Spur of the moment visit with Gillyboy after MOFO showed me round the previous week.

A bit of history, shamelessly plagerised:

"A construction for a local consortium, the Astoria opened with 'The Private Life of Henry VIII'.

It had full stage facilities and a spectacular Art Deco interior decoration scheme. An illuminated Compton 3 manual organ was installed.

The stage was infrequently used for live shows up until 1958 when the theater closed for renovations which installed a vast 70mm screen in front of the old proscenium, removed the organ, and curtained the impressive auditorium.

The balcony steppings were altered and a new projection suite constructed at (and into) the rear balcony.

Long runs of such films as 'Earthquake' ensued and the cinema continued successfully until just after the other ABC house in town was quadrupled in 1976. The Astoria closed the following year and became a bingo casino.

This lasted until approximately 1996 after which the Astoria has stood empty and unused.

It has recently been bought for around 1 million pounds and is due to be restored (not known if to original design) and reopened as a live (mainly concert) venue.

The Astoria is a Grade II Listed building."

Access was comedy as ever, think Gilly destroyed his chest. Sorry mate!

Anyway, a few of mine from the night.

First port of call, the roof:





Gilly lining up a shot of the hospital


Backdrop hoists above the stage


Projector remnants


Main hall


Seats


and more..


BINGO!


old art deco clock hidden above the false celling


Bingo era snack menu, check the prices! (but ignore the crappy lighting)


Boilers


old valve in the boiler room, boxes of these around


stacks of old cheque books in a room rammed with old chairs, bingo cards and assorted tat


Gala uniforms, looking gooooood!


Cheers for looking!