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As can be seen from Street View (above), the Grand has been demolished. A Travelodge hotel stands on the site.
As can be seen from my photographs, the Regal was completely derelict when the CTA visited in April 1999.
When I visited in April 1999 the cinema was called the Camera im Tacheles in advertising material, although this name did not appear on the exterior.
Further to Ken’s comments above, this cinema was open at least until April 1999, when I saw “Lulu on the Bridge”, starring Harvey Keitel and Mira Sorvino. See the advertising display in my photograph.
This is Screen 3.
The Harmonie is under the same management as the city centre based Cinema.
According to the chap in the box office during my visit in June 2015, the “Cinema” (the original screen) opened in 1958, followed by the two smaller screens (the “Studio” and the “Petit”) in 1974. He gave the capacities as Cinema: 220, Studio: 115 and Petit: 63 seats.
The Cinema is under the same management as the Harmonie.
The Gloria continues as a single screen cinema. The Gloriette occupies space in a building at the back of the Gloria, reached by an alleyway running alongside the original cinema.
The Pali is one of four cinemas operated by Kinopolis under their Citydome brand in Darmstadt. The other three are situated in and around a small shopping precinct across the town centre: the Festival mainly shows films in their original language, the Rex is the ‘art-house’ cinema while the six screen Helia is the ‘mainstream’ multiplex.
The Rex is one of three cinemas, operated by Kinopolis under their Citydome brand, in a small shopping precinct in the centre of the town. The Rex is the ‘art-house’ cinema (hence the auditoriums are named, rather than numbered), the Festival mainly shows films in their original language while the six screen Helia is the ‘mainstream’ multiplex. During a visit in June 2015 I was warmly welcomed by a member of staff from the Helia who opened up the Rex so I could have a look round (this was in the afternoon; the Rex opens in the early evening). The ‘geography’ of the building was hard to follow, but it didn’t appear as if the original cinema had been sub-divided to create the four screen, as the ‘Rex’ appears to be the full, original space. The opening date of the original Rex is thought to be the 1950s, or possibly earlier.
This multiplex opened as CinemaxX.
On a visit in April 2015 I confirmed that the Carlton has been demolished. A block of flats stands on the site.
Sadly, on my visit in June 2015 the Regal was very firmly boarded up.
There seems to be some doubt as to whether the Wetherspoon pub occupies any of the former cinema space. The cinema entrance was to the left of the pub (where Mello Mello Bar is in my photo) and the auditorium presumably stood behind all these street-fronting buildings. So what part of the cinema does the pub occupy? Interestingly, at the rear, there’s what seems to be a derelict backstage area (see my photos), sitting all alone! Was this part of the cinema?? Any thoughts and comments would be most welcome!
Further to Ken’s comments, when I visited, on 1 June 2015 (to see “Wild”), a huge curtain had been slung across the auditorium to mask off the rear stall and circle, where improvement work was being undertaken. An 8.5m screen, with masking, and surround sound, is due to be installed. All this is due to be completed by 3 September 2015, when “The Beaux Stratagem” is set to be the Arts Centre’s first NT Live streaming.
This is a very nice cinema. Unfortunately, however, yet again auditorium space has been sacrificed for extended lounge and bar/restaurant areas. Whilst entirely understandable, this is nevertheless rather regrettable.
As can be seen from my photographs, this is a fantastic pub conversion by J. D. Wetherspoon. The duty manager kindly allowed me to go up to the rear of the former circle, not open to the public, to get a lovely photograph from that splendid vantage point.
On 15 March 2011, J. D. Wetherspoon opened one of their pubs on the ground floor. “The Electrical Wizard” was named after Dr. Walford Bodie, a Scots-born entertainer, known as ‘The Electrical Wizard of the North’, who was famous for his ‘shocking’ magic tricks and the use of a replica electric chair!
By April 2015 the bingo club had been closed for some time, and the empty building, including a small cafe to the front, also closed, was up for sale. Outline planning permission had been granted for conversion into 16 apartments, but alternative uses would clearly be considered.
In a nice nod to the company’s cinemas from the past, five of the new Curzon auditoriums are named Renoir (the largest, with 141 seats plus 9 more in a small balcony), Lumiere, Plaza, Phoenix and Minema (I believe the smallest, with 21 seats). The sixth is the Bertha DocHouse, devoted to showing documentaries; this has it’s own lounge/reception area. Inevitably, shoehorning six auditoriums into a relatively restricted space has led to the five smaller ones being rather cramped.
On Saturday 30th May 2015 I visited the Sherborne, to see the matinee screening of “Paul Blart Mall Cop 2” and to meet up with Mark Cunningham, who I last saw at the Palace, Cinderford, which he has since sold. Mark has created a wonderfully traditional, welcoming feel to the Sherborne, with many very attractive art deco fixtures and fittings – some original, some self-crafted – and he’s even installed an Automaticket machine! Mark spent two years on this project: all that effort has been well worthwhile!
I visited the Maxime on 1st June 2015 and saw “Danny Collins”, starring Al Pacino, in Screen 5. Despite this being one of the smaller auditoriums, it is very well proportioned, very comfortable and has plenty of leg-room. (For the record, Screen 1, in the former front stalls, has 235 seats, Screens 2 and 3, in the former circle, have 110 seats, and Screens 4 and 5, in the former rear stalls, have 72 seats.) Indeed, echoing Jeffrey’s July 2014 comments, the whole cinema has been extremely attractively refurbished and fitted out, the result being a wonderful blend of traditional cinema-going with modern standards of convenience and comfort. Manageress Shelley and her enthusiastic team, who are rightly very proud of their cinema, made me very welcome and allowed me to take the photos that appear here. It was a wonderful experience, and I hope the Maxime can go from strength to strength. As a postscript I e-mailed General Manager Andrew Millar to pass on my compliments and send him the link to this entry.
Further to my ‘Overview’ comments, David Dearle has recently found, amongst his late mother’s personal effects, some letters that he wrote home from Christmas Island in 1959.
In particular, in this letter dated Friday 25th September (not long before he left that deployment in November 1959), he says “I saw the film "Tiger Bay” [J. Lee Thompson/1959] last night and it’s one of the best I’ve seen on the Island. The leading part is taken by a very smart girl of about 12 [who, of course, David now knows was Hayley Mills]. I don’t know whether I told you but I go to the pictures on Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday every week…in fact to every film that comes here! I’ve seen films that I wouldn’t dream of seeing if I was at home, everything from Westerns to Horror. We get them about six weeks after [his home town] Southend [in Essex] because by the time I get the ‘Southend Standard’, the films advertised are on here. Mind you we get a lot of old ones thrown in, like “The Sad Sack” [George Marshall/1957] which I saw years ago. Another annoying thing is that we invariably get colour films in black and white and, in a musical, that can ruin the whole impression of the picture."
My thanks to David for sharing this fascinating insight into the films on offer at the Astra. (Judging by his comment about colour films being screened in BW, presumably the Astra used 16mm projection, where the BW versions were much cheaper than the colour originals.)
In June 2011, Cineworld opened “The Screening Rooms”, a three-screen luxury cinema, alongside their existing multiplex. See separate entry for full details.