspoon chain of pubs, named The Moon Under Water

(Image: Manchester Libraries)

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