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Abc Cinema

A Grade II Listed Building in Halifax, Calderdale

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Latitude: 53.721 / 53°43'15"N

Longitude: -1.8607 / 1°51'38"W

OS Eastings: 409292

OS Northings: 424968

OS Grid: SE092249

Mapcode National: GBR HTFD.ZV

Mapcode Global: WHC9M.DQ6R

Plus Code: 9C5WP4CQ+CP

Entry Name: Abc Cinema

Listing Date: 5 October 2000

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1385013

English Heritage Legacy ID: 485473

Location: Town, Calderdale, HX1

County: Calderdale

Electoral Ward/Division: Town

Built-Up Area: Halifax

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Halifax The Minster Church of St John the Baptist

Church of England Diocese: Leeds

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Listing Text


679/0/10283 WARD'S END
05-OCT-00 Halifax
ABC Cinema


Also Known As: Regal Cinema, WARD'S END, Halifax

Cinema with integral row of shops to the north facing Alexandra Street. Opened in September 1938 as the Regal for the original ABC company (Associated British Cinemas). Architect: William Riddell Glen, FRIAS, LRIBA (1884-1950).

Thin courses of squared stone with ashlar panels and dressings; roof not visible. Plan a rounded triangle. Moderne style. Two and three storeys 1:3:6 windows to Commercial Street.

EXTERIOR: Entrance has vertical tiles on curved sides framing three pairs of renewed glass doors; fascia projects in two stages. Above, ashlar panel has projecting end fins acting as pilasters with bands in place of capitals; nearly full width projection contains triple lights set in architrave; long fluted aprons to these windows which have horizontal metal glazing bars; small narrow lights flank this group. Roof parapet has central projecting block. To the left of entrance block, a shop has plate glass window below deep fascia in green vitrolite; above, two windows of two lights under deep ashlar frieze and flat coped roof parapet. Behind this the curved wall of the cinema rises to full height and has a single window at third storey level. To right of entrance the ground floor is of rusticated ashlar with deeply recessed openings for two emergency exits and hatches. Above, windows are in two-storey panels, with fluted decoration joining lower and upper windows and with a deep ashlar lintel band; from this a second curve with two lights breaks forward to join the right return. Windows one and two lights with metal horizontal glazing bars. Rendered patching to first floor by the continuation of the broad band of green vitrolite; metal framed two and three light windows to first floor. Right return to Ward's End has canted wall with large blank centre space; either side are window panels with two and four lights. Ground floor level projects as curving wall with symmetrical arrangement of deeply recessed exit door at centre flanked by two sets of single-light paired windows. At extreme right another ashlar panel with five windows with one, two and three lights.

INTERIOR: Foyer has stepped roof panels, and original stair at right. Fan-shaped auditorium has two small cinemas inserted, leaving balcony and original full-height proscenium as third cinema. This has banded flanking walls with fleur de lys finials to shallow pilasters; proscenium arch, with panelled architrave surrounded by an ornate grille, is flanked by curving fluted recesses containing statues (replacements of the originals from the ABC Harrogate, now demolished) on fountain-shaped plinths. Ceiling in subdued Jacobean style with strap decoration and pendants. Some original fine wood doors with rich glass viewing panels survive. Other surviving decoration includes fluted curved coping to balcony foyer.

ANALYSIS: Despite subdivision, the auditorium remains a good example of an elaborate William Glen interior where e combined the Moderne with historical styles. Virtually all the cinemas built by Associated British Cinemas in the 1930s have now been drastically altered or demolished, making this one, with much surviving original decoration, a rarity. The unusually bold fortress-like exterior adds to the interest of the building.

Allen Eyles, ABC The First Name in Entertainment, Cinema Theatre
Association, London 1993, p.p.43,45 & 141;
Richard Gray, Cinemas in Britain, Lund Humphries, London 1996, p.138

Listing NGR: SE0929224968

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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