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The Essoldo, Uxbridge Road Hayes (formerly The Savoy)

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Registered: January 2012
Posts: 537
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Photo by LenGazzard, Taken on: June 17, 1973
· Date: Mon August 18, 2014 · Views: 6,063 · Filesize: 72.2kb · Dimensions: 640 x 411 ·
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Keywords: The Essoldo, Uxbridge Road Hayes (formerly Savoy)
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Registered: April 2012
Posts: 450
Tue August 26, 2014 16:07 Rating: 10.00 

This was once the 'posh' cinema before it became a 'Casino' and then a Bingo Hall.
It always felt grand going into the Savoy with its' velvet curtains and seats. I remember seeing the film 'Friendly Persuasion' there which I only wanted to see to hear Pat Boone singing my favourite song, 'Friendly Persuasion' at the beginning and the end. We also went there from Charville School to see the film of Mount Everest being climbed for the first time to the top by Sir Edmund Hillary, which was a great achievement in 1952.

Registered: January 2012
Posts: 537
Wed September 30, 2015 21:55

The Savoy Cinema was one of a small chain of ‘Savoy’ cinemas promoted in the outer London suburbs by independent operator A. Glassman. All were designed by noted cinema architect George Coles, and here at Hayes he again designed a magnificent cinema.

The Savoy Cinema opened on 2nd January 1939, only fourteen days after the nearby Ambassador Theatre had opened. The opening feature film was Ginger Rogers in "Having Wonderful Time" supported by Richard Arlen in "The Call of the Yukon". On stage was Leon Cortez and his BBC Band of Coster Pals with Doreen Harris in the "BBC ‘APPY 'ARF 'OUR". The Compton 2Manual/8Ranks organ with illuminated console was opened by organist Norman Tilley.

The imposing facade of the Savoy Cinema is set well back from the main Uxbridge Road. The style could be described as Italian Renaissance with buff brickwork, three large arched windows that are framed by four Doric columns. A miniature balustrade runs across the top of the building. The foyer had Australian walnut panneling on its walls and there were marble stairs leading to the circle foyer and cafe. Seating inside the auditorium was provided for 1,452 in the stalls and 800 in the circle. There were three decorative niches in each side wall and a large decorative grille on each side of the proscenium, containing the organ chambers. A large central laylight in the ceiling illuminated the auditorium. The proscenium is 48 feet wide, the stage 22 feet deep and there were two dressing rooms. Some big name stars appeared at the Savoy Cinema over the years, including Max Miller, Josephine Baker, Will Hay Jr., Jack Payne and His Band and in later years Adam Faith.

The Savoy Cinema was sold to the Newcastle based Essoldo Cinemas Ltd. chain in 1957. Essoldo already ran the nearby Essoldo Hayes (former Corinth Cinema) and they closed that in 1961. The Savoy Cinema was re-named Essoldo from 14th October 1962. It was closed on 14th October 1967 with Gordon Scott in "Goliath and the Vampires" (Maciste Contro il Vampiro) and Richard Garland in "Attack of the Crab Monsters".

It was converted into an Essoldo Bingo Club, later becoming a Ladbrokes Bingo Club and for many years it has been a Mecca Bingo Club. The once lavish entrance foyer is now lined with slot machines and has a false suspended ceiling. The circle foyer has been converted into office space, and strangely, inside the auditorium a plain false ceiling has been suspended just beneath and hiding the original decorative ceiling.

After the Essoldo closed, Hayes was without a cinema, until five years later, when Classic Cinemas opened a 400 seat cinema above a supermarket that had been built adjacent to the Essoldo.

Contributed by Ken Roe
From: [ link ]

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