The Coventry Society has put forward the former Paris Cinema in Far Gosford Street for local listing.
The Paris, formerly known at The Crown Theatre, opened on August Bank Holiday Monday 1912. The architect was JH Gilbert. It had a decorative facade topped by a centrally placed crown. On 1st June 1925 it was taken over by Oscar Deutsch (his first cinema) who later built up the Odeon Chain. It was modernised and re-opened on 1st March 1958 with Eva Bartok in “Her Crime was Love” with the film’s star appearing in person. It was then known as the Paris Luxury Continental Cinema, later shortened to Paris Cinema.
The building is in the Far Gosford Street Conservation Area, a fascinating combination of Medieval, Victorian and Early 20th Century buildings which give the street its unique character.
The building is a reminder of the era when cinemas were located all over Coventry.
The Paris finally closed as a cinema in 1981 and after a period lying derelict and suffering fire damage it saw a new lease of life with a number of other leisure uses, including the Laser Quest Centre and Riley’s American Pool and Snooker Club. Today it is a live music venue known as the Empire, part owned by Tom Clarke, the lead singer of the Coventry trio “The Enemy”. It is well used by both local people and people who visit the city especially to enjoy the entertainment.