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Welbeck Cinema, Scrogg Road/Byker Street, Walker



Walker, Scrogg Road, Welbeck Cinema (Essoldo)







Extant Building

The Welbeck Cinema and Playhouse was the last silent cinema to be built in Newcastle. It was built by a company which formed in December 1928. The chairman was William Crocker, Wallsend fruit merchant and managing director of the Albion Cinema in North Shields. The architect was J. Newton Fatkin. The Welbeck seated 688 people in the stalls and 312 in the circle. The large stage had dressing rooms below and an orchestra pit. It opened on 4 November 1929. Stage acts were infrequent. An RCA sound system was installed before 1930. The Welbeck was a 'first class' cinema. The decorating was done by professionals. The circle was reseated in 1940 and the stalls in 1949, reducing the capacity to 567. Around 1943 two Super-Simplex projectors were installed and new silver screen curtains. A bingo licence was allowed in 1967. The Welbeck was last licensed as a cinema in December 1968. It became a full-time bingo club run by the Noble Organisation. Its attractive tiled faƧade was hidden behind Classic-style metal cladding. In 1989 it was taken over by Granada Leisure and renamed Essoldo.




Frank Manders, 1991, Cinemas of Newcastle, pages 179-180; Frank Manders, 2005, Cinemas of Newcastle, pages 63-64, 95, 116, 154, 162

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