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Not really registered before, but I have just noticed how the upright Union name hides the deco bas-relief panel above the central window. I assume that the two uploaded photos are fairly close to opening, judging from the traffic, so it is strange that a key part of the façade should be hidden, either from the start or very soon after.
Two photos of the Picture House here from 1990:–
Some photos dating from 1990.
SCREEN IN FORMER CIRCLE
SCREEN IN FORMER FRONT STALLS
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:–