The Lonsdale Cinema opened on 21st September 1931 it was operated by Sydney Bacon Pictures Ltd. Architect Percy L. Browne & Son of Newcastle designed a superb cinema that was equipped for films and stage show use. Seating was provided in stalls and balcony. A feature of the foyer decoration was a stained glass window which depicted Carlisle Castle.
The cinema was taken over by Associated British Cinema (and subsequently renamed ABC). It continued as a single screen cinema until it was twinned, re-opening as a 586 seat cinema in the former circle on 25th May 1972. The former stalls area became an Alpha Bingo Club. Much of the original decoration within the auditorium was removed or covered over, and it was at this time that the Christie organ was removed and sent to Harrogate for preservation.
ABC leased out the cinema to an Independent operator R.J. Towers who twinned the former balcony screen which re-opened with seating for 410 and 230 on 19th December 1978, reverting back to its original name, Lonsdale Cinema. The bingo club in the former stalls area became a Gala Bingo Club. In September 1997 a third screen seating 50 was added, then a further 2 screens were opened in 1993 in the adjacent former post office building, seating 122 and 96 (enlarged to 116 seats in1996).
In early 2004 the Gala Bingo Club re-located to new premises.In December 2005, it was announced that plans were being put forward to demolish the Lonsdale (not including the 2 screens in the former post office) and build housing on the site. The cinema closed on 23rd April 2006 when the lease ran out.
The Lonsdale Cinema was designated a Grade II Listed building in June 2007 and was de-listed in March 2010, but still remains in the towns conservation area.
This is another one I need to re-visit. I think I missed a few things and my photos didn't turn out quite how I'd wanted them to. Anyway on to the pictures: