Undoubtedly the most splendid cinema in Sale was the Pyramid on
Washway Road; this was designed by Drury and Gomersall in an
"Egyptian" style, hence the name. The Pyramid was built
1933-4 to seat 2,000 at a cost of £70,000. The building included
a first-floor cafe advertised as the "rendezvous for
discerning folk" and, flanking the cinema, two rows of shops
were built in a style which harmonised with the nearby Post
"Once built, the Pyramid then needed a license to open; the
magistrates refused this after opposition from, among others, the
Palace and Savoy cinemas and the Regal, Altrincham. A protest
meeting was organised by a local committee, which included the
vicar of St. Paul’s. The meeting was a success, as the Pyramid's
2,000 seating capacity was filled and another 2,000 gathered
outside; a petition had attracted 18,000 signatures.
"The result was that a license was then granted and the
Pyramid was opened for its first public performance on Monday,
February 26, 1934 with a film and stage show. It is a cinema
typical of prosperous suburbia of the 1930s and was built with a
spacious car park. The Pyramid was bought by Rank in 1941 and,
later, became an Odeon cinema. The Odeon showed its last film in
October 1981; the cinema was sold and later re-opened as the
Tatton, finally closing in 1984."
The frontage, although not particularly Egyptian in overall
design, does have various Egyptian style mouldings and fluted
pillars. Internally, the Egyptian theme was again largely
mouldings and finishes unlike Graumans Egyptian. The theme was
included in the specially designed Christie Organ. This organ was
purchased by The Lancastrian Theatre Organ Trust in the early
1980’s and installed in the Blue Coat School in Oldham, where it
was used for regular concerts until 2008. The organ is now in
storage awaiting a new venue for installation.
1981, the Rank organisation closed 29 of its Odeon cinemas and the
Tatton Cinemas group bought the lease for the Odeon Sale and it
was re-named Tatton Cinema. Stage shows returned to the theatre,
however the running costs caused the lease to revert to Rank in
1984 and the building was closed.
Ack. “A History of Sale”, by N.V. Swain.
Trafford Borough council purchased the cinema for £200,000, but
by 1987 the costs to the council were estimated at £1.5 million.
A campaign was started to save it from demolition.
In 1988, the theatre was advertised for sale; by tender and by
1990 the cinema was converted into an American themed nightclub,
known as JFK's (quite how the Egyptian theme lent itself to this
is anyone’s guess!).
The nightclub closed around 2001 and the auditorium has since been
transformed into a franchised L.A. Fitness Centre, using a former
front stalls exit as its entrance. The main entrance and foyers
are currently unused.
The Pyramid Theatre was designated a Grade II Listed building in