Dominion Theatre

268-269 Tottenham Court Road,
London, W1T 5AQ

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Showing 1 - 25 of 34 comments

3payne
3payne on April 23, 2013 at 9:54 am

My father was manager of this cinema late 1950’s possibly early 1960’s…he met several stars Judy garland etc..

rasLXR
rasLXR on March 19, 2013 at 10:10 pm

Michael Zoldessy posted in commentary about South Pacific I have added my post onto here. SOUTH PACIFIC AT THE DOMINION 55th Anniversary on 21st April 2013. The film ran 4 years and 22 weeks. The Dominion used one show print and one stand by print, the show print was used throughout the run apart from a few shows when the show print was sent for cleaning on those occasions the stand by was run. The projection team were awarded a special bonus by the distributor at the end of the run for their care and professionalism. I noticed John Carpenter in the documentary side by side saying how the prints of Titanic were falling to bits out of the projectors, if he had been more accurate he should have said that film is not the problem in exhibition but the lack of skilled projection staff is the problem. I ran the last show on the Dominions DP70’s (A Star Is Born with B.Streisand also 70mm print) the booth was removed and the film continued the next day from the new booth with Vic 8s at the rear of the circle. This was the 3rd booth in the Dominion the original at the rear of the upper balcony was closed for South Pacific and onward due to the rake. The original booth is still there. R

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on July 18, 2012 at 10:16 am

Spotlighted in this 1961 trade ad: Boxoffice

Ian
Ian on July 4, 2012 at 6:10 am

And for a comparison some interior shots from 1990, before restoration :–

FOYER

DETAIL OF BOX

VIEW OF STAGE

VIEW ACROSS AUDITORIUM

Gooper
Gooper on June 20, 2011 at 8:44 pm

Just like in the photo above, I saw ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ here in 1970, a splendid presentation, naturally.

woody
woody on September 30, 2009 at 6:19 pm

photo of the world premiere of STAR at the Dominion in 1968
http://www.flickr.com/photos/woody1969/3970278570/

AdoraKiaOra
AdoraKiaOra on March 1, 2008 at 11:38 pm

Another great shot of the ‘Exposed ’ Dominion Theatre
http://www.flickr.com/photos/curtians/2303759628/

AdoraKiaOra
AdoraKiaOra on March 1, 2008 at 11:12 pm

The dominion with major building works exposing rear of auditorium and old terrace cafe.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/curtians/2302962143/

jrhine
jrhine on February 22, 2008 at 4:30 pm

The Dominion organ was a 3/13 Compton.

AdoraKiaOra
AdoraKiaOra on January 15, 2008 at 8:53 am

In the last photo posted here you can see, behind the 3 grills, where the garden cafe used to be. This was only open for a few years in the mid/late 30s. Closed permanently for the war and never reopened. In the time i worked there i saw some incredible areas that had not been seen in decades, a lot closed off due to asbestos. The public walking around see only about 50% of what is the real Dominion. Before Ticketmaster took the Upper Circle for its sales office there was a set of office like rooms built onto the back walkway of the Upper Circle that Rank used only briefly. The seating was still there but the whole area was in a very bad state of repair after 40 years of being closed off. I think i remember being told that the last time the Upper Circle was open was for a 5 concert booking of Judy Garland concerts. Working there for that period i often wondered how fantastic the place would look with the whole auditorium opened up. In the 80s it was a very worn out place to work in but still had a special grandness about it.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on August 28, 2007 at 10:23 am

The now demolished building to the left of the Dominion Theatre was originally built in 1875 as the Horseshoe Hotel. Aparently the new building which will be built on the site will contain shops, restaurants and residential uses. It’s a shame they could not retain even the facade!

AdoraKiaOra
AdoraKiaOra on August 28, 2007 at 8:56 am

Wow what a great photo! I want to go and investigate. I was always discovering unused parts of the theatre when i worked there in th early 80s. Like a child on a treasure hunt. LOL i think it was the Buger King or Boots they just demolished?

woody
woody on August 28, 2007 at 7:52 am

an amazing victorian building next door to the Dominion has just been flattened, allowing this view of the side of the lobby block
View link

AdoraKiaOra
AdoraKiaOra on May 4, 2007 at 11:42 am

No change in 25 years then! I WILL ask why you went to see ‘We Will Rock You’ because im still asking myself the same question 2 years after i saw it in Barcelona!
It would be nice to watch a good movie in 70mm at the Dominion instead of ‘Mice-The Musical"! Haha!
The Dominion has never had a fantastic reputation as a musical theatre house- most Broadway and West End shows that have played there disappear rather quickly (except, unfortunatly 'We Will Rock You’)– but like i said at least its still there thank god!

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on May 4, 2007 at 11:30 am

Incidentally, the mice running around on stage during intermission were captivating. The audience stayed in and applauded!

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on May 4, 2007 at 11:28 am

During a recent visit to see WE WILL ROCK YOU (don’t ask) I noticed the proscenium is badly tarnished (damaged?) by what appears to be the show’s excessive use of dry ice special effects.

I understand that damaged may be caused by the wear and tear for the sake of art, but this ain’t no STARLIGHT EXPRESS. And that tells you all you need to know about this show.

AdoraKiaOra
AdoraKiaOra on May 4, 2007 at 8:47 am

I worked at the Dominion in the mid 80s for 2 years. During this time a number of movies were shown such as the premier of ‘Return Of The Jedi’ and others. A very succuessful presentation over a space of 3 or 4 seasons was the ‘Thames Silents’. These were screenings of famous silent movies with stars such as Charlie Chalin, Rudolph Valentino and Lillian Gish amongst others. Presented by Thames Television they were accompanied by a full orchestra who played specialy commisioned “sountracks' for these great movies with an orchestra of about 40 or 50- amazing to experience this in the Dominions surroundings.. Every performance was old out and was attended by a very high brow audience worthy of Covent garden. I remember the chief electrican at the time found it increasingly difficult to screen movies from the original projection rooms. When the Dominion held the premier run of ‘Jedi’ it was decided to install a tempary projection box under the circle in the middle of the stalls. This prevented at least the last 10 rows in the stalls to be sold and also the frst 10 rows due to the hight of the screen. Ray, the projectionist said then that it was a shame money wasnt spent on restoring the original projection box to show movies properly. During my time there they held a season of 70mm presentations of movie musicals. These included ‘Fiddler On The Roof’, ‘South Pacific’, ‘The Sound Of Music’, ‘Calamity Jane’ and i think also ‘The King And I’. They were show with just the circle area for sale. Even then with a great promotion of the season i remember every night there not being more than 20 to 30 people there. There were many complaints regarding the bad screening presentation- focus, sound etc. The way the Dominion is handled now i can say almost definately that it will never show a movie again. But hey, its still there and looking fantastic.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on August 23, 2006 at 11:03 am

That beats any New York run. I was told they only used two prints of SOUTH PACIFIC during that whole run!

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on August 23, 2006 at 11:00 am

Four vintage photographs of the Dominion Theatre:
Playing the Gaumont release in September 1949:
View link
Playing the Gaumont release in July 1955
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“South Pacific”–‘Now in its 3rd Year’ in 1961:
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“South Pacific” – ‘First Show in TODD-AO’, night photograph from 1961.
View link

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on August 23, 2006 at 10:02 am

South Pacific ran at the Dominion Cinema (Road-show performances) from 21st April 1958 until 30th September 1962. It was certainly a British record for a long run totalling 4 years – 22 weeks.

Samuel Goldwyn wanted to premier “Porgy and Bess” at the Dominion. but had to wait three years for “South Pacific” to end its run. “Porgy and Bess” was not such a great success and it was followed by “Cleopatra” in August 1963. This was followed by “The Sound of Music” (29th March 1965 to 31st June 1968) and then the theatre was re-decorated and opened on 18th July 1968 with “Star” which was not so succesful.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on August 23, 2006 at 9:00 am

I believe the Dominion holds the world record for the longest film run ever with SOUTH PACIFIC. Not counting midnight shows such as ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW)

Ian
Ian on August 19, 2006 at 1:21 am

Another view of the foyer in August 2006 :–

View link