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Picture house on White Ladies Rd, Clifton, Bristol, UK.

The ABC Cinema (grid reference ST576742) is a historic building on Whiteladies Road in Clifton, Bristol, England.

It was built in 1920–1921 as a cinema, called the Whiteladies Picture House by James Henry LaTrobe and Thomas Henry Weston and opened by the Duchess of Beaufort. It formerly had a ballroom and restaurant, but in 1978, the large screen was done away with and the building split into three mini cinemas. As part of the ABC chain, the cinema was eventually absorbed by Odeon, in a merger undertaken by the private equity firm Cinven. With another Odeon nearby on Broadmead’s Union Street, the decision was taken to close down and sell the Whiteladies in 1999 with a restrictive covenant forbidding its future use as a cinema.1 While the front section of the building has been divided off to create “The Old Picture House” restaurant, the majority of the building including the main auditorium, balcony and ballroom has remained empty since its closure in 1999. Several plans have been put forward to develop or convert the building but as of yet[when?] none have come to fruition. In November 2010, David Fells (the manager of the local Redgrave Theatre) and Alan Mandel Butler (local actor and entrepreneur) announced their intension to form a new charitable company. The aim of this company is to raise the necessary capital to reopen the Picture House as a mixed-use theatre and film space. Details of their project can be found at

It has been designated by English Heritage as a grade II listed building.

Photo taken on 4th July 2011 with a Nikon D700 and Nikkor 70-200mm f2.8 @f2.8.


picture house, white ladies rd, clifton, bristol, uk, tower, architecture

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