Beginning life as a church (1864) The church closed and the building was radically altered and a cinema license was obtained in 1912.
The exterior is quite ornate for such a small cinema with the front and part of the side tiled in decorative terracotta tiling with ornate round windows with carved laurel leaves and swags. There is an ornate balustrade along the top with a cupola temple structure above a corner entrance. The words “Salford Cinema” are carved on a half circle ornate pedement at the middle top of the frontage.
The cinema changed hands in 1921 and again in 1937 when the name was changed to the Rex Cinema (even though “Salford Cinema” was clearly carved in the pediment.
The cinema suffered from the advent of television and the slum clearances which had taken most of the customers form the area. The Rex Cinema closed as a cinema in 1958 and lay empty for some time until 1967 when it opened as a bingo hall.
The opening ceremony was performed by actress “Violet Carson” better known as “Ena Sharples” from the soap opera “Coronation Street” who was also a one-time cinema pianist in the silent days.
The bingo stopped in 1985 and the building has come full circle and reopened as the New Harvest Christian Fellowship, a Gospel Church. The Rex has been designated as a Grade II Listed building.
I came across this cinema whilst driving around trying to find a car park for the hotel we was staying at a year ago. Being on a cross road it popped out and the Salford Sign had me hooked. I wanted to capture the building in a retro form and decided to come back with a vintage camera. Shooting through an inch of glass that is reflecting upside down is hard work yet very rewarding. I love how this old camera still takes pin sharp pin hole shots even to this day. Taken using a 1924 Kodak Brownie and Fomapan 100 ASA 120mm Film.