Salford's Old Cinema

The Old Salford Cinema sits on a busy intersection of that sprawling metropolis at No 194 Chapel Street. A rather grandiose and flowery Edwardian-looking building, it is a little incongruous beside the sleek modern buildings and endless traffic. A sign upon it claims it is the home of Salford’s Harvest Church. In fact, that church has moved to larger premises, and the sign has not been taken down.

Previous usage including that of cinema from 1912-1958 and a bingo hall from 1967-1985. So from that golden age of British film and the sassy callers of bingo, the building was used to entertain the masses. Interestingly, the Salford Now website claims that the frame of the original building from 1864 can still be perceived at the sides, below, with some of the stone arches showing through the later Accrington Brick. This was Salford’s Scottish Presbyterian Church, as dour and plain a form of Christianity as one can imagine. Quite a contrast to the Carry Ons and bingo calls that the succeeding century witnessed on that spot. Whether Harvest Church's occupation (‘Changing Lives, Shaping Destinies’) was an extension of the entertainment business, or a modern version of the godly old Presbyterianism, I cannot tell. I enjoy worshipping God, but I never seek my own entertainment therein. If He derives pleasure, very good. If I derive pleasure but He does not, my time I waste and my soul I sully.

Bring no more futile sacrifices;

Incense is an abomination to Me.

The New Moons, the Sabbaths, and the calling of assemblies—

I cannot endure iniquity and the sacred meeting.

Your New Moons and your appointed feasts

My soul hates;

They are a trouble to Me,

I am weary of bearing them.

When you spread out your hands,

I will hide My eyes from you;

Even though you make many prayers,

I will not hear.

Your hands are full of blood.

Isaiah 1:13-15, New King James Version