Title: Essoldo Cinema, High Street Gateshead, 1968
Photographer: Davison, N.
Date: February 1968
Reference Number: GL001189
Item Description: This opened as the Kings Theatre in 1905. It was built on a sharp road junction, which resulted in the unusual fan-shaped building. There were 18 rows of seats with a promenade and a saloon lounge over the main entrance. The whole theatre held over 2000 people.
The opening performance was of the musical comedy Floradora. The owners of the theatre intended to run Kings as a ‘high-class’ establishment by either only hiring London theatre companies or those of first class reputation from elsewhere . However, Gateshead was outside the theatre circuit system and the best shows never appeared. The theatre struggled and was eventually converted to a cinema.
The Kings was renamed twice after the First World War becoming the Empire in 1918 and finally the Essoldo in 1950. It closed in 1967 and was demolished in 1968 to make way for the A1 viaduct
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