Grand Cinema

182-186 Lord Street,
Southport, PR9 0QG

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Grand Cinema

Located in the Sefton district of Southport at the corner of Lord Street and Court Street. Originally built in 1923 as a garage and car showroom, it was converted into a luxury cinema in 1938 by architect George E. Tonge. The Grand Cinema opened on 14th November 1938 with Arthur Tracy in "Follow Your Star". The cinema was designed for and operated by an independent operator throughout its cinematic life.

Seating was provided in a stadium plan with a sloping floor at the front (known as the Pit stalls and stepped floor at the rear which was known as the Royal stalls and Grand stalls. An unusual feature was the provision of a balconette which was attached to each sidewall. Seating was provised in pairs all along towards the proscenium. There were decorative grilles each side of the proscenium opening which contained the organ pipes of the Compton 3Manual organ which had an illuminated console on a lift, in the centre of the orchestra pit. The organ was opened by Herbert A. Dowson. In the ceiling was a large shallow dowm which had a central Art Deco style light fixture. There was a cafe provided for patrons.

In 1963 the Compton organ was removed to Cheetham Hill Methodist Church in Manchester, which in later years was moved to Chorley Town Hall. In 1966 another Compton organ was installed at the Grand Cinema which had previously been housed in the Regal Cinema, Douglas, Isle of Man and this was opened by Charles Smart.

The Grand Cinema closed on 2nd July 1966 with Sean Connery in "Thunderball" and Peter Cushing in "Hound of the Baskervilles". It was converted into an independent bingo club, and the Compton organ was played to bingo players at the interval during the first few years.

The Grand Cinema last operated as the Stanley Grand Casino, and from 2007 became the Mint Casino, but this was closed by May 2016 and the building is boarded up in early-2017. It is a Grade II listed building.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

Ian on January 7, 2008 at 11:16 am

A photo of the Grand, as a bingo hall here:–

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Philip Picturedrome
Philip Picturedrome on July 29, 2010 at 2:21 pm

It is now called Mint Casino.
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madorganplayer on February 4, 2012 at 9:17 am

The 2nd grand Compton was removed in the 1990`s and reinstalled in a music room in Tarleton-about 7-8 miles outside Southport.Oddly enough ,the first Compton is now being installed in Hesketh Bank(previous at Chorley Town Hall)which is an adjoining now both grand organs are now within a couple of miles of each other!

brendangcarroll on May 15, 2016 at 4:34 am

I regret to say that this fabulous building is now empty and under threat of demolition. Please help me to save it!

Philip Picturedrome
Philip Picturedrome on May 15, 2016 at 5:19 am

Best of Luck. I suppose you know it’s a Listed Building? But then, so were the Palace/ABC, and the Palladium/Odeon, but they were demolished. Have you contacted the CTA and English Heritage, and the local press?

Mike_Blakemore on May 15, 2016 at 10:02 am

Grade 2 and below are not worth the papers they are listed on….

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