80 years since doors opened at Barrow Art Deco cinema
THIS week sees the 80th anniversary of one of the Art Deco palaces of entertainment in Furness
The Roxy cinema, on the corner of Cavendish Street and Dalkeith Street, Barrow, was officially opened on August 9 in 1937.
It was built inside the shell of the old Royalty Theatre.
The first film was the Charge of the Light Brigade starring Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland.
The rest of August saw screenings of Dark Journey, followed by Beloved Enemy and Gold Diggers of 1937.
In November 1945 the name was changed to the Odeon and it had its own children’s club called the Birthday Club.
The name changed again to the Classic in 1967 and the cinema closed in June 1976 - to emerge as a nightclub called Champers and later Manhattans.
A souvenir programme for the opening if the Roxy in 1937 was produced for the owner James Brennan.
The architects were Drury and Gomersall, of Manchester and Wadham and Son, of Barrow
The curtains, carpets and wall paneling was supplied by Pauldens, of Ardwick, Manchester.
Herbert McKenzie was resident manager at the new Roxy with general manager Mr W. H. Colman in overall charge of Brennan’s entertainment empire in South Cumbria.
This included the Roxy cinemas at Ulverston, Dalton and Carnforth, three cinemas in Kendal and the Verona at Knott End.
Film fans at the Barrow Roxy could get their tickets to the stalls in Cavendish Street and for the circle in Dalkeith Street.
The Roxy was Barrow’s first cinema to be allowed to open on Sundays in 1941 – as a wartime measure to boost morale and keep essential war workers out of pubs.