Empire Cinema

Location and period of operation:

Empire Commerce Street, Longton 1920



The Empire, was a theatre before converting to a cinema in 1920


Madge Foulkes -

"We never got much money go to cinema, we didnít go only if we could sneak in. We used to go in back way ... and of course it was three-storey, you know three balconies at the Empire, and we used to get up to what we called the gods, up top, and course there was about six flights of steps you used to clatter down if you tried to sneak in. We Ďad some gay old times I tell you Ö When I got a bit older I could afford tuppence, when Iíd left school, but before then we used to go to matinees and pay Ďapenny, either Ďapenny or a penny, if you went in plush seats you paid a penny."

Elaine Mulholland (born Longton, 1936) remembers being a monitor in a childrenís club, at the Empire in Longton:

"I was in the ABC Minors and I rose in the ranks and became a monitor, had a special badge ... it used to be for youngsters, you used to have to join, you used to have to fill in a form. You were then called an ABC Minor and there used to be Saturday shows for about sixpence and people used to just flock, and if it was someoneís birthday they would go up on stage ... and people would sing and so on and so forth."





Empire Cinema - location 13
Commerce Street, Longton
From 1947 Pottery Gazette



Empire Theatre, Longton. (postmarked 1921)

This building stood next to the Bus Station but was destroyed by fire.

Commerce Street. Longton looking south west. Empire Cinema/Theatre on right 1960s


Lovatt collection
© copyright, of MLA West Midlands, Chrysalis 
Stoke-on-Trent Libraries
- used for private, research, education purposes - do not reproduce for profit -


(See sources)


Questions / comments / contributions? email: Steve Birks