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View Full Version : Archived Report - ABC Cinema Mansfield Nottingham



Mattdisney
November 6th, 2009, 21:33
This is my first report, and to go with that I'm not very good at photography :(

I was working at Riley's snooker club on Leeming Street in Mansfield.

From the outside it is obvious that it used to be a theatre of sorts. Whilst tracing the route of central heating pipes I found a real gem :) and now I'm hooked :p

History

The Grand Theatre was designed by T.V. Woodhouse of Nottingham and opened in 1906 as a live theatre. It was largely rebuilt internally in 1928 to the plans of architect J.H. Tomlinson. It became a cinema shortly after this, despite having an excellent 40 foot deep stage, with a full height fly tower, and a very large number of dressing rooms.

It was acquired by ABC around 1930 but not renamed until 1963. It was tripled in 1978 when the the stalls area became Screen 1 with 390 seats, the circle Screen 2 with 369 seats and the stage was adapted as Screen 3 with 171 seats. Later known as Cannon when the Cannon Group took over ABC, it reverted back to ABC in a management buyout. The ABC closed in 1997 when a new 8-screen ABC multiplex opened nearby.

The former Grand Theatre is now used, on the ground floor only by Rileys Snooker Club.

Currently inside the building has been little altered from the triple cinema days. In the snooker hall the curved front of the edge of the balcony (not returned to the proscenium wall) can be seen, together with the lower portions of the altered (cinemascope) proscenium arch and large stage area. All with a false ceiling above. Upstairs the former Screen 2 remains untouched but in poor condition, with a few broken seats left in situ, the screen has been ripped and behind it is possible to see traces of the original theatre proscenium arch with the upper parts of the very wide cinemascope arch superimposed. The projection box is stripped. Behind the stage are around ten dressing rooms and on the top two floors of the block the managers flat. All windows have been bricked in and the area is almost unused and derelict.

The exterior of the building, with an unusual semi circular bay in the centre is believed to be intact although covered in the ABC cladding circa 1963. In the circle foyer there are still the covered windows of the bay, and the line of the balustrade is clearly discernable on the cladding. Entrance is now via one of the side exit doors, with the original foyer converted to kitchen/office space.

Pictures

Please excuse the quality and lack of pictures. I was on my own with a small LED torch and was getting a bit psyched out, so didn't spend too much time in there.

As soon as you walk through a Staff Only door, up some newly made wooden steps. You are greeted with the original Two way staircase. This picture is looking up the left hand set of stairs, as the right hand set are blocked off to a dead end.
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2619/4081312146_ee3ce20952_b.jpg

A closer look at some original cinema signs.
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2584/4081336944_c45286c821_b.jpg

This next set of stairs takes you to the upper auditorium and projection room.
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2768/4080578977_6c4a4e8329_b.jpg

This room is just off the staecase to the front of the cinema. It looks as though it was once used as a bar.
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3521/4080581089_727d4415eb_b.jpg

This corridor runs along the side of the auditorium.
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2775/4081343426_3f6fb53251_b.jpg

At the end of this corridor is an electrical room leading to battery room.
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2634/4081345736_27fa616773_b.jpg

A view of the main auditorium from near the electrical room.
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3593/4080592387_1e26b586d6_b.jpg

The projection room.
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2738/4081414858_055bee6250_b.jpg

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2668/4081419898_2e5a064401_b.jpg

View of auditorium from the back seats.
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2624/4080662049_abeff837d9_b.jpg

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2760/4081406828_5f70578aea_b.jpg

An old exit sign.
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2730/4080651115_a5bef453a6_b.jpg

A view of the back of the auditorium.
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3479/4080628689_05f1d078cd_b.jpg

Some remaining seats at the back of the auditorium.
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2804/4081385986_87866ec5e6_b.jpg

Behind the screen is the old theatre stage. This picture shows the ornate plasterwork that framed the stage.
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2566/4081381596_17609d8aa8_b.jpg

Stage lighting.
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2624/4080604573_f9127800e4_b.jpg

An old Pepsi can with the old type of ring pull!
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3124/4080623887_1b2c82c6c6_b.jpg


That concludes the pictures. I searched alot more of this building, but for some reason didn't take pictures :banghead

There are loads of dressing rooms behind the stage, and quite an extensive cellar network.

I hope you enjoy looking at this as much as I enjoyed being there.


Kind Regards,

Matt