ABC Cinema, Wakefield
|Regal (1935–62), Cannon (1986–97)|
The disused cinema at night
Wakefield, West Yorkshire
|Owner||ABC Cinemas (1935–86)
The Cannon Group (1986–)
|Capacity||1,594 (as a single-screen auditorium, 1935–76)|
|Opened||9 December 1935|
|Rebuilt||1976 divided into a 3-screen complex|
|Architect||William R. Glen|
The ABC Cinema, Wakefield is a derelict cinema in Wakefield, West Yorkshire. It is in Kirkgate on the corner of Sun Lane. It is an Art Deco building that was designed for Associated British Cinemas by in-house architect William R. Glen and opened as the Regal Cinema on 9 December 1935.
Not as large as some later ABC houses the Regal accommodated 1,594 but had a full stage 26 feet (7.9 m) deep behind the 43 feet (13 m) wide proscenium. The interior was rather plainer than many of Glen's cinemas with concealed lighting under the balcony and at the rear of the ceiling and pendant fittings casting light upwards towards the front of the cinema.
It was renamed ABC in 1962. In 1976 it was divided into three screens with Screen 1 seating 532 in the balcony using the original screen and projection suite and Screen 2 (236 seats) and Screen 3 (170 seats) in the rear stalls area. In this form it reopened on 11 November 1976. In 1986 ABC's cinemas were sold to The Cannon Group. In December 1996 Cineworld opened a multiplex in Wakefield and in 1997 the ABC closed.
In 2007 Blockbuster Entertainment sought planning permission to convert the building into 119 one- and two-bedroom flats, eight shops and a rooftop garden. In 2009 the City of Wakefield granted planning permission, but the project did not go ahead. In December 2013 a property company, PS & S Ltd, applied for planning permission to demolish the building and replace it with a modern apartment block.
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