Theatres & Cinemas
An alphabetical list
- ABC chain (c1950)
- New Theatre,
- Union chain (c1931)
- Central, Tivoli, Victoria, Playhouse, Theatre Cinema
- C.U. Amateur Dramatic Club, Park Street
- Opened in 1855
- Arts Cinema, Market Passage
- Originally the Cosmopolitan Cinema.
- Purchased and refurbished in 1947 by the Arts Theatre Trust.
- Closed on 20 June 1999 to be sold off for a pub.
- Opened in November 2002 as McMullen's "B" bar.
- Arts Theatre, Peas Hill
- Opened in 1936 by the Arts Theatre Trust
- Central Cinema, Hobson St.
- Cambridge Motor Service Co. became the Central Cinema in 1921
- The present building dates from 1930
(and it triggered the redevelopment of the Sussex St. junction).
- It became the Odeon and has been a bingo hall since 1972.
- Corn Exchange, Corn Exchange St./Wheeler St.
- Opened as a corn exchange in 1875, replacing the older one.
- First used for theatre in 1956.
- Refurbished in the mid-1980s
- Cosmopolitan Cinema, Market Passage
- Electric Cinema, Market Square
Opened in 1911, renamed to the Victoria in 1915.
It was approximately two-thirds of the way along the east side of Market Hill. The cinema moved to a new building further
north, nearer the corner, in 1931.
- Festival Theatre, Newmarket Road
- There was a theatre on the site in 1784.
- It was rebuilt in 1816 as the Theatre Royal but
became a mission hall between 1879-1915.
- It was derelict by 1926 when it was reopened by Terence Gray as the Festival Theatre,
with stage turntable, first cyclorama in country and state-of-the-art lighting.
However it experienced difficulties in mid-30s and closed.
- Now operated by the Arts Theatre Trust, it
occasionally reopens for special shows.
- It still has its Wilkins (National Gallery 1838) interior from 1816.
- Hippodrome, Auckland Road (bottom end, next to Midsummer Common)
- It showed the early Charlie Chaplin films and he may have appeared in person.
- Tudor's Circus moved from Midsummer Common to here in 1895 as The Circus of Varieties. It was down-market compared to the nearby New Theatre.
- The Hippodrome was rebuilt in 1913 as The Gaiety Theatre but closed two years later
and the building was converted to commercial purposes in 1920.
- The site became Cambridge Glassmakers in 1981 and then Midsummer Glassmakers,
until about1996 when it became housing.
- Kinema, Mill Road
- Originally Sturton Town Hall, it showed films from 1910.
- Last used for a showing as part of the 1986 Cambridge Animation Festival.
- Mumford Theatre
- CCAT's theatre, built in 1970 and named after the long-serving Principal
- New Theatre, St Andrew's Street
- Opposite the 1901 Police Station,
the site (then owned by Jesus College) is now the block including the AA shop and Midland Bank.
- In 1882 St Andrew's Hall skating rink became disused
and in 1883-6 was converted to a theatre as the New Theatre Royal
in the hope of the imminent University derestriction of term-time plays.
Charles & Sidney Chaplin played there in Sherlock Holmes.
performed here in May Week from 1883 until the Arts Theatre opened in 1936.
- Closed in 1935, having been a Theatre-Cinema for a while.
- Reopened as a cinema in 1947 though from 1948 it
reverted to stage shows, including strip-tease.
It finally closed in 1956 and was demolished in 1960-1.
- Odeon, Hobson Street
- Old Corn Exchange, Downing St.
- Opened as a corn exchange in 1842.
(The site was on St Andrew's Hill, formerly known as Hog Hill due to the
Hog & Horse Fair held there.)
- When the current Corn Exchange opened in 1875 this became a shopping centre - the Arcade.
- In 1884 Ernie Hayward converted it to a variety music hall. It closed in 1895.
- The site was used as a garage until being demolished in 1951.
- Site now occupied by the Holiday Inn.
- Old Theatre
- Built in 1790 in Regent St. but never used;
site is now the porter's lodge of Downing College
- The Playhouse, Mill Road
- Kids Sat. matinees led to the row of holes gouged by pennies while
queueing - still to be seen in the Covent Garden wall of what is now the Salvation Army shop.
- Was Fine Fare until about 1989.
- Is the site of the mill of Mill Road, with Mill Street at the rear. The actual windmill tower was
a little further along, roughly where the Standard Tandoori is now, roughly opposite Emery Street. Its sails were blown off in 1840 which seems to have ended its career.
- Regal Cinema, St Andrews Street
- The old Castle Hotel (established before 1243), opposite the New Theatre,
was destroyed by fire in 1934.
- It was replaced by Regal Cinema in 1937.
- Subsequently the ABC, Cannon, MGM, Virgin (briefly) and back to the ABC in July 1996.
- Closed on 24-Jul-1997, due to competition with the Warners multiscreen,
even though it was cheaper, had the largest screen, the latest in sound systems, far more comfortable seats and better-behaved customers.
It even had double seats in the back row...
- Sold to a property developer.
In September 1999 opened as a J.D. Wetherspoon pub (ground floor) and the
Arts Picture House
3-screen arts cinema upstairs in August.
- The earlier Regal also had pop concerts:
Cliff Richard 1959,
Beatles 1963 March & Nov.,
Rolling Stones, Roy Orbison.
- The Rendevous
- Specialised in the Undergrad. trade
- Possibly the same as the c1920-1934 restaurant in Bene't St., where Waits was
in the 1980s and 1990s.
- Rex Ballroom then Cinema
- Magrath Avenue, behind Shire Hall.
- Closed 1972, demolished 1979, now housing.
- Theatre Royal, Newmarket Road
- Tivoli, Mitcham's Corner
- The town's 2nd purpose-built cinema, 1925.
- Now the Fresher & Firkin.
- Victoria Assembly Rooms, Market Square
- Showed films from 1910
- Reopened in 1931 as the Victoria Cinema, replacing the Electric Cinema.
- It was reconed to be the finest in the City, with 70mm projectors,
a very wide screen, a shallow two-tiered auditorium (maximising the effect) and with suberb sound.
It was perfect for the late 1970s "blockbusters".
- Demolished (except for its Listed facade) in 1988 for Marks & Spencers.
Thorn EMI promised a six-screen multiplex to replace it.
- Warner Bros. Multiscreen/Village, Grafton Centre
- Opened in March 1995.
- Very uncomfortable seats, far-too-loud sound system, customers
constantly coming and going for popcorn and drinks - and consuming them noisily.