Building Name

The Apollo Theatre Stockport Road Ardwick Green.

1937 - 1938
Stockport Road
Ardwick, Manchester
GMCA, England
R C Roy
New Build
Grade II
Ford Bank Estates Limited (Direct Labour)

The building contract will be carried out by direct labour for the erection of the “Apollo” cinema, Ardwick Green for Apollo Cinemas Limited, 25 Cross Street, Manchester. The architect is Mr Peter Cummings, 31 King Street West, Manchester. [Builder 5 November 1937 Page 853 - new cinemas]

APOLLO THEATRE ARDWICK - Pinnacle of Entertainment - Wonder theatre of the North, incorporating almost every new idea that has been introduced for the comfort and safety of the film-going public, the Apollo Theatre, Ardwick Green, will open its doors on Monday evening when the deputy Lord Mayor of Manchester, Alderman J Toole, officiates at the inaugural ceremony. Appropriately. the film for the first week is the latest comedy of Lancashire's own star George Formby in “I See Ice.” With a seating capacity of nearly 3,000, the theatre is the outstanding achievement of an architect who has already given Manchester many fine cinemas, ranging from the Pyramid (Sale) to the Tatler - Mr Peter Cummings, ARIBA assisted by Mr Alexander Irvine, ARIBA. In the Apollo they have created a rendezvous which will attract all who wish for high class entertainment in perfect surroundings.  Whether you approach the Apollo from the Stockport road side, or from Hyde road, the sombreness of the white building attracts and soothes the eye. The relief of the black adds to its dignity. The brilliantly shining chromium fittings of the doors and windows greatly add to the catching and holding of the rays of sunshine. The interior of the theatre has been designed with, a view both to the comfort of the audience and the harmony of appearance. The lay out of the circle is without parallel for its shallowness, despite the fact that 1,100 seats are provided there. Simplicity of the decorations is a feature of the auditorium, and a striking effect is that of the multi coloured lighting which surrounds the proscenium opening and the front of the main screen. A long curve, sweeping from the roof over the circle to just in front of the stage, adds a new and original feature to the design, and it is possible to stand behind the curve and direct a stage show from in front of the proscenium without being seen by the audience. The projection box has every device to ensure the safety of the audience, especially in case of fire. The shutters through which the projectors shine are held in position by electric magnets and if there should be a fire they will mechanically fall into place, cutting off the projection room from the audience. Among the many wonders of the new theatre's equipment is the Compton Theatre Organ, the first to be fitted into a Manchester theatre, and installed by Messrs Wagstaff of Deansgate. The organ is entirely pipe-less, the various sounds being set up by electric frequencies and transmitted to the audience by speakers. First, experiment is being, made with twenty speakers, but, if these are not sufficient for the size of the theatre, more will be installed. One hundred per-cent British made, the organ can be assembled in a very few hours, and is easy to transport from place to place. Mr R C Roy was successful in securing the original Floods which were used for illuminating the inside of Westminster Abbey during the Coronation of King George VI for exterior floodlighting of the Apollo. These floods are of the wide angle type, fitted with prismatic Holophane glass and each of the fourteen Floods is illuminated by a 1,500 Watt lamp. The total candle power of the flood lighting is 21,000. [Manchester City News 27 August 1938]


Opened on 29 August 1938 as “the new streamlined home of cine-variety.” the cinema spans between Hyde Road and Stockport Road and provided seating for 2,634.

Reference    Builder 22 January 1937 Page 233 - Proposed seating for 3,000
Reference    Builder 25 June 1937 Page 1358 - steelwork contract
Reference    Builder 5 November 1937 Page 853 - new cinemas
Reference    Manchester City News 27 August 1938 Page