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Savoy Super Cinema, Abbington Street, Northampton

Formerly - The ABC / Cannon Cinema - Later - The Jesus Centre

Northampton Theatres Index

The Jesus Centre, Northampton, formerly the Savoy Cinema, in February 2012 - Courtesy Eve Livesley

Above - The Jesus Centre, Northampton, formerly the Savoy Cinema, in February 2012 - Courtesy Eve Livesley

The building currently known as the Jesus Centre in Abbington Street, Northampton was originally built as a Super Cinema, and was designed by William Riddell Glen who was the in house architect for Associated British Cinemas (ABC) at the time. The Cinema opened as the Savoy on Saturday May the 2nd 1936 with a superb example of an Art Deco auditorium, which had a large capacity on two levels, Stalls and one curving Balcony, for 1,700 people. The Cinema was tripled in the early 1970s and became part of the Cannon Cinema chain in the 1980s.

The Cinema was closed in 1995 and was eventually purchased by the Jesus Army Charitable Trust who commissioned a report on the Cinema's history and architecture by the University of Leicester Archaeological Services in accordance with Northamptonshire Heritage and the Northamptonshire Borough Council before work on the building's conversion could begin. A record of this article on the building in PDF format is available here.

  • ORGAN CELEBRITIES - 33. Harold Nash
    ORGAN CELEBRITIES - 33. Harold Nash
  • Northampton Jesus Centre (Savoy/ABC cinema)
    Northampton Jesus Centre (Savoy/ABC cinema)
  • The Story of the Northampton Savoy
    The Story of the Northampton Savoy

Above - A visual record of the history of the Savoy Cinema, Northampton, and its organist Harold Nash by the Theatre's former projectionist Alan Ashton, A visual record of the history of the Savoy Cinema, Northampton, and its conversion into the Jesus Centre, and A Video on the History of the Jesus Centre, Northampton.

In 2003 construction began to convert the former Cinema, at a cost of £3m, into the Jesus Army Worship Centre. The original internal structure of the building was repaired and restored and although it is no longer a Cinema, the auditorium, which is Grade II Listed, is now once again visible as Glen's fine Art Deco creation of 1936.

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