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The Savoy Theatre, 46 Belgrave Gate, Leicester

Later - The ABC Cinema / The Cannon Film Centre / MGM / ABC

Leicester Theatres

The ABC, Leicester, formerly the Savoy Theatre, showing the Jerry Lewis Film 'The Family Jewels' and 'Town Tamer' in a photograph taken with a Kodak Brownie in 1965 - Courtesy Alan Jones who worked at the Theatre from 1965.

Above - The ABC, Leicester, formerly the Savoy Theatre, showing the Jerry Lewis Film 'The Family Jewels' and 'Town Tamer' in a photograph taken with a Kodak Brownie in 1965 - Courtesy Alan Jones who worked at the Theatre from 1965.

The Savoy Theatre was situated on Belgrave Gate in Leicester. The Theatre was built for Associated British Cinemas (ABC) and designed by William Riddell Glen in the Art Deco Style. It opened on the 4th of June 1937 with a showing of the 1936 film 'Sensation'.

Built primarily as a Cinema the Theatre was also equipped with a small stage for variety productions and included dressing rooms for its artistes. However, the stage was only used in the early days and mostly the Theatre was in Cinema use, although some pop concerts were apparently staged there in the 1960s.

The Theatre was renamed ABC in 1960 and by 1970 it had been twinned with one screen in the Theatre's former Circle, seating 606, and a second screen in the Stalls seating 910. Further splitting was achieved in 1973 when the rear stalls was converted into two more screens seating 410 and 232 people.

The Theatre was originally equipped with its own Compton 3 Manual / 6 Rank organ which had an illuminated console and a Melotone attachment, but this was removed in the 1970 conversion and then installed in the Regent Theatre in Fleggburgh near Great Yarmouth.

The Theatre was later renamed the Cannon Film Centre when Cannon took it over from EMI, who were the successors to ABC, but in 1991 it became an MGM Cinema, and then finally ABC again, which would be its last incarnation when it closed on the 16th of January 1997 with a showing of the 1996 Star Trek film 'First Contact'.

The Theatre then remained closed and boarded up for many years, until its eventual demolition in 2007 when the site was re-used as a car park.

Some of the information for this Theatre was gleaned from the excellent Cinema Treasures Website.

If you have any more information or images for this Theatre that you are willing to share please Contact me.

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