Sheepridge Road, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire
Of some historical interest for its origins as a cinema serving an interwar housing estate.
The Rialto Cinema was possibly the last suburban cinema to open in Huddersfield. It served the newly-built Brackenhall estate and opened in about 1940. Designed by local architect J. H. Freer, it was built in a modern style, with an auditorium which followed the line of the hillside into which it was built. The Rialto closed its doors in about 1960.
The Catholic parish of Our Lady of Lourdes was established in 1938, with a temporary church built in Central Avenue in 1939. The old cinema was acquired and converted to church use in 1961 (architect John Rochford).
The building is apparently built of brick on a steel frame, but the exterior is now covered with cement render. The roof covering is Welsh slate. The frontage to Brackenhall Avenue is in three parts; a taller central section containing the broad main entrance below a figure of Our Lady of Lourdes and lower flanking sections each with four small windows. Behind this front section the side elevations are utilitarian in character, its rendered walls pierced by small rectangular windows and a pitched slated roof with rooflights. The rear wall is a blind screen, rising above a row of derelict shops fronting Sheepridge Road. The interior has not been inspected. It is understood that the furnishings were newly acquired in 1961. The organ was purchased from a local Nonconformist chapel. The raked floor was retained, the stage area becoming the sanctuary.
Architect: J. H. Freer, adapted to a church by John Rochford
Original Date: 1940
Conservation Area: No
Listed Grade: Not Listed