Lytham St.Annes Coat of Arms
Lytham St.Annes, Lancashire, England


Empire DE LUXE Cinema, St.Annes, 1912

 A newspaper report, the opening of the Empire Cinema, St.George's Road, St.Annes.

A newspaper report, the opening of the Empire Cinema, St.George's Road, St.Annes.

The new Empire de Luxe Picturedrome, in St. George's Road, was opened on Monday afternoon the magistrates, after their visit of inspection, consenting to the granting of a provisional licence.

The Hall is of roomy proportions, and cosy and dainty in its furnishings. Over 900 persons scowl) an uninterrupted view of the streets. The place has been designed specifically for a picturedrome by the architect, Mr. Arnold England, and all the latest improvements have been incorporated.

The ceiling is gracefully domed; the Walls are artistically panelled; the floor rises to give each row of auditors a full view of the stage; and the scheme of decoration is dainty in cream and gold.

The tip-up chairs are in blue plush and afford the maximum comfort; at the back a balcony lounge, containing the best seats and approached by wide stone steps, heavily carpeted, gives an elevated view of the whole house. The attractive entrance hall, with its gilded domed pay-box, leads to the best seats; the lower- priced seats, also in blue plush upholstery, being gained from a side entrance. Exits in abundance are provided, with all offices to meet the magisterial requirements. The lanterns are located in a separate suite of rooms constructed of brick and concrete, and with doors and floors sheathed in iron.

There are automatic shutters covering the lantern projection apertures, which can be closed instantaneously, so that perfect safety is assured. The building is suitably constructed of steel, brick and Ferrorock patent stone. The safety and comfort of patrons have been studied in every detail, and the whole of the structure is impressive with its solidarity and its restful charm akin to luxury.

The work has been expeditiously carried out in a skilful manner, by St. Annes contractors. Messrs. J. Heap and Sons, of the Pioneer Sawmills, secured the sole contract and executed the constructional work, including excavating, brickwork and joiner's work. Mr. J. Sutton carried out the plastering and fibrous embellishments; Messrs. Russell and Co. the plumbing, heating and electrical fittings; Mr. J. Brierley the slating; Mr. Wilfred Ingham the painting and decorating; and Messrs. J. Hall and Son the upholstering and furnishings.

The "Empire" will add one more attraction for St. Annes residents and visitors. It is not a far cry to the time when the only entertainment in St. Annes was a troupe of pierrots, who performed in the open-air, on the Pierhead. Other forms of public entertainment have been called into being as the town has grown; to have been content with one form of entertainment would have been unprogressive and unenterprising.


The "Hospice" was open for the first time on Monday, and at the matinee there was a large attendance. Precious to the admission of the public, a very interesting ceremony took place when the building was formally declared open by Miss Doris Crowther, the charming little daughter of Mr. J. S. Crowther, one of the proprietors of the Empire. She performed the ceremony from the inside of the pretty entrance, and at the word of opening the large roller gate was thrown up, disclosing the fair opener, escorted by her little girl friends, Miss Kathleen V. Spring and Miss D. England. The three maidens carried beautiful bouquets. Miss Crowther was presented with a gold locket by the manager, and the "supporters" were the recipients of large boxes of "Empire" chocolates.

An excellent programme of the latest and best pictures was projected, including events of the day by "Gaumont's Graphic." The popularity of pictures is easily understood after seeing the display at the Empire. The whole story of a novel is compressed into ten minutes' action, and a visit to the Empire is like reading a number of interesting stories. Dramatic and comic firms are interpolated, and so absorbingly interesting are the films that on Monday the large audience frequently broke into applause. "Monarchs of the Prairie" is a magnificent sporting film, of which the Empire has the exclusive rights in St. Annes. Among the dramatic pictures are "The Smuggler's daughter," "His Lost Love," "The Cattle King's Daughter," and "How States are made." The comics include "Max as a Cabdriver," "What's your hurry," and "Everything comes to him who waits." A change of pictures is made every Monday and Thursday, and there are matinees on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

The cosy seats, the entertaining pictures, the beautiful decorations and lighting, and the general excellence makes the Empire a worthy addition to the attractions of the town.