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Opened on 5th September 1938 with Dorothy Lamour and Jon Hall in “The Hurricane”. The magnificent State Cinema remains a large and unaltered building with seating for 1,400 in the stalls and 800 in the circle. It is equipped with a Compton 3Manual/6Ranks organ with Melotone attached. The organ console has a ‘Rainbow’ illuminated surround. The State Cinema has a fully equipped stage and there are 3 dressing rooms. There was a 50-seat restaurant in the circle foyer level. In 1988 the State Cinema was a location shoot for a sequence in the film “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” starring Bob Hoskins. The State Cinema was closed in 1991.
In 1993 the foyer was used for a while as a nightclub named Charleston’s, and the auditorium saw use again on two occasions for concerts by David Essex and Suzi Quatro.
In 2001 Morrisons Supermarket chain purchased the entire building and adjacent car park to use the car park as an extension to their own adjacent car park. In 2006 a property company purchased the building. It has now been unused for over 22 years, and there have been several break-in’s. The Compton organ, projectors and all equipment remain in the building, but during one of the break-in’s organ pipes from the organ chamber under the stage were stolen by metal thieves.
The building is Grade II* Listed and is one of the most endangered buildings on the English Heritage ‘Buildings at Risk’ list.
In October 2015 it was announced the State Cinema had been purchased by the J.D. Weatherspoon chain of pubs.
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