A Manchester icon re-born

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By Chris Jones

Published on: 21-05-2019

Marketing Manager at Sheridan Lifts and chief blogger!

You might remember this iconic building in Greater Manchester.

Cine City was a much-loved cinema in Withington, Greater Manchester that opened way back in 1912 as The Scala. Back in the 1930’s when picture houses were at the pinnacle of popularity, The Scala was one of more than 100 cinemas across Manchester.

The long history of this particular cinema is well documented, it was partially damaged during the Second World War when the street was struck by a bomb (see below) and following the invention of the TV set, the popularity of cinemas sadly waned and by 1965, Manchester’s 109 cinemas had reduced to 40. The trend continued slowly culminating in 2001, when Cine City closed to the public.

scala withington
The Scala – After the bomb in WW2

The cinema remained in situ however and was a constant source of discussion between locals as to what might happen to this iconic, treasured building.

Despite numerous efforts to re-open and save the cinema, notably by local actor John Thomson, by 2005 the building was in a poor state of repair and in need of an alternative intervention.

The council weren’t too keen on it becoming a Wetherspoon’s pub, and whilst Heritage groups were able to stave off a demolition order until 2008 and plans were approved for a new building to occupy the site.

cine city withington
Cine City in 2008

Further planning and development problems blighted the construction of a replacement building until a development scheme was finally granted approval to construct a block of flats called the Scala Apartments, named in homage the original picture house.

Sheridan Lifts were employed here to fit an 8-person, 4 stop passenger lift to serve the upper floors of the apartment block. We completed this job and handed over to our client last year and the lift is fully functional.

Whilst the cinema is much missed, we were pleased to be associated with this project and glad that the site is now occupied, visually pleasing and serving a purpose for the residents.

Here is how The Scala looks today (complete with a Sheridan Lifts lift inside the building)

Need a new lift? Give us a call!

the scala withington
The Scala, Withington
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