State Cinema

George Street,
Grays, RM17

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Showing 17 comments

70mmbobbyj on September 12, 2015 at 6:49 am

It appears that the State has now been purchased by JD Weatherspoons. This has been reported on the “save the state” Facebook page.

William L. Coale, Ph.D.
William L. Coale, Ph.D. on August 14, 2011 at 1:16 pm

Just in from Peter Hammond via Facebook:

Peter Hammond
is rather gutted at the destruction of another cinema organ in its original venue

Quentin Bellamy Which one is that?

Peter Hammond State Grays

Simon Gledhill How has it been destroyed?

Peter Hammond Metal thieves broke in in July and have stolen most of the pipework. They even bent some of the tubas in half and left them on the stage presumably waiting their return to collect them. They also took other metal items in the building I believe. Console and other parts still in situ and OK I believe. We have been lobbying the local authority for ages to make sure the place was secure, especially after the caretaker died earlier this year. A few days ago new security measures were put into place – somewhat late!!! Simon please can the COS join forces with us to demand some action regarding the State?

Simon Gledhill Peter, let’s discuss privately. I will e-mail you.

Peter Hammond OK

Gary Davies This is a disgrace.

Stephen Dutfield It’s terrible news. Do we know what the state of play is with insurance? It’s not beyond the bounds of possibility that the stolen pipework could be replaced from Compton material available from other sources, although of course it would never be the State organ as it was. I just hope nobody has the idea to dump what’s left of it because the pipes are missing.

Quentin Bellamy What a calamity!

TLSLOEWS on April 12, 2010 at 8:11 pm

Pretty sad slide show posted by speed.

joey80 on January 18, 2008 at 6:51 am

There is now an online petition at

Please sign if you would like to see one of Englands last fully original picture palaces saved from being turned into a health club or some sort or residential property.

joey80 on January 10, 2008 at 11:51 am

Anyone interested in helping save this lovely old building please visit my website.

Infernalaffairs on January 8, 2008 at 3:25 pm

I have sent an e-mail to Thurrock Council asking for info and/or help with an idea I had.

There is a cinema museum currently based in London that has to move home and could well cease to be if it can not find suitable new premises. The State Cinema building would be an ideal location. I have e-mailed the museum to confirm that they are still looking for a new home but so far that is it. This would be an ideal opportunity for both parties ( OK, Grays isn’t London but it has a good rail link to and from London).

This would fit in nicely with the planned (if Thurrock Council keep their promise) Thurrock Film Network.

If anyone is interested in helping me with trying to get these and other local projects started, please e-mail me on .uk Thanks.

Ian on December 2, 2007 at 2:56 pm

A few more photographs of the State, from circa 1988, before it closed. Interiors and exterior and organ.

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Ken Roe
Ken Roe on December 1, 2007 at 11:34 am

Two vintage photographs of the former State Cinema, courtesy of the Cinema Theatre Association archives:
View link

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on September 3, 2006 at 1:57 pm

A fairly recent photograph of the shuttered(15years now) State Cinema:

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on March 28, 2006 at 2:01 pm

Here is the link posted by Peter Hammond above on 17th June 2002:
Scroll down on the side-bar on the left and click on State Cinema. When the page has loaded, click the main picture for a history and photos of the State Cinema.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on March 28, 2006 at 1:32 pm

Latest news (as at March 2006)….Quote; ‘English Heritage have just published a report entitiled 'Growing Places’ in which it has specifically mentioned the potential of investing in the care of the historic enviroment and specifically the State Cinema, Grays, Essex as a means to trigger regeneration of the Thames Gateway area. The Cinema Theatre Association have written to Thurrock Council as an interested party requesting to be consulted regarding the masterplan that is being put together in order to bring the desperately needed regeneration to the area.‘ (quote from the CTA Bulletin Vol 40 #2 March/April 2006)

As stated in previous posts above, Morrison’s supermarket chain now own the building and they have built a supermarket on the State Cinema’s car-park. The cinema building is still boarded up-unused since 1991. It is Listed Grade II*.

pieterhildebrand on March 28, 2006 at 12:31 pm

I would like some more info on the State theatre in Grays, Essex, England but it seem very difficult to do that. Can anybody help please? Pieter Hildebrand.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on April 10, 2005 at 7:35 pm

Here is a fine photo of the console of the State Cinema’s Compton organ 3Manual/6Rank with Melotone, with it’s illuminated surround.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on December 10, 2004 at 6:26 pm

The State Cinema opened in September 1938 with John Ford’s “The Hurricane” starring Dorothy Lamour and Jon Hall. The architect was Frederick G.M. Chancellor of the Frank Matcham & Company practice. The organ installed is a Compton.

It closed in September 1988 and was theatened with demolition, but was saved by a Grade II Listing being placed upon it. It re-opened again briefly in 1989, and a few live concerts were held in 1991. The State has remained empty since then.

GaryParks on August 31, 2004 at 5:17 pm

The interior of this theatre viewed from the balcony, showing organ grilles, screen, and an unoccupied but illuminated organ console, was used to play the part of an anonymous LA-area theatre in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” “Grays State Theatre” is listed in the locations in the end credits.

peter_hammond on June 17, 2002 at 9:54 am

Morrison own the whole site and have built a new supermarket in the original State car park. However they are looking after the cinema and I believe plans are being discussed to perhaps re-open it as a film/stage/arts venue in due course.

The organ is still there as are the projectors.

Check out

for some other history and info on the State.