A pile of rubble and a cloud of dust - all that was left of Blackburn’s Cinema Royal following demolition in 1967.

A theatre or cinema had stood on Ainsworth Street since 1818. Originally the Theatre Royal and Opera House it was rebuilt in 1851 and became a music hall. After several further renovations, the Cinema Royal re-opened in 1938 and could seat around 1,600 movie lovers. There was even a cafe for patrons to enjoy.

The redevelopment of Blackburn town centre spelled the end of the Cinema Royal and a compulsory purchase order was served on the building. It closed in March 1967 and three months, later this was the scene after the wrecking ball had done its job.

You can see the distinctive domed tower of St John’s Church in the background to the left of the photograph.