Building Name

Capitol Cinema Parrs Wood Road South East Didsbury

1929 - 1931
Parrs Wood Road South
East Didsbury, Manchester
GMCA, England
New Build
gutted by fire

CAPITOL CINEMA EAST DIDSBURY -  In about six weeks’ time the large population centred round East Didsbury will be provided with much-needed entertainment facilities in the form of a new super-cinema and café, to be known as the “Capitol.” The cinema stands on an acre and a half of ground at the corner of Parrs Wood Road South and School Lane, the length of the auditorium extending down the first-named road.

ESSENCE OF DIGNITY AND TASTE - Entirely apart from the various novelty features of the design and equipment it is to be noted that the new cinema is an example of what a skilled architect can do to make such a structure fit in with the surroundings. Mr P. Cummings, ARIBA, the architect, has designed his building on a very modern straight-line style to be carried out in hand-made sand-faced brick, jointed with white cement and dressed with cream-coloured terra-cotta. The scheme in actual being looks the essence of dignity and artistic taste: it attracts without imposing itself on the surroundings. When the contemplated tree and shrub planting clothes the barer aspects of the site, the “Capitol” will indeed be an addition to the beauty of the area.

WALNUT PANELLED FOYER -The cinema is a steel-framed construction, with reinforced concrete balcony and floors. It will seat 1,200 on the ground floor and 450 in the balcony, whilst the café (on the first floor over the foyer) will take about 200 people. It will be available for private dances and functions, and it will have its own public entrance from Parrs Wood Road South. The main entrance to the cinema gives into a vestibule, treated as to the walls with marble panelling. This leads into the auditorium or into the foyer, a roomy French windowed apartment with walnut-panelled walls, comfortable furnishings and facilities for obtaining cigarettes and sweets.

NOVEL DECORATIONS -The theatre proper is to be decorated in highly novel style with the new plastic paint medium. The ceiling is treated in fibrous plaster, and there is an interesting cornice design. The whole of the lighting is in novel coloured effects. The seats, upholstered in moquette in modern designs, are comfortable and roomy, and liberal spacing has been allowed - two feet six inches from back to back and two feet nine inches in the balcony. All metal work is in stainless steel.

STAGE PROVISION -The front of the theatre is designed in novel style. The proscenium, to begin with, has the enormous span of forty-five feet six inches, to provide for any future development in wider screens and films. The stage is designed and equipped for dramatic and musical productions; there is provision for flying the scenery; there are eight dressing-rooms; and the stage itself has one of the largest cycloramas in Europe, giving an effect of enormous depth. A Holophane coloured lighting system is installed, and the talking apparatus is the latest Western Electric. [The Manchester City News Saturday 14 February 1931]

Reference    Builder 14 June 1929 page 1094 - plans approved for new cinema
Reference    The Manchester City News Saturday 14 February 1931