Gaumont Cinema, Oxford Street.

An artists impression that was used in the Souvenir Programme

Gaumont Manchester

44-50 Oxford Street,

Manchester, M1 5EJ


Original owners:  Granada Theatres /Gaumont-British Picture Corporation, Ltd.

Architects: William T. Benslyn and James Morrison.

Main building contractor:  Bovis Construction Ltd. 

Interior design: Theodore Komisarjevsky.

Cost:  £300.000.

Original Seating Capacity: 2300, (1300 seats in the stalls, 1000 in the balcony.

Date opened: Monday 21st October 1935.

Opened by:  Jessie Matthews and Sonnie Hale.

A Wurlitzer (4Manual-14Rank) organ was installed.  Stanley Tudor played the organ on the opening night.

First film shown:  ‘The Thirty Nine Steps’, starring Robert Donat and Madeleine Carroll.

Date Closed: Sunday 28th January 1974.

Demolished:  1990.



GAUMONT Oxford Street, Manchester.

The Hippodrome Theatre closed it’s doors for the final show on 2nd March 1935. Demolition work started on 6th March with the foundations quickly laid for the mammoth cinema building. Manchester workmen established a record in building the theatre.  Initially the building had been commissioned by Granada Theatres, however, it opened as a Gaumont cinema. A deal was struck between the Granada and Gaumont British Theatres shortly before the cinema opened it’s doors on Monday 21st October 1935.

The first film shown was Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘The Thirty Nine Steps’, starring Madeleine Carroll and Robert Donat who was born and educated in Manchester.

Gaumont Manchester

The Oxford Street exterior was in an Italian Renaissance style,  clad with buff coloured faience tiles and dominated by striking neon lettering on the recessed read-o-graph above the canopy. The architects were William T. Benslyn and James Morrison, with the interiors under the supervision of Theodore Komisarjevsky who designed a lavish mirrored entrance hall with a grand staircase which led to the balcony. 

The auditorium had seating for 1300 in the stalls, with the large sweeping circle accommodating 1000 seats. The side walls were arched with gold grill work decoration and topped off with a fabulous ornate ceiling.

The proscenium, which was framed with pilasters, was 50′ wide. The stage was 23′ deep.

The Gaumont was opened by Jessie Matthews and Sonnie Hale, they had previously visited the site to lay a foundation stone which stated that the cinema was to be named “Granada”, this was left uncorrected after the laying ceremony.

Gaumont’s resident organist- STANLEY TUDOR

A Wurlitzer organ (4Manual-14Rank) was installed.  Stanley Tudor played the organ on the opening night.  He became the Gaumont’s resident organist, staying until 1953.




A well known regional venue for the long running roadshow presentations of the 50s & 60s such as “South Pacific” and “The Sound Of Music” which played at the Gaumont for two and a half years from April 1965.

Within the week of the converted Odeon cinema re-opening as a twin cinema which was on the opposite side of Oxford Street, the Gaumont closed on Monday 28th January 1974.

Rotters Nightclub eventually opened, utilizing the ground floor and basement with the circle area disused. A false ceiling was installed across from the front of the circle to the stage.

The building was demolished during 1990 and replaced with a multistorey car park.



Peter Lawley recalls~

Visited with the cta when it was a club. Above the suspended ceiling of polystyrene tiles and the stink of the previous night’s stale lager, we stood at the back of the circle. We gazed and imagined the grandeur of this fabulous Komisajervsky interior, even though it was only half of it, covered in dust and the screen ripped away. Twenty years ago, it was still potentially restorable.

added December 2023