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From the BBC news report 10/Sept/05 :-
“Now the hope is that the French Quarter’s lure of history, food and music can become a catalyst for regeneration. Plans are being drawn up to retain historic areas of the city while rebuilding residential areas on higher ground and regenerating old wetlands to reduce the risk of future flooding. High quality transport links and projects to improve the quality of life and reduce poverty in New Orleans are high on most agendas. Bringing business and tourism back to the region is equally important.”
Clearly the BBC and the Authorities in NO are having “jollies” too!!!
“I would sign a demolition permit for this building if it meant all those people could get their homes and lives back”
What a load of pretentious nonsense! Yes, of course the human suffering is a tragedy. But the demolition of the Saenger would help no-one. The exact opposite in fact. Without the Casinos, restaurants, theatres, and old-French quarter the city would not attract the tourists who provide employment for the citizens of the city. In order to help restore their lives what remains of the history and culture of the place must be brought back – at the same time as the homes. NOW is exactly the time to start talking about restoration and that IS showing respect.
This was built in 1991 as a alternative to sub-dividing the next-door Regent Theatre (an ex Gaumont/PCT property which had been renamed Odeon). This glorious building continues on live usage. There was also a purpose built Odeon opened in 1936 in Lloyds Avenue which survives on Bingo.
Odeon (Lloyds Ave) Opened 1936. Tripled 1975. Closed 1982. Bingo.
Odeon (St Helens St) Opened as Regent 1929. Gaumont 1950. Odeon 1987. Closed 1991. Live theatre (back as Regent).
Odeon (St Margarets St) Opened 1991. Closed 2005. Derelict.
The seating capacity was increased in 1935 when the theatre was remodelled (it would have seated around 1,200 by present day standards before alteration) because much of the stage area was included in the the redesigned cinema. The figure of 1,509 for the Dorchester is taken from the 1943 Kinematograph Year Book. This also gives the proscenium width as 35 feet.
Ian (of Interludes !)
I love the site but I hope the comments section returns quicker than the “add a photograph” section! These two sections are the two I most value(d) on the site. Perhaps the CT Poll could be used to find out which features the users find the most useful. I agree that some kind of a time limit could be imposed – some theatres have 500+ comments attached to them which are near impossible to sift through. Although I also accept that some crucial information could be lost in this way.
Excellent news! If anyone can make this cinema survive then Northern Morris can!
I cannot now remember where but I am sure I read that the new Henry Millars will be a exact replica of the old, but with more extensive foyer space and facilities.
Generally when a theatre is “dismantled” prior to “re-erectition” (as in the Apollo/Lyric which became the Ford/Hilton) this involves hacking out bits of the plasterwork so that mouldings can be taken for the new theatre rather than piecing together the old plaster.
This can, execpt to devout historians, result in a better theatre as technological advances since the orginal design can be seemlessly incorporated into the new.
I can remember seeing Plaza Suite here when on holiday once. It was very small with seats on a single level and you entered the auditorium at the screen end of the building.
Following the sudden closure of the Lounge Cinema early in 2005, the future of the Cottage Road was plunged into doubt. Unless a buyer can be found the cinema will cease trading on 28 July 2005 – a suitable alternative use for this very old cinema is hard to imagine.
The Hull Screen is to move to a temporary location on the University campus as the Library wishes to take back the space that the cinema / theatre occupies. An investigation is on-going regarding converting part of the basement of the City Hall into a three screen art-house cinema.
The end is indeed nigh – the cinema will close in July 2005. It is believed that the building has been sold but not as a cinema.
Sorry SBC in the above post refers to Scarborough Borough Council – I sometimes forget this is an international site and simply use local vernacular!
I agree that purely on architectural terms the Futurist is far from ideal – the problem is that anyone who knows SBC will also be aware that any replacement multiplex or theatre will be on the cheapest possible scale, multipurpose (and ideal for nothing) and will be to the detriment of the town.
The Spa is wholly inadequate as a theatre – either the theatre or Grand Hall – and as a listed building cannot be altered to the extent that would be needed to provide decent facilities – and it would cost even more that the Futurist!
You only have to look at Bridlingtons lamentable “Forum” cinemas (a place I absolutely refuse to add to Cinema Treasures) to imagine what Scarborough would get in place of the Futurist.
A shock report has been drawn up for the demolition of this cinema/theatre – against the conclusions of the consultants appointed to review the future of the building.
From the Scarborough Evening News 15 July 2005:–
[i]Shock demolition move
DEMOLITION plans for the Futurist Theatre on Scarborough seafront are being drawn up, it has been revealed.
A special report has been commissioned into the cost of knocking down the venue and not replacing it with a theatre.
The move comes months after consultants from ABL Cultural Consulting told the council that their preferred option was to save and redevelop the site.
Now regional development agency Yorkshire Forward, which is working with Scarborough Council on the proposed redevelopment of the theatre, has commissioned specialists to draw up the demolition report.
The option of demolishing the Futurist and redeveloping it would cost Â£10 million â€" that is half as much as keeping the building and redeveloping as a theatre.
Theatre operator Barrie Stead took over the running of the Futurist two years ago and has brought a host of comedians and musicians to the venue since then.
He said he is confident the historic seafront theatre will still be open next summer and that he wants to be involved after the redevelopment of the site.
Mr Stead has a contract to run the Futurist until the end of year but that could be extended and he has already started booking acts for next year.
He said: “We have established that there is an audience out there, and if the facilities were better then we would be able to book bigger acts and get bigger audiences.
“It looks to me as if it will be a couple of years before anything is decided and we would like to think the Futurist will still be there next summer. We would love to be there after the redevelopment.
“My connections with Scarborough and the Futurist go back 20 years. I love Scarborough and so does my wife Brenda and we want to be part of the future of the Futurist.”
The demolition and redevelopment of the Futurist Theatre site into a leisure complex including a multi-screen cinema, restaurants, hotel and other leisure activities such as bowling or a fitness centre is estimated to cost Â£10 million
The second option to retain the current Futurist auditorium and revamp the building, incorporating all the same attractions as the first plan would cost Â£20 million.
The redevelopment plans are still being hindered by businessman Peter Lee’s refusal to sell the Mermaid complex to Scarborough Council has made for his property.
The council needs to buy the Mermaid in order to get complete ownership of the Futurist site. Without it, any plans to demolish the Futurist and build a leisure complex including a multi-screen cinema, or to retain the building and give it a major overhaul, will stay on the backburner.
Mr Lee’s refusal to sell makes it impossible for the site to be redeveloped, and although he could be forced to sell the legal process could include a public inquiry and take up to two years to complete.
Scarborough Council officers will tell members of the council’s land and property overview and scrutiny committee, who meet on Tuesday, that more work is needed before decisions on the future of the site are made.
In a report to councillors, the council’s head of property services Graham Price says: “An economic feasibility and viability report on the development is being carried out by consultants and their report is imminent. This will add more information and enable more informed decisions to be made on the components of the redevelopment to achieve the best balance between commercial and subsidised elements."
15 July 2005
I too have had trouble finding any details. It certainly looks like a former cinema, two photos of the Blackburn Hall and one of the Palace can be seen here :
If anyone can help with further information please let us know!
If you are ever in Dublin the Camden de Luxe hotel is a very comfortable (and sensibly priced) place to stay. The hotel rooms have been added to the right hand side and above the auditorium. The ground floor foyer remains intact giving access to the restuarant in the former stalls area – with much of the plasterwork retained. The nightclub is on the first floor and the snooker hall on the second. This is the area of greatest interest as, although now a flat floor (on two levels from approximately the level of the rear of the balcony, stepped down about halfway down the auditorium) it retains all of its very elborate plasterwork on the barrel vaulted and segmented roof and side walls. It is in immaculate condition.
There is also a full fly tower on the De Luxe (now also partially converted to bedrooms) which has unfortunately resulted in the proscenium arch being filled in.
The Odeon Leicester Square incorrectly claims the “largest in Europe” tag – Scarborough’s Futurist holds 2155, although a full house for a film is unknown!
Photos can be seen at
taken the day before opening, Thursday 14 April 2005.
The Rozen has just had its interior gutted and rebuilt as an adaptable black box theatre. The opening was held last weeked – 15/16 April 2005. The stained glass windows and the facade remain intact but inside everything is new, with no reference to the previous layout.
Recent pictures of the interior can be viewed at
there was no electricity in the derelict and partially stripped out building so the quality is not great – but the unique balcony, the screen frame and some idea of the decor can be gained.
Following 111 objections the planning application to turn the Picture Playhouse into retail use was refused. The owner is to appeal against the decision.
As I am not sure how long the Lounge website will remain, I have copied the closing statement :–
The Lounge cinema, one of the best known leisure institutions in Headingley, has been closed down by itâ€™s owners, Associated Tower Cinemas (ATC), following declining attendances and mounting losses after a tough five years. The closure has resulted in the redundancy of three full time employees, and some part time employees. In a statement issued today (10 January) ATC said that the closure was a sad blow for the company and its employees involved. The Lounge has been losing money for over five years. We simply cannot compete against the newer Multiplex cinemas and what they have to offer. At this stage ATC has no alternative plans for the Lounge site and they are seeking an urgent meeting with planners and local councilors to discuss how it can be redeveloped. ATCâ€™s other smaller Cottage Road cinema in Headingley is not currently affected by this decision but its future is being reviewed as to its long term viability. For further information please contact: Malcolm Cowing at Brahm Public Relations on 0113 230 4000 or 07770 512266
Sadly the Lounge closed suddenly in January 2005.Competition from 3 multiplex cinemas in the vicinity finally forced the single screen Lounge out of business. Tragic!
The theatre has recently undergone further upgrading prior to the opening of “Mary Poppins”. Additional toilets, enlarged bars and a unique outdoor extension to the Dress Circle bar over the theatre canopy overlooking Compton Street will be a boon in the Summer.
The building, so long unsuccessful, is now (arguably) Londons pre-eminent house for large scale musicals.
I think you may be confusing the Curzon / Classic with the Embassy further up the Western Road but across the border into Hove. The Curzon was totally demolished around 1979 and has been replaced by the Waitrose supermarket. The Embassy, part of the Miles Byrne circuit of cinema closed as a cinema in the early 1980’s, became the Black Cat bingo hall, then a pine furniture shop and has more recently become an amusement arcade.