ABC Dover

62 Castle Street,
Dover, CT16 1PA

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ABC Cinema

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The Granada Theatre was the first cinema built for and operated the Granada chain of cinemas, opening on 8th January 1930 with a seating capacity of 1,717. The opening film was “The Last of Mrs Cheyney” starring Norma Shearer. The architect was Cecil Masey with Granada’s favoured interior designer Theodore Komisarkevsky responsible for the decorations, this theatre being his first full project.

The foyer was built in an 18th Century French style with marble staircase leading to the circle with chandeliers and Venetian mirrors. The auditorium had a Spanish Moorish theme and was very ornate. The Granada Theatre had a full working stage, a 35 feet wide proscenium and a Christie 3Manual organ with lift in the orchestra pit. On 19th June 1935, Granada sold the cinema to Associated British Cinemas(ABC) chain, but it was not renamed ABC until April 1960, and was forever known to local people as the Granada. The Christie organ was removed in 1960, being bought later by an organ enthusiast.

With the decline in film going in 1970 it was modernised into a ‘Luxury Lounge’ cinema using only the stalls area with 610 seats, closing off the circle, reopening on 6th July 1970. The ABC closed as a cinema on 30th October 1982 and was converted into ‘Images’ Night Club. This too has closed and in 2007 the building was bought by the Wetherspoons chain for conversion into a pub, but 12 months on in 2008, work has yet to start.

In August 2014, demolition had begun, by first removing the roof of the building.

Contributed by Richard Roper (abcman)

Recent comments (view all 15 comments)

johnwb
johnwb on January 4, 2012 at 4:04 pm

If it’s of any interest, I acquired all the RCA microphones and some stands from the cinema.We bought them from the Cinema in the early 1980’s. Beautiful quality equipment as you would expect.At the time we were told all the famous people who had used them over the years.

andybdjuk
andybdjuk on January 4, 2012 at 4:44 pm

Hi John It’s fantastic to hear from you. I don’t suppose you still have the mic’s? If you do would you be able to post some pictures of them

Thanks

Andy

johnwb
johnwb on January 6, 2012 at 7:00 am

We still have all the equipment. It’s at my dad’s house. It will take a couple of weeks, but next time I see him, I will take my camera.Do you have any photographs of any performers using the mikes? John

andybdjuk
andybdjuk on January 6, 2012 at 7:03 am

Thanks John Never thought about performers so something we could start searching for and a great opertunity todo some more research I will keep you informed Thanks for your time

Andy

eggplant_casserole
eggplant_casserole on February 19, 2012 at 1:26 am

Andy, have you tried talking to Eric Hart in Chart Road, Folkestone about the organ? He has the old organ from the Folkestone Savoy in his front room! As it says it was sold to an enthusiast, he may know who that was.

ritzman
ritzman on August 2, 2013 at 12:07 am

I may be wrong, but I did hear that Eric Hart passed away a few years ago and I am not sure of the fate of the ex Folkestone Savoy which Eric built into his home, i’ve not seen any ‘For Sale’ notices for that fine instrument unless other may know otherwise?

eggplant_casserole
eggplant_casserole on March 7, 2014 at 7:46 pm

Sorry for the delay in reply, ritzman. You may well be right about Eric. I’m not sure the fate of the organ, but I believe he had the pipes built into an upstairs room, so I don’t know how easy it would be to remove from the house! Perhaps a local historian might have more information?

Buffer
Buffer on August 8, 2014 at 4:16 pm

Latest photos taken in August, 2014 show demolition under way. Supposedly permission for roof only but the rest is sure to follow.

ritzman
ritzman on August 10, 2014 at 2:43 am

Why would you just take the roof off?

Mike_Blakemore
Mike_Blakemore on August 10, 2014 at 12:08 pm

Answer to ritzman… the reason is Rates….. and removal of seats..

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