Report - - ABC Cinema & Brannigans Nightclub - Chester - AUG 2011 | Theatres and Cinemas | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - ABC Cinema & Brannigans Nightclub - Chester - AUG 2011


Tourist Information Depot
28DL Full Member
Brannigans of Chester, a popular local nightclub since opening in 1995 closed it's doors in early 2010 citing the knock on effects of the economic downturn and an increase in nearby competing clubs as the causes of closure. Shortly following the close of the night club, a lead/rumour thread appeared on 28DL with some discussion over the possibility that the buildings former occupancy, the ABC regal cinema, may still be intact above the nightclub.

I had all but forgotten about this discussion until out exploring recently, when we came upon an access that was likely to lead into the building in question. Peering in from above, the acrid aroma of long situated pigeons suggested that we where atop the abandonment.

The ABC regal cinema opened it's doors in Chester in 1937. It was originally a 1,973 seated venue housing a Compton organ which could change colour at the flick of a switch. Pop musicians of days gone by frequented the site, with the screen being flown during such occasions in order to create a stage. The cinema closed in December 1990, with the exorcist III at the top of the box office. The site has remained in situ since then, as brannigans arrival five years later involved the occupation of the lower floors only, leaving both screens intact.

I can only apologise for the 'run and gun' nature of some of these photographs. And I know some among you will shudder at the use of flash. All flash photos where taken during our first visit, which was highly improvised as the only light source available to us was a cigarette lighter. (the dangers of being unprepared to find an epic ;) ). We had returned recently to claim more pictures of this fantastic piece of local history, only to be rumbled by the police within five minutes of entering. Directly following the UK riots, the Cheshire police where clearly in no mood to fuck around. 2 riot vans had been summoned to attend to just 3 explorers, sealing the fate on our hopes to do this site photographic justice. Perhaps in the future the site will be less sensitive in this respect and once again become accessible. For now however, I hope you will accept these few images snapped by myself and TheFlu24, and my apologies for the gash nature of some of them.




Lot 76 (Brannigans restaurant):




ABC Cinema:

Screen 1 - now mainly used as storage for downstairs.


projection room stairwell-



Thanks for looking,


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