Gaumont Oldham

King Street,
Oldham, OL8

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Gaumont Oldham

A large live theatre located on the corner of King Street and Union Street, the Grand Theatre and Opera House was designed by London based architects Thomas Taylor & Ernest Simister. The exterior was built in terra-cota & brick. Seating was provided in orchestra stalls, dress circle and gallery levels. The proscenium was 32 feet wide.

It was almost totally rebuilt in 1937 by Gaumont Super Cinemas, headed by the Hyams brothers of London. Only the outer walls survived untouched, with the corner entrance given a modern look – the multi-leveled interior with boxes were transformed into a 1930’s stalls and balcony cinema seating 1,842.

It was taken over fully by Gaumont British Theatres in 1944 and closed as a cinema by the Rank Organisation in 1961. It was briefly re-named Astoria Theatre, and The Beatles appeared here several times. In 1962 it was converted into a a bowling alley and then a nightclub in 1973, with a snooker club operating in the former foyer space. Closed for several years, in 2011 the building was converted into a roller derby centre known as the Thunderdome.

Contributed by Ian Grundy

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on October 15, 2005 at 3:54 am

The architect of the Grand Theatre and Opera House was local architect Thomas Taylor with ‘a leading London architect’? It was built and opened in 1908.

Ian on March 27, 2007 at 2:27 am

The nightclub has closed and the former Gaumont is due to be demolished.

Ian on May 11, 2007 at 5:29 am

Exterior photo here:–

View link

Ian on February 5, 2008 at 7:43 am

Another exterior here:–

View link

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on November 11, 2009 at 12:14 pm

A vintage view of the Grand Theatre in 1911:
View link

Richard1968 on April 6, 2011 at 12:28 pm

The Wurlitzer organ from the Gaumont Oldham is now installed in the Victoria Hall,Saltaire,West Yorkshire, the organ is owned by the Cinema Organ Society and concerts are presented by the Northern District every 2nd Sunday of each month, for further information please visit

HarlotJo on July 22, 2014 at 5:19 pm

This building is not unused! It has been home of a roller derby team since 2011 called the Rainy City Roller Girls who compete across the UK and Europe. Two of our skaters are also on Team England so the Gaumont lives again, but now it’s called The Thunderdome!

Our next home game is on August 16th, so you’re welcome to come and pay a visit to see how it’s changed! for more details

madorganplayer on September 4, 2016 at 11:59 am

Apparently the old Osborne cinema on Oldham road and Birt street was also ThunderDome so did they move from the Osborne in 2010 when it was demolished?

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