Gaumont Reading

143-145 Oxford Road,
Reading, RG1 7UY

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Located a short distance away from the town centre. The Pavilion Cinema was opened on 21st September 1929 with Laura La Plante in "Showboat". It was equipped with a Compton 2Manual/6Ranks organ with the console on a lift, that was opened by organist Norman Tilley. The cinema also had a tea lounge for the convenience of its patrons.

Taken over by the County Cinemas chain in 1930, they were taken over by the Oscar Deutsch chain of Odeon Theatres Ltd. in September 1939.

After the closure of the Gaumont (former Vaudeville Theatre) in November 1957, the Rank Organisation transfered the name Gaumont to the Pavilion Cinema from 20th January 1958.

The Gaumont was closed on 21st April 1979 after the Odeon in Reading was twinned. It first became a Top Rank Bingo Club, and has now been operating as a Riley’s Snooker Club for many years.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on January 31, 2011 at 10:58 am

A vintage photograph of the newly re-named Gaumont, playing the Gaumont release in January 1958:
http://www.mawgrim.co.uk/cavalcade/readingg.jpg

Simon Overton
Simon Overton on January 31, 2011 at 7:10 pm

From the many photos I have up/downloaded of English cinemas and theaters, many had steps leading up to the box office or entry doors.

I wonder how handicapped patrons managed in the days before wheelchair ramps were finally installed?

craigl83
craigl83 on April 13, 2011 at 3:23 am

Does anyone have a picture of the inside when it was a cinema. We’re looking at buying the building for a church and would like to see what it looked like before it was pulled apart to be a bingo hall and pool hall. Thanks

Simon Overton
Simon Overton on April 13, 2011 at 1:15 pm

Ctaig… Check with you local Public Library" archives, especially the “opening day” shots, or perhaps Odeon themselves.

expatmike
expatmike on February 27, 2014 at 9:59 pm

I remember going to the last film to be shown. It was very cold, as the boiler had run out of oil. At the start of the show the tabs would not open and the projectionist has to run down and open them by hand. I recall very few in the audience that sad last night. Not a cinema I really liked much. A real barn of a place with the screen quite high. A long narrow hall if I recall.

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