First mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086, as both Wachefeld and Wachefelt, the cathedral city of Wakefield boasts a rich and well documented history. Famous for its industry throughout the industrial revolution, Wakefield is still home to more than 700 listed buildings.
The Regal ABC Cinema
The Regal cinema in Kirkgate was the last purpose built ABC cinema to be launched in Britain in 1935.
Opened on 9 December 1935, the cinema stalls and a balcony provided 1,594 seats in one auditorium. The theatre design was a little different from previous William R Glen movie theatres, because the exits were not placed on either side of the front stalls and decoration was more plain.
The Regal was renamed as the ADB in 1962.
Then in November 1976, the auditorium was divided into three smaller screens, offering 532, 236 and 170 seats.
The Cannon Group bought the ABC cinema in 1986, but the opening of the Cineworld Complex in Wakefield in December 1996 led to the ABC’s closure a few months later.
The location of the derelict cinema led to several development scheme submissions to the local council. Initially the building was pencilled for conversion, but subsequent plans included full demolished for flats and then a car park.
The Cinema Theatre Association (CTA) and Wakefield Civic Society have worked hard to save the art-deco building.
Meanwhile, in Bradford development plans were green lit for conversion of the historic Odeon into a live entertainment and arts venue. In contrast, Newcastle Upon Tyne’s art-deco Odeon was stripped of its listed status and interior decoration in secret. Once the new owners obtained permission for demolition, an accident caused the building to collapse onto the road and passenger bus stops in the heart of the city centre.
The City Through The Ages
A compilation by Old Wakey of black and white photos showing many different locations around Wakefield in the olden days.
When you watch a video on our site, it streams directly from YouTube. That means the person who uploaded the film gets an increase in their YouTube ‘views’, in turn making YouTube more likely to promote this vintage footage to other people.
Which video would you like to watch next?
- Old Wakefield
- Wakefield 1925 to 1999
- Wakefield History
- Ronnie Walker (1936)
- Stanley Royd, Former Pauper Lunatic Asylum Wakefield (1960s)
- Thornes Park Wakefield (1965)
- Tour Around Wakefield (1973/4)
- Casanovas And Rooftop Gardens Night Clubs (1980s)
- A Drive From Doncaster Road To The Bullring Wakefield (1987)
- Wakefield Westgate & York Railway Stations (1989)
- Wakefield (2017)
Or, Find other locations in our Sitemap for England