ABC Cinema, Wakefield

Demolition notice for an art deco cinema in Wakefield City Centre:

Derelict for 20 years now, it feels as though this cinema has weathered numerous attempts on it’s life over the years. In all honestly I didn’t actually realise it was still standing. Beloved locally to the extent that it has its own Facebook group, demolition is now looking inevitable. All the sake of another surface car park.

Plans for car park will finally spell end of Wakefield's ABC Cinema saga |  Wakefield Express
Wakefield Cinema

It is important to remember that cinemas can only ever be of relatively recent built history, and the small town centre theatres are the first wave of this vital part of modern history. This cinema is of no striking architectural merit, aside from the art deco ordering and rotunda-esque massing. However in terms of social meaning, the arrival of a cinema in Wakefield marks the start of modernity in this provincial city.

And imagine having the civic foresight to actually integrate a cinema building into the existing townscape, rather than building one on the settlement edge, preferably next to a motorway junction, drive through restaurant, and a concrete prairie of car parking.

Easy to convert to a multitude of uses, and no reason to expend a million tons of carbon redeveloping the site. Why not retain it and let the ABC cinema become rightfully historic?


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