Gaumont Reading

47 Broad Street,
Reading, RG1 2AE

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Gaumont Reading

The Vaudeville Electric Theatre was a purpose built hall, located behind existing premises, with an entrance through a former shop. It opened in July 1909, and had a seating capacity for 500. It was extended in 1912 and the seating capacity was increased to 1,000.

In 1919, the noted architectural firm Emden & Egan were employed to produce plans for 1,500 seat cinema. It was built around the existing building which kept operating, and only when building work was completed was the original building closed and demolished.

The new Vaudeville Theatre opened on 26th September 1921 with Mary Pickford in "Pollyanna". The huge auditorium had a barrel vaulted ceiling, with seating arranged on stalls and circle levels. There was also an ‘old English’ style tea room which had wood paneled walls.

It was taken over by the County Cinemas chain in September 1929, and they were taken over by Oscar Deutsch’s Odeon Theatres Ltd. chain in September 1939.

It was re-named Gaumont on 23rd February 1953 and was closed by the Rank Organisation on 30th November 1957, with the Gaumont name being transferred to the former Pavilion Cinema in 1958. The Vaudeville/Gaumont was mostly demolished apart from some outer walls, and it became a Timothy White’s store, in later years becoming a branch of Boots the chemists.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 1 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on January 31, 2011 at 7:36 am

A vintage photograph of the Vaudeville Theatre playing the Gaumont release in June 1949:
Photographed as the Gaumont, playing the Gaumont release in April 1956:

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