Report - - Former Gaumont Cinema/Sports Cafe, Bristol - Jan 2018 | Theatres and Cinemas | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Former Gaumont Cinema/Sports Cafe, Bristol - Jan 2018


Bally up!
Regular User
Gaumont Cinema/Ritzy/Creation nightclub/Sports Cafe, Bristol

Situated on the busy Baldwin Street in central Bristol this building has had a fair few uses since being built in 1892. It started off as a music hall in 1892, known as the 'People's Palace'. It was then converted into a full time cinema in 1912. From 1920 it was taken over by the Biocolour Picture Theatres circuit which became part of the Gaumont British Theatres circuit in Nov 1926. On June 30th 1927 it was closed and the auditorium was reconstructed behind the original facade.

After being redesigned by British cinema architect Frank Verity, it was reopened on Feb 14th 1928 as the New Palace Theatre. It remained this way until 1952 when it was renamed the Gaumont Theatre; leading to the auditorium being modernised around 1960.

The Rank Organisation closed the Gaumont on March 15th 1980 and it was soon converted into a nightclub. The club went through several name changes but the most recent were 'Creation' and 'Sports Cafe' which closed in 2007. The building has remained empty since. The facade of the building is listed.


Unfortunately we were a bit too late to the party with this one, as by the time we got inside builders had ripped out most of it and diggers had already moved in. That being said - we were able to see some of the features from the older cinema days with it being as stripped out as it was, so wasn't all bad. To be truthful, we were not aware it even was a cinema until we got inside which came as a nice surprise. @tumbles later confirmed this, and even told of some stories from when he'd been here for a night out! I don't have any of these memories as I'd have been a mere 12 when it closed... :D

We've looked at this in passing many a time over the last 7 years or so and only recently have things changed enough to be able to get inside. Sorry it's a bit derp but at least it's technically another Bristol cinema off the list!

Inside the auditorium from 1972...

Facade of the Gaumont...

As it has stood since closure...


@WhoDaresWins getting that angle right...

What we think was the original projection room...

Original ceiling - note old banister on left from former balcony (angle isn't great)...

Roof space - the roof in this photo has now completely gone...

Bit gone and derpy but wanted to put something about it online before the new wave of student flats come next year :rolleyes:

Hopefully 2018 will be a more active year for Bris! <3​

shaun that kid

trust no one (but me!)
28DL Full Member
they must actively bulldozing the site or somehow you lucky chaps got in away they didn't think if they leave a working digger on site if thats working and charlie the chav comes in pikey pete well rip that bulding! anyway nice report!