ABC Chester (Chester)

The ABC Cinema, Chester was at 76 Foregate Street, Chester, Cheshire and opened on Saturday, October 30, 1937 as The Regal Cinema with the film 'Slave Ship,' staring actors Warner Baxter and Wallace Berry from 7pm. From Monday, November 1, 1937 they added a second feature 'Turn Off The Moon' staring actor Charles Ruggles.

The Regal Cinema was on the corner of Love Street. It was designed by the ABC in-house architect William Riddle Glen (1884 - 1950).

It opened as The ABC Cinema in 1959 when the Regal was dropped.

On Monday, September 14, 1964 Stage Shows came along to The ABC Cinema, the first being headlined by The Rolling Stones and Inez and Charlie Foxx with Mike Berry and the Innocents, Simon Scott and the Le Roys, The Mojo from 6.15pm & 8.30pm. Ticket prices were 7/6, 10/6 and 12/6.

After sleeping on the pavement all night, the queues of fans, four to five deep, had to endure a rain storm before the booking office opened at 11am to buy tickets for the first Stage Show in September 1964. No phone bookings and all four thousand tickets sold-out by 1pm.

EMI brought the ABC in 1969. On Thursday, May 29, 1980, EMI turned the cinema into two cinemas, situated in the balcony area with seating for 470 and 252.

An EMI Bingo Club occupied the former stalls seating area. Later, Coral took over the bingo. Projection was now operated using a non-rewind (cake stand) system. In 1987, Cannon Group took over the helm, closing it on Sunday, December 16, 1990 with the film “Ghost' in screen one and 'Exorcist 3' in screen two. The building remained closed for nearly five years, opening as a Brannigans nightclub on Friday, October 6, 1995.

Today it is part of the Primark store.

Information courtesy John H Warburg

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