Granada Kettering

19 High Street,
Kettering, NN16 8ST

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George Coles

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Regal Cinema was built on the site of Goosey & Sons' drapery store in Kettering High Street and officially opened on Boxing Day 1936 by Earl Spencer (Princess Di’s father). The vast £70,000 super-cinema was designed by noted cinema architect George Coles, and had a unique frontage, dominated by a tower lit by a neon halo visible for miles around. Five pairs of entrance doors led into a large foyer with a pay desk on each side. The elegant air-conditioned ultra-modern auditorium had 2,000 luxury seats – grey in the stalls and blue in the circle. The 50 feet wide stage with footlights and an orchestra pit, boasted an elaborate frilly curtain with 59 different patterns. This was used for popular Sunday night band shows with top names like Joe Loss, Jack Hylton, Henry Hall and Nat Gonella. Other stars included singers Anne Zeigler and Webster Booth, pianists Rawicz and Landau, the legendary Crazy Gang, Flanagan and Allan, and forces sweetheart Vera Lynn. One of the early films shown at the Regal was “Queen of Hearts” starring Gracie Fields, and the classic “Gone with the Wind”, which played for two weeks – unheard of in the provinces.

Taken over by the Granada Theatres chain, it was re-named Granada, and during the 1960’s hosted many pop concerts, with stars such as Tommy Steel, The Who, Johnny Kidd & The Pirates, and The Rolling Stones making appearances on the large stage. The Granada was eventually closed as a cinema, and has been a Gala Bingo Club for many years.

Contributed by David Lewin

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

Simon Overton
Simon Overton on February 24, 2011 at 1:57 pm

David… So many thanks for your excellent and colourful description of a beautiful cinema/theatre. Here’s hoping it wasn’t altered beyond recognition, as is the case so often.

I can immagine the live stage shows and the beautiful ‘frilly’ curtain. I truly believe that the use of multiple curtains, as in “The Great Ziegfeld” (Best Film 1936), added charm to the presentation of live shows. Here’s hoping a CT fan is able to locate a photograph.
Incidentally, Bournemouth’s ABC Westover Cinema had a glorious ‘frilly’ curtain to compliment their art deco surroundings!

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on February 24, 2011 at 2:42 pm

A photograph of the former Regal Cinema/Granada, as a Gala Bingo Club in May 2003:
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