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Report - - Granada Cinema/Gala Bingo, Aylesbury July 2020 | Theatres and Cinemas | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Granada Cinema/Gala Bingo, Aylesbury July 2020


mookster

grumpy sod
Regular User
Hat tip for doing all the recceing/solo leg work with this goes to @Landie_Man , he worked out the way in and sorted everything out so kudos to him for getting things to work. I'm sure he'll have his selection of shots up in due time.

The history below is shamelessly ripped off Cinema Treasures, I'd only be copying it verbatim otherwise:

The Grand Pavilion Cinema was opened on 2nd March 1925 with 800 seats. The original architect was C.H. Wright. It was later re-named Pavilion Cinema and was taken over by the London & District Cinemas Ltd. chain. It was closed in October 1936 for reconstruction to the plans of architect Robert Cromie for the London & District Cinemas Ltd. chain.

The Pavilion Cinema now had a seating capacity for 1,234 when it re-opened on 4th January 1937. The narrow entrance has a facade taller than surrounding buildings, making it stand out, but apart from this, the tall facade which contained windows served no other purpose. There is nothing behind it above the entrance passageway which leads to the auditorium, which was built at the rear of High Street shops, and lays parallel to the High Street.

It was taken over by the Granada Theatres Ltd. chain on 24th November 1946 and was re-named Granada on 15th June 1947. The Granada was closed on 7th October 1972.

It was converted into a Granada Bingo Club, and was taken over by Gala Bingo from May 1991. In January 2019 it was announced the Gala Bingo Club would close in February 2019.
Somewhat astonishingly the city council want to demolish the building in order to construct a new access road into the adjacent car park, which seems like a criminal waste of a building to me.

The cinema has a relatively unusual shape with a deceptively narrow frontage which leads into a long lobby and a 90 degree turn to the auditorium - below is a photo of it from when it was a Granada Cinema. Going by the text on Cinema Treasures I don't believe there is any access into the upper glass area of the frontage, it's purely decorative.

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And a photo from the present day (mine)

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Getting in was pretty straightforward despite me getting caught on an errant screw and becoming stuck upside down which wasn't too much fun at all. Inside it's been bingoed by Gala and the previous owners however hidden away it still has a few areas that hark back to it's old days as a cinema. The balcony level seating is all original to the building but hidden from view behind a wooden hoarding, and there are a few other rooms here and there that show it's true age. Sadly despite some in-depth searching the only really retro artifact I could find was an old bingo prize poster stuffed just out of reach in a precarious cubby hole above the stairs. Still, it was an enjoyable wander in a sort of location I don't explore too often.

The power looks to have been cut, although in a few rooms the motion activated lights still work, so we had to make do with the emergency lighting which thankfully is still on. I'm not terribly happy with my photos but I'm always self critical in these things, although I'd have struggled even more if I didn't have my panel light with me now.


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The hoarding was added some time after the year 2000, luckily there's an access panel cut in the front and just enough space in front of it to walk along the front of the balcony.

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The projection room, unfortunately now home only to a couple of filing cabinets and a drinks fridge.

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The lobby, bland and featureless.

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Thanks for looking :)



 

mookster

grumpy sod
Regular User
Cheers all, was a decent morning out!

Yep the windows are fake.. you need to pop some ceiling tiles out of this one! Could be hiding all sorts
It was tempting if I had some ladders lol! There was one spot where you could glimpse a tiny part of the old plasterwork, in the same weird crawlspace type cupboard above the stairs up to the balcony level which was tantalising me. I really want to see what's under the suspended ceilings though...
 

Amberl32

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
I live in aylesbury walk past it everyday can't see a way in unfortunately but going to have a crack at it
 

GarethS1994

28DL Member
28DL Member
Be interesting to see what it looks like now. I used to work there and miss the building terribly! Would love to see it re-open again as a bingo hall!
 

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