Tim's One Photograph a Day

The Former Forum Cinema, Newbury.

Forum Cinema, Newbury.

Forum Cinema, Newbury: The former cinema, now swimming pool and gym complex.

The former cinema, now swimming pool and gym complex.

A lot of the time, it is easy to spot a former cinema. It is also often easy to recognise which circuit it belonged to, as they tended to use their own architects. The former Forum Cinema, Newbury, has all the looks of an ABC cinema.

It started its life in 1934 as the 1,150 seat Forum Cinema, and was taken over by ABC (Associated British Cinemas) in 1943. In 1972, it was confined to the former balcony, with bingo in the stalls.

In the meantime, the 1931 1,290 seat Regal Cinema in Bartholomew Street had already come into ABC ownership. It was taken over by the Union Cinemas circuit in 1933 which in turn was taken over by ABC in 1937. It was closed in 1963 and demolished. Iceland now stands in its place.

In 1986, it was taken over by the Cannon group, taking on the Cannon name. Two years later, the bingo closed. In 1993, Cannon was taken over by MGM, and the former Forum Cinema, Newbury was sold on to the independent chain Robins Cinemas.

Sadly, it only lasted another two years. It was converted into a gymnasium and fitness centre. That closed in 2014, but a couple of years later it reopened as BST Fitness.

Further information:

Regal Cinema
Forum Cinema

Forum Cinema, Newbury: In 1964. (Taken from www.newbury.net)

Seen in happier days, 1964. (Taken from www.newbury.net)

Photograph Details:

  • Taken: 24 June 2017
  • Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M10 MkIIA
  • Lens: Olympus 14-42 1:3.5-5.6
  • Focal Length 14mm
  • F/5.6
  • 1/160 Sec
  • ISO 200

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