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Thread: Durham Palladium Theatre/Cinema 14/10/07

  1. #1
    xm657's Avatar
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    Arrow Durham Palladium Theatre/Cinema 14/10/07


    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    Thanks to blondini_gang for the heads up on this one.

    Accompanied by Northern Exposure and Brickman we gained access to a 1920s theatre and cinema, later a Bingo Hall. Been abandonded for a good 30 years+. Very little chaving as you'll see and lots of period 1960's/70's style. Massive place and a great explore. Here are my efforts but expect much better later from Northern Exposure and Brickman who have proper cameras - unlike me!

    By a stroke of furtune power was still on and I found the master switch for the house lights, and what lights still worked came up.

    The exterior, not much to look at the front but its massive round the back.



    This bar is straight put of the 70s!


    The stalls


    Balcony - note the remains of ornate wall decoration


    Projectionist room, whats in here?






    Chain driven film winding




    Managers office


    Bingo days:





    Some other misc shots







  2. #2
    Northern Exposure's Avatar
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    Default Re: Durham Palladium Theatre/Cinema - ** REPORT ** - 14/10/07


    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    This rates with some of the best places I've been to for the wow factor.

    Access was mental and I have the scars to prove it too!!

    Once in we had the run of the place and it really is a must see venue with all sorts of little oddities and gems lying around.
    There has been some small chav activity with pots or paint and spray, but very little damage other than natural decay, which was nice.

    The building dates from 1929 and was opened as 'The Palladium Theatre' later to become a cinema which closed in 1976 and finally had a brief spell as a bingo hall.

    JD Weatherspoons tried to convert it into a pub and wine bar about a year ago, but the local council wan to try and re-open it as a new cinema.

    So, on with the pictures;

    The retro 70's bar







    Lovely peeling paint on the stairwells



    Looking down the isle from the gallery





    Xm in the footlights



    The latest refurb had covered the walls with gold curtains, but in places you could still see the some original features



    Up the stairs agian to find...

    Storage room



    Projection room, with two projectors insitu





    Old Reel still in the projector



    Projector control panel



    Make and Model for those in the know;



    And finally a few random 'other' shots from about the place;







    All in all a very good morning out. There was so much more to see than I expected.

    Thanks to blondini_gang for the tip off.

  3. #3
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    Arrow Re: Durham Palladium Theatre/Cinema - ** REPORT ** - 14/10/07


    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    cheers for the call on this one guys, although I probably didn't look it I was pretty damn happy, and for those who weren't there I've got some nasty cold thats making me feel like the end of th world.

    some history...

    Durham cinema history

    The first custom built picture hall opened in Durham in May 1913. It was the Globe Cinema in North Road, converted from a Timber store.

    The tiny Crescent Cinema, Gilesgate Moor, was opened in June 1927 with a capacity of 320 seats. In 1941 it changed its name to The Rex, when taken over by new management. It closed in 1958.

    Super cinema

    The era of the Super cinema was launched with the opening of The Palladium in Claypath in March 1929. The first film was "The Garden of Allah".

    In March 1934, The Regal Cinema and Ballroom opened on the converted site of the former Miner's Hall and the adjacent houses. In 1947 it became part of the Essoldo Circuit and also changed its name.

    The Palladium closed in November 1975, and The Essoldo, called the Classic since 1972, had a new lease of life as the only cinema in town. In 1979 it was converted to twin screens. Then called The Cannon, it closed in June 1990. It re-opened as The Robins Cinema in June 1991.


    access was erm, yeah, some skilful thinking and problem solving went on there, but it worked
    had kinda of a hard time with pic's as it was very dark and dinjgy in most rooms.


    28days goes to the cinema :p


    some of the original plasterwork remains, despite almost th whole building been pretty damp from a dodgy roof.




    this is my fav pic of the day, unedited other than a black border round it.


    main fancy steps from the balcony to the atrium (correct term?) which was just full of junk from the shops either side, the handrail was brass I think, a nice square 1920's art deco type thing, bit smashed up, but you can still get an idea of what it would have been like.


    fire exit in old school text.


    symetrical stairs on either side of the balcony at the rear.


    late 60's/70's smoking bar. Seen a MINT 1964 smoking bar interior on a sweedish ferry ship now living out its retirement been flogged around the black sea (turkey/trabzon to russia/socchi which is the russian rivera).


    downstairs in th cheap seats, very dark even with some of the house lights working.


    projectors in the projector room, in an unchavved state, but still pretty nice to look at, there was also a nice vintage sound system with oldschool valves and that, but couldn't get a picture of it.


    rusty film reel.


    mirrors and lamps, all the mirror material has dissolved off the back of the glass

    a good mornings work and a few other sites in the area were talked about all of them NEW :

    apologies for the not so hot piccies, first explore of the place and I'm always pretty slow on the 1st one, 2nd time round will get something a bit more usefull
    Last edited by Brick_Man; October 15th, 2007 at 13:03.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Durham Palladium Theatre/Cinema - ** REPORT ** - 14/10/07


    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Northern Exposure View Post
    Thanks for that, I've been waiting for you to come along!

    There were a few record players in the building, one in the projection room and another out in the main auditorium. Both were broken.

    Out of interest, there were loads of empty reels, maybe 20 -30, but there was no actual film anywhere, is that the norm?
    yeh that is the norm either the projectionist took the bits of film or they got thrown out
    there wouldnt be any feature films as these are sent back on the last night
    you needed all those spools in case you had a few features as the film reels only lasted about 20 mins thats why you had 2 projectors so that you could change over from one proj to the other so it looks like a continuous film

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Durham Palladium Theatre/Cinema - ** REPORT ** - 14/10/07


    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    Thanks again Blondini Gang, good lead and thanks for that link





    It's good to see how it was back then and compare it to now.

  6. #6
    xm657's Avatar
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    Default Re: Durham Palladium Theatre/Cinema - ** REPORT ** - 14/10/07


    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    Just found this old pic on Google images, its hardly changed a bit apart from the purple shop front being added and the canopy over the front being removed.



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