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The castle, Friars Gate, Warrington Cheshire was built in 1907 and opened as the Palace Hippodrome Theater on September 23, 1907. It was part of the MacNaughton Vaudeville circuit. It opened its doors to John Tiller & # 39; s High Jinks company. Movies became a part of the show in its early years. The building was designed by George F. Ward and two balconies were installed with a box on either side of the Barogue-style plasterwork. The upper balcony or gallery was reached from a side door outside the building.
In early 1931, the theater was transformed into a Palace cinema and opened with Ben Lyon in Hell's Angels. The cinema was closed in 1957 when the owners came out of the business. The hall was closed for three years before being taken over by the Hutchinson circuit in 1960. The first offering was the musical Oklahoma. The cinema had a short life span, only to remain open for four years and ended on November 7, 1964 with the black and white film The Camp on Blood Island with The Revenge of Frankenstein as the second feature. During its bio period, the gallery section was closed to the public.
The castle ran films that were several years old and back in 1964 run by a Mr Makin. Since it had been a theater, there were pillars that could influence the viewing. Secondary lighting, the lighting used if there is a mains fault, was gas and would be lit just before the show by the doorman. Back in 1964, the chief projectionist was Joe Slevin. The auxiliary was a Mr. Arnold Bates, who was a postman by day. He would go about a couple of nights a week to relieve Joe. The projectors were Feidi and the audio equipment was RCA. The light source was provided by two Peerless carbon bows. Joe would melt television sets between rollers and a stove in the box was used to heat pies for the hard-working projectionists. To get to the projection box, you had to go through the side door outside that went to the gallery. There were many steps to climb and the assistant projectionist had to go up and down them twice a day to get a cup of tea. The drawer was only small but the doors to the back were opened onto a small balcony that allowed the operators fresh air and good views of Warrington.
Movies were usually shown on Sunday only one day, a couple of functions on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and another couple on Thursday, Friday, Saturday.
After the end of the cinema, it became a Surewin Bingo club, also run by the Hutchinson circuit. Bingon was opened by Peter Adamson, a Coronation Street star. The building later became an Apollo bingo club, again run by Hutchinson, Brannigan's nightclub and a Showbar nightclub.