Palace Cinema

7 West Street,
Crewkerne, TA18 8AX

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The Palace Cinema opened in April 1921 by independent operator Thomas Stembridge. The cinema was located slightly back off the road, up a driveway. The facade was quite plain, just a concrete block with several slender vertical windows breaking up the mass. There was a small foyer, and inside the auditorium seating was provided for 600 in stalls and circle.

The Palace Cinema closed on 5th November 1977 with "Orca, The Killer Whale", Thomas Stembridge had operated for all its life. It was sold at auction on 28th February 1978 and was purchased by Peter Perry. He renovated the building and it re-opened on 8th May 1978 with a seating capacity of 255 in the stalls and 200 in the circle. In 1984, an application was applied for to convert the building into a nightclub. Planners were worried that some of the interesting internal features would be lost with this use and it was designated a Grade II Listed building.

The nightclub plans were given the go-ahead, with reservations about alterations and the nightclub was operating by 1988. By spring 2003 there were plans proposed for its demolition. These plans were temporarily halted when badger setts were found on the site. However, I believe that the building is still open as Madisons nighclub.

Contributed by Ken Roe
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