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Gaumont, Manchester, England

The 70mm Newsletter
Written by: David Slack, Boston, UK Date: 24.05.2009
The huge marquee with its red neon signs was made good use of during the roadshow era

Further to my contribution for "My First 70mm", I have received the attached photos of the Gaumont cinema in Manchester, from a gentleman who had read my article and agreed to let me send them to you. I have been searching for such photos for years. Not only is the Gaumont featured in one of them, but the Oxford, next door, is too; and its feature was "Ben Hur". "Can Can" in Todd-AO was heavily advertised around the building, you can just see the panels beneath the canopy covering the pavement. The Gaumont marquee was used to great effect, especially after dark. A couple of photos pre-date Todd-AO. The one shot of the interior gives a hint of the elaborate decor in the auditorium, note the ceiling panels, it really was a magnificent theatre.

More in 70mm reading:

Gaumont, Manchester, England

A Visit to Manchester
"The Miracle of Todd-AO"
"The March of Todd-AO"
"South Pacific"

My First 70mm

Internet link:
Entrance to the Long Bar, a popular bar and meeting place situated in the basement of the Gaumont

Well, after all my years of searching I cannot believe that someone actually had these photos. To him, I am very grateful. Many times I sat in that auditorium, climbed those stairs and enjoyed a drink in the Long Bar which was located beneath the cinema and was quite extensive. The portrait colour shot is taken from the main foyer and shows the mirror hall on the balcony from where the entrances to the circle were located. The colour landscape shot is of the mirror hall. Note the poster on the side of the advance booking office advertising "The Alamo" - in Todd-AO!

The name of the gentleman who sent me the Gaumont photos is Christopher Porter. He send his best wishes to you and compliments your website!
Even more magical after dark with crowds heading for "Can-Can" or "Ben-Hur" next door at The Oxford  
An advance booking office was installed in the main foyer, this time for "The Alamo" in Todd-AO. The staircase led up to the Mirror Hall  
The plush stalls seats were raked to give everyone a god view  
The Mirror Hall gave access to the Circle and Loges
The Mirror Hall gave access to the Circle and Loges  
A detail from some of the magnificent plasterwork seen throughout the Gaumont  
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Updated 07-01-23