The Priory Cinema



Opened on 27th November 1933 with Diana Wynyard in “Cavalcade”, it had an original seating capacity of 600 in stalls and circle. Seats were priced from 9d to 2/4d. It replaced the earlier (1913) Cinema that was located at a different location at 1 Priory Lane, which was destroyed by fire in June 1933. The architect of the Priory Cinema was E.B. Parkinson of Cambridge.

At one point during the 1940s there was a fire at the Priory and the cinema became an early exponent of No Smoking

Priory Cinema, Royston

The Priory Cinema entertained generations for many years, and a familiar site was queues of people round the building eager to watch the latest blockbuster. Sadly, the cinema closed on 28th September 2000 with “Stuart Little” and despite a public campaign was demolished in August 2002.

Do you have fond memories of seeing films here? Please add your memories.

This page was added on 26/06/2012.

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  • So today Olivia Newton John died and I thought about Royston and remembered queuing around the cinema (never thought there would be enough seats for all in that queue) to see Grease – is the word … is the word!

    By Ruth (08/08/2022)
  • Even though this article says that there was a No Smoking rule placed here in the 1940’s, I’m sure we were allowed to smoke in there when I was going there in the 70’s…..?! Can anyone else confirm/deny?
    Also the building to the left in later years was an Indian restaurant(?90’s) but what was it before then….? Was it a sweet shop?

    By Linda (21/06/2022)
  • That photo with The Full Monty on the marquee (that would have been 1997) brings back so many memories. I’m an American who lived in England and the Royston area in ’96-’98 due to my dad’s job. Lots of movies seen at this little theatre. Most memorable experience was seeing Space Jam in ’96, and the projector shut down and we had to wait an hour before resuming the movie, lol. Not surprised that it closed down just a few years after I moved back to the U.S. Lots of great memories in that place, though!

    By Mark W. (30/03/2022)
  • I remember my grandparents taking me to see 101 Dalmations when I was very little, probably in the late 1960’s

    By Karen Rogers (30/06/2021)
  • First cinema film with the school Queens Road I think middle 60s Born Free. Great memories of Royston in them days and let’s not forget the Green Plunge spent so much time there in the summer.

    By John Chamberlain (21/02/2021)
  • I remember seeing Whistle Down the Wind in black and white . Summer Holiday was another I saw there. A film in colour was a memorable experience. I must’ve been about 6 or 7. Also fond memories of the swimming pool. The changing cubicles. The deep end.

    By Alex Wearmouth (23/12/2020)
  • I used to go with my parents, my grandparents and then with my brother to watch the matinees when were older. Then as a young kid and teen, going with my friends. So many happy memories. So exciting to be standing outside waiting with excitement to go in!!

    By Jo Godfrey (18/05/2020)
  • I remember a film about a donkey in the 1970s? I was very young.

    By Sam (31/03/2019)
  • i remember seeing Dumb and Dumber in ’94 and The Matrix in ’99 with my ex-wife here. good memories

    By Adam Mell (25/03/2016)
  • I would like to make a comment not about the Cinema although i do remember it but i mostly remember with much affection the lovely old Green Plunge Swimming Pool, we used to be taken there many times when i was a child i loved the fountain at the top then going down the steps into the very cold water i also remember the deck chairs you had to walk up some steps as they were set out on the sun deck above the pool. When we had had our swim we were taken for tea in the nice tea rooms adjoing the pool. Looking back every time we came to Royston for the day it seemed to be sunny how lovely to look back and enjoy my childhood memories of a golden era.

    By Barbara Rooney (29/09/2015)
  • I remember seeing Jason and the Argonauts 1966

    By JOHN HAWTHORNE (24/01/2013)