9 Westgate Street,
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Built as the Grand Theatre in 1887. In 1904, it became a drama theatre, re-named King’s Theatre. In 1907 it was taken over by the MacNaghten Vaudeville Circuit and re-named Palace Theatre. It was re-named Palace-Hippodrome Cinema in 1912. In March 1927 it became part of the Biocolour circuit. In the early-1930’s when every available building in the city was showing films, including the New Theatre and Empire Theatre, attempts were made to use this old theatre as a cinema by an independent operator who re-named it New Hippodrome Cinema.
From press advertisements and comments it appears that some redecoration was undertaken but the venture did not prove successful particularly when several nearby cinemas were rebuilt with modern standards of comfort.
A plan was submitted by March 1939 to convert the site into a garage (bearing the names of the proprietors of the former Castle Cinema almost adjacent) and contained a copy of the original theatre design. The war intervened and the O.S. map of the time shows the site as derelict.
Post-war the building was substantially altered for use as a warehouse and more recently as an auction house.
When the auctioneers relocated to a site with better access the building was acquired by the Wetherspoon pub chain. In this case there was very little, other than the frontage onto Westgate Street, to restore, so the "Gate Keeper" is a new-build pub, but retains external features from much earlier.
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