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Some images from August 2018, operating as the Gala Club:–
REAR – STAGE
AUDITORIUM – SPLAY WALL
UNDER BALCONY PLASTERWORK
AUDITORIUM FROM STAGE
Back then film & developing costs were high. Now I wish I had done more, a lot more, but I had no concept of the scale of the losses that would materialise – particularly in the West End and major cities.
I like the fact that the flags are now named, making it easier to identify the theatres. Not noticed any problems yet.
Some photos from July 2018 here:–
SCREENS 1-2 ENTRANCE
No disrespect was intended from my post – I am hugely appreciative of CF100’s updates (particularly the links to the plans) of the OLS.
BUT, I am also aware of the lazy journalism around, and the fact that this site is the pre-eminent source of cinema history in the UK (if not worldwide), and felt the need to contest the impression that the OLS was the last “super” in which to see a movie.
Indeed it is contestable that the OLS is still in its original form. The cinema has been turned down on at least two occasions for listing because of the myriad of alterations over the years. It will be interesting to see if the Empire (former Carlton and built in conjunction with Paramount) Haymarket, which contains more original features than the OLS (despite sub-division), is successful in the current listing application.
Part of the problem lies with the lack of a succinct definition of the term “super cinema”. We know more-or-less what we mean, but is largely a marketing term, and we now perm any three of the four elements that Terry enumerates. The term itself precedes the 1930’s by around a decade. There is a good case to make that Frank Tugwell’s Futurist at Scarborough, recently shamefully demolished, was the first (opened 27th June 1921), closely followed by Brightons Regent Theatre. Both by any definition were “super cinemas” and were referred as that at the time.
Following there were (amongst many others) the Piccadilly Manchester (1922); the Pavilion Shepherds Bush (1923); the Kensington/Odeon (1926); and the Davis Croydon (1928). It is possible to argue that the “super” peaked in 1930/1 as generally (notable exceptions) the later 1930’s super cinemas tended to be smaller and less luxurious. The 1937 Birmingham Paramount for example was a pale imitation of the Manchester (1930), Newcastle (1931) and Leeds (1932) namesakes, and few matched the four London Astorias (1929/30).
The Rio Dalston by F E Bromige was referred to as a minature “super” and IMO is probably the best place in 2018 London to get the “super” experience. I hope to be proved wrong, but with the reclining seats (why do people need to lie down to watch a film?) I suspect the OLS will look even less like a “super” when it reopens. And I hate the fact that it will prosaically be known as screen 1.
I fully realise that I am a dinosaur who fondly remembers the days of stalls and balcony luxury cinemas (Gaumont Manchester aged around 5), with screen tabs, separate performances, masking and all the other extras which have been junked in most venues. I do find it depressing that the only – I think – place you can now regularly view a film authentically in a large “super” is at the Plaza Stockport which is grade 2* listed.
Incidentally the OLS’s claim to be the largest in Europe was palpably wrong as the Futurist, with 2,155 seats, was operating mainly as a cinema at the time. The fact that at least 1,500 of those seats were rarely occupied for a film did not make it smaller that the OLS!
Erm, I would take issue with “ It is the last “super cinema” still essentially in its original form operated as a cinema in the UK!”
Granted stage entertainments take priority over film at such venues as the Plaza Stockport, but the Rex Berkhamsted; Odyssey (Odeon) St Albans; Rio Dalston; Curzon Mayfair; Picture House Hebden Bridge; Tyneside Newcastle; Picture House Campbeltown; and probably several others can lay claim to being a super-cinema still operating “essentially in its original form”. There is life outside London!
Hyperbole is not helpful.
Some photos taken in July 2018 here:–
INNER STALLS FOYER
PROSCENIUM & STAGE
Three photos of the Savoy taken in July 2018
A new car park is nearing completion at the side of the Kinema, and groundworks have begun for the third screen. Images of Kinema Too from July 2018:–
KINEMA TOO EXTERIOR
KINEMA TOO AUDITORIUM
Demolition now sadly well underway – costing £4.2 million – just shy of the Futurists Centenary. Had this money been put into refurbishing the venue the town would have a world-class iconic seafront attraction, but Scarborough Borough Council are an utter disgrace. Some photos of the remains coming down here:–
Some images of the Century taken in 2018:–
STAGE & SCREEN
A photo from June 2018 here:–
SCALA THEATRE FACADE
Lovely survivor which has now been on bingo for longer than it showed films. Photos from June 2018.
Eight years since I was last in Nuneaton and little – other than increased vandalism – seems to have happened at the Ritz. Photos from June 2018
A photo of screen 18 from 2013 (not sure if the numbering has changed):–
Photo from 2018 of the remaining foyer block and shops parade:–
Photos taken in 2018 can be seen here:–
SCREEN 2 AUDITORIUM
Demolition was completed this morning (21st June).
An album of images has been created and can be seen here:–
21st CENTURY CINEMA IN GRANTHAM
After several weeks of stripping out and asbestos removal, work commenced today – 12th June 2018 – on demolishing the cinema, starting with screen 2.
REEL DEMOLITION 1
REEL DEMOLITION 2
REEL DEMOLITION 3
Images of the former Odeon / Gaumont as the Mecca Bingo Hall (May 2018) here:–
AUDITORIUM FROM REAR
The Reel was stripped out on the 27th April, and will be demolished within weeks – starting 7th May 2018. It had been hoped to screen “E.T.-The Extra Terrestrial” on the last night but sadly there was insufficient time to arrange.
A few photographs taken on the morning after closure here:–
PROJECTION ROOM – SCREEN 2
The cinema quietly closed on Thursday 26 April 2018 with “Rampage” in Screen 1 and “Truth or Dare” in Screen 2. Even the Reel website contained no mention of closure in the final weeks and no public ceremony or event was held on the final day. For the first time in 35 years Grantham is without a first-run cinema.
Some photos taken on the final afternoon – Saturday 31st March 2018 – before and after the final film “Stalker” (there was a live Met Opera screening in the evening).
AUDITORIUM TO SCREEN
AUDITORIUM TO REAR
The cinema was renamed Savoy in 2017 and commencing in September 2017 a major scheme of improvements and refurbishment started – the work is being done in stages without closing the venue. The largest screen now seats 343.
Photos from March 2018
Still going strong in 2018, and indeed about to expand with the addition of a third screen on the right hand side of the building.