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Report - The Grand Theatre / Wonderlounge, Banbury - March 2016

Discussion in 'Theatres and Cinemas' started by AndyK, Apr 18, 2016.

  1. AndyK

    AndyK Behind Closed Doors
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    The Grand in Banbury opened in 1911 as a live theatre and in 1929 began screening films. It was the first cinema in Oxfordhsire to show a film with sound, and started with “Showboat”. The theatre closed in 1935 for reconstruction and modernisation.

    The Grand reopened in December 1935 , redesigned in an Egyptian/Deco style by Joseph G. Gomersall of Drury & Gomersall architects. It was taken over by Associated British Cinemas(ABC) in August 1943, but was never renamed. The theatre closed in 1968, and was later used for bingo for 30 years. In 2006 the Grand was converted into a Chicago Rock Cafe which later became Wonderlounge.

    Despite the many uses, much of the internal decor remains intact including the original proscenium and stage, auditorium plasterwork and the circle – although the circle seats have been removed and is now filled with junk. Amazingly, the projector room still contains the remains of a projector setup – a Peerless lamphouse upon an original stand.

    Visited with @SpiderMonkey

    [​IMG]
    Original frontage and auditorium

    [​IMG]
    The proscenium still remains despite the auditorium being converted to a nightclub

    [​IMG]
    Egyptian and Art Deco fixtures still remain

    [​IMG]
    The bar

    [​IMG]
    Conversion to nightclub

    [​IMG]
    View down the old auditorium - The circle level is now boxed in above
    [​IMG]
    Circle level still retains the theatre's last décor

    And moving into the saving grace of this place, the original projector room survives....

    [​IMG]
    The original projector room

    [​IMG]
    Remains of a projector

    [​IMG]
    Original Peerless lamphouse

    [​IMG]
    Cinema arc rectifier

    [​IMG]
    Plate detail​
     

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  2. The Lone Shadow

    The Lone Shadow Industrial Fanatic!
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    Top quality that. Love that projector room - They are getting rarer and rarer to see. Added to the list - And Banbury, not even too far from me ;)
     
    Jlb1995 and AndyK like this.
  3. Lavino

    Lavino 28ÐŁ ƦEGUŁλƦ U$EƦ
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    Top stuff there Andy ..
     
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  4. Speed

    Speed Got Epic?
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    Got to love cinema exploring.
     
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  5. The_Raw

    The_Raw 28DL Regular User
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    Big yes to that projector room :thumb
     
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  6. scrappy

    scrappy 28DL Regular User
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    That's a nice projector room mate.
     
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  7. Lil'Legs

    Lil'Legs 28DL Full Member
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    Fantastic report, some great shots there!
     
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  8. screenone

    screenone 28DL Full Member
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    the cinema that I attended Saturday mornings, as I only lived round the corner. this place started the " I want to work in a cinema when I leave school " thoughts... I did 20yrs at the now Banbury odeon when it was classic.
    happy happy days
     
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  9. AndyK

    AndyK Behind Closed Doors
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    Sounds like some happy memories there - hopefully the building will put to good use again soon.
     
  10. TranKmasT

    TranKmasT We're Earth explorers
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    As no one mentioned the projection room(enough). That's pretty special.
    Used to work in Banbury a lot. I miss that whiff of "coffee" or something like it when you exit the motorway, coming from the Kraft factory.
     
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  11. The Kwan

    The Kwan funksoul Brother
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    A quality Bimble mate, really nice photos..the remnants of the projector looks really cool :thumb
     
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  12. screenone

    screenone 28DL Full Member
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    the Grand is now looking at being turned into flats
     
  13. screenone

    screenone 28DL Full Member
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    hi andy it looks like it will be turned into flats. Banbury had 3 cinemas and that was my first love. if you broke me in half, it would read projectionist from start to finish
     
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  14. Jlb1995

    Jlb1995 28DL Member
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    Can anyone tell me where this is as I live in banbury and never seen it before would love to go?
     
  15. Oxygen Thief

    Oxygen Thief Admin
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    Google it ! First result gives you the address.
     
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