The Savoy Cinema was built in 1927. Finished in just eleven months the building was part of a surge of interest in the Hollywood moving pictures that were being exported to Britain.
The cinema was completed in January 1927. The first owners were Martha and Frederick Studlar. The couple had met after World War One and after showing an interest in the films from Hollywood bought and operated the Savoy.
However a series of events at the Savoy led to it, along with Mornington Asylum, being placed in the book 'A History of Crime and its Buildings'.
The foyer of the cinema was cramped when one compares it with the designs of Radio City in New York. However it was two stories high and incorporated large beam lights that were found in many art-deco structures
March 19th 1927 - Opening Day. Crowds queue around the street corner when the Savoy cinema opens for the first time. Martha and Frederick are pleased at the opening night sales hoping that the success would continue
Just as Metropolis is coming to an end and just after Alan has attached the final reel the door to the projection room opens. With the noise of the machines Alan hears nothing as the gunman aims for his head and shoots.
The gun-shot was heard by a few members of the audience who thought it was on the screen. As the film draws to a close people begin to leave the auditorium. Outside in the foyer another crowd of people are waiting to see the film
The auditorium is full for the next showing but the film has not started yet. As the time progresses Martha goes up to the projection room and finds Alan murdered on the floor. Clearing out the theatre she calls the police.
With no clues about the execution-style murder the press resorts to printing sensationalist headlines which offer little clues. The police are equally in the dark for no one worked with Alan and the cinema was busy during the evening.
Two days after Alan's murder the Savoy opens again but to a much smaller crowd. Something terrible had happened at the Savoy - something terrible could happen again. The first screening of Metropolis after the murder sees an almost deserted theatre
The new projectionist, Steven Cook, keeps the door to the projection room locked and is on constant vigilance. Martha and Frederick have installed a telephone to the ticket office to ensure that Steven feels secure
A week after Alan's murder Martha is walking to the Savoy. With her husband ill she has to prepare for a busy night alone in the cinema. Ticket sales have improved and as the Christmas season approaches Martha is busy preparing for the show
...boarded up. Just one month ago the Savoy was playing to a crowded audience. The double murder which still to this day is unsolved has meant that the building became unpopular with audiences. It was viewed as a dangerous place
The building survived World War II and in the twenty-first century still remains closed. Apart from the traffic lights and signs that surround the front of the building it has not changed since the 1920s