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The Grand Cinema Leighton Road Linslade

The Grand Cinema Leighton Road Linslade in 1922
The Grand Cinema Leighton Road Linslade in 1922 [Z1306/74]

The Bedfordshire County Library published a book by G.C.Peck in 1981 called Bedfordshire Cinemas. He discovered that the cinema had a very short life. It opened in early 1922 when it was called The Empire. It could accommodate five hundred paying customers. The cinema closed for alterations in May 1922, re-opening as The Grand on 1st August that year.

The cinema was really too small to compete with The Oriel in Lake Street, Leighton Buzzard which opened in December 1922. Nevertheless it was still listed in Kelly's Directory for 1931 (when Joseph Handford was manager), though not for the directory of 1939. The site of the cinema is now [2008] the westernmost part of the early 21st century Town Bridge Mill development.

Town Bridge Mill the site of the Empire Cinema October 2008
Town Bridge Mill the site of the Empire Cinema October 2008