Building Name

Lido Super Cinema Green End Road and Kingsway Burnage Manchester

Burnage, Manchester
GMCA, England
J Buckley
New Build

Built for John Buckley, the Lido Super Cinema was formally opened on Saturday 28th December 1929 and opened to the public on 30 December that year for pictures and variety. Considered the first purpose-built talkie theatre in Manchester, the Lido had seating for 1,560 in the stalls and at balcony and circle levels. Proscenium width 36 feet wide;  stage 15 feet deep; five dressing-rooms.  Café attached. Confusingly this cinema is listed as the “Lido,” Didsbury in the Kinematograph yearbook for 1931.Closed about 1986. Demolished following a fire.

KINGSWAY’S NEW CINEMA THEATRE: “THE LIDO” - The lightning arrival of the talking pictures has rendered almost every second cinema in Britain out of date. All our cinemas were built for seeing and not for hearing. In some cases the acoustics have proved unexpectedly good when they had been wired for talkies – this accounts for the great success of certain Manchester cinemas. But in the majority of cases the cinema built without a thought for their acoustics have proved complete failures as “Talkie” theatres. Today Manchester will see the formal opening of the first cinema theatre definitely designed and built for talking pictures; the “Lido” cinema, Kingsway. Every detail in this theatre has been designed to render both seeing and hearing perfect. 

MARBLE TEXTURE WALLS No expense seems to have been spared to make the cinema in every way the most up to date of its kind in the North. Thus we find that foe the first time outside the West End of London the recently invented system of giving a unique marble texture to walls has here been introduced. Not only does this method give a homogeneous marble-hard wall, even the mouldings of the panels are worked in this material, but the most beautiful effect imaginable is obtained in the full glow of electrical illumination. The general scheme in bright green and orange with metallic finish is also highly effective.

Another outstanding feature of the “Lido” design, which is the work of R Cromie of London, is that a pleasantly modernistic French style of decoration is used and incorporated in every possible feature. 

A COMMANDING POSITION - The “Lido” cinema is excellently placed right in the heart of the Kingsway housing estates, having a commanding position at the junction of Kingsway and Green End Road. Its exterior is pleasing and on the simple side; rustic brick and terra cotta dressings worked in a nice geometric pattern. The entrance gives into a spacious and brilliantly coloured entrance hall. The cinema proper is as large as, by experiment, has proved consonant with perfect hearing from every seat. It holds 1,750 people, every one having a roomy tip-up seat. The lighting provided by a large number of extremely artistically fitted lamps is brilliant. The heating is on the low-pressure syphon system, is distributed from a very satisfactory total of radiation space.

STAGE INGENUITY – The stage, which is after all the main thing, has been constructed with ingenuity and no stinting as to expenditure. Peerless high intensity arcs give the brightest illumination yet achieved; the multi-colour “Hollophane” lighting system is an important aid in special staging. The projection is of the largest type and the Western Electric talkie apparatus is well bestowed. There are ample dressing rooms attached to the stage for a free licence has been obtained and variety features will be staged regularly in addition to the talking films. The new Lido cinema opens to te public on Monday 30 December, with King of the Khyber Rifles, featuring Victor McLaglen, and the popular stage act of the Dean Sisters and Dawson.

THE BUILDING CONTRACTORS - The new "Lido" Cinema has been constructed by Messrs J. E. Armstrong and Co., of Yew-street, Lower Broughton, the general contractors for the complete scheme. Representing as it does in many ways, a departure from conventional design, the cinema has obviously called for an unusual degree of skilled work and direction on the part of the builders. The complete success of the finished structure therefore forms an abiding testimony to the resources and ability of Messrs Armstrong. The firm has a good reputation as builders and contractors in Manchester and Salford and a deal of good-class miscellaneous constructional work lies to its credit locally.

NEW BANK BRANCHES - The new cinema theatre is flanked on either side by bank premises forming part of the structure. The great local Trustee savings bank, the Manchester and Salford Savings Bank, will open its branch on the Kingsway side of the building somewhere about the end of January; the Union Bank will open in the other premises early in the new year. [Manchester City News 28 December 1929]

Reference    Manchester City News 28 December 1929 with photograph

Also known as the Odeon/ Classic/ Concorde, it remained a cinema until the 1980's, when it was converted to a Kwik Save supermarket. A fire gutted the building and the rear part was demolished.