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That is the one Mike. This was probably the best of Watfords cinemas, judging from photographs, as I never actually went in here.
I do remember going around Caters Supermarket which replaced it though!
1991 photo of ornate interior here:–
PALACE THEATRE BOXES
Exterior shot of the Reel (under the Cannon banner) in 1991:–
Yes Simon, the Gaumont still stands.
Two recently found photos of the interior of the Drake here, both date from 1991.
DRAKE SCREEN CURTAINS
DRAKE AUDITORIUM TO REAR
Some more photos – taken shortly before the Council meet to decide the fate of the Cinema in August 2012 – largely of areas never seen by the public.
1950’s LIGHTING BOARD
ROOF VOID OVER DOME
ROOF VOID OVER BALCONY
Some 2012 photos here:–
AUDITORIUM FROM BALCONY
AUDITORIUM TO REAR
Two views of the Noel Coward:–
EXTERIOR in 2012
AUDITORIUM in 2006
Some photos of the former theatre here (taken July 2012):–
AUDITORIUM FROM STAGE
AUDITORIUM SIDE VIEW
AUDITORIUM STAGE VIEW
A 1991 view of the former Plaza, looking like Bingo had recently closed.
I have not been able to find the closing date of the Stardust Bingo, but I suspect it was nearer 2010 than the start of the decade. There are an amazing number of businesses operating within the block, presumably below the auditorium, which perhaps bodes well for its survival. The entrance (behind the shutters), for such a large building, seems to have been surprisingly muted and on a minor road. The corner block, pictured here in 2012, was seemingly not part of the cinema behind.
More recent photos of the restoration process in this set:–
Some 1990 photos of the Robert Cromie interior here:–
VIEW OF STAGE
DETAIL OF DECOR
And for a comparison some interior shots from 1990, before restoration :–
DETAIL OF BOX
VIEW ACROSS AUDITORIUM
Two exterior shots from June 2012
FRONT & SIDE VIEW
The stalls area became a live concert venue called the M Club. The cinema originally had a full stage with a notably high fly tower. The plans were to replace with a Sainsbury’s store.
Photographed in April 2011:–
PLAZA CREWE FRONT
PLAZA CREWE REAR
Photo’s from circa 1989:–
Image now changed to correct building – very quick! :–)
The above image (Google) is not the theatre.
Images from 2011 here:–
STAGE FROM BALCONY
The Cinema was actually a conversion of the 1883 Grosvenor Hall in 1913, although the hall had been used for films on occasions before. The frontage was designed by F Edward Jones in 1936 in order to “modernise” the cinema after the Radio Centre / Classic / Cannon began construction.
A slightly more recent photo of the façade of the former cinema here:–
Some photos of the the Theatre Royal here:–
A photo from circa 1985 of the closed building here:–
I think that may be my mistake.
http://www.newmarketlhs.org.uk/nlhscorrespondence7.htm states :_
“Newmarket has been home to a number of cinemas over the years. The Doric, now Millionaires bar and nightclub, in High Street, ran between March 1937 and July 1964. Innocence, the nightclub across the road, was once the Kingsway Cinema, while Boots, the former Carlton Hotel, was the Victoria Cinema. There was also once a cinema in Black Bear Lane.
Newmarket has a cinematograph history and you can read about one of the earliest public performances on our website, under ‘Local Fire Tragedies’ this occurred in what is now Ann Furbank’s fashion shop on Rutland Hill (then the Town Hall) and resulted in serious loss of life and many injuries.
Yes, the Kingsway and the Doric flourished betwen the nineteen twenties and the fifties, the golden age of cinema popularity. The Doric opened in 1937 and the first film shown was Will Hay in ‘Good Morning Boys’.
Particularly during WW II it was usual to see long queues along the High Street for the evening and Saturday afternoon performances. With the advent of television, cinemas slowly declined.
As the Journal article points out both the buildings now serve as Night Clubs.”
Confusingly the address of the Kingsway Cinema was listed as being Kingsway, leading me to identify this photo as the Victoria. I’ll amend the flickr caption. All three cinemas seem to have been on the High Street.
The former Gaumont was demolished several years ago, and in June 2009 the site was still vacant.
WHITLEY BAY EMPIRE