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Report - - Grand Casino / Cinema, Southport June 2020 | Theatres and Cinemas | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Grand Casino / Cinema, Southport June 2020


Bazza74

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
The history
Located in the Sefton district of Southport at the corner of Lord Street and Court Street. Originally built in 1923 as a garage and car showroom, it was converted into a luxury cinema in 1938 by architect George E. Tonge. The Grand Cinema opened on 14th November 1938 with Arthur Tracy in "Follow Your Star". The cinema was designed for and operated by an independent operator throughout its cinematic life.
Seating was provided in a stadium plan with a sloping floor at the front (known as the Pit stalls and stepped floor at the rear which was known as the Royal stalls and Grand stalls. An unusual feature was the provision of a balconette which was attached to each sidewall. Seating was provised in pairs all along towards the proscenium. There were decorative grilles each side of the proscenium opening which contained the organ pipes of the Compton 3Manual organ which had an illuminated console on a lift, in the centre of the orchestra pit. The organ was opened by Herbert A. Dowson. In the ceiling was a large shallow dowm which had a central Art Deco style light fixture. There was a cafe provided for patrons.
In 1963 the Compton organ was removed to Cheetham Hill Methodist Church in Manchester, which in later years was moved to Chorley Town Hall. In 1966 another Compton organ was installed at the Grand Cinema which had previously been housed in the Regal Cinema, Douglas, Isle of Man and this was opened by Charles Smart.
The Grand Cinema closed on 2nd July 1966 with Sean Connery in "Thunderball" and Peter Cushing in "Hound of the Baskervilles". It was converted into an independent bingo club, and the Compton organ was played to bingo players at the interval during the first few years.
The Grand Cinema last operated as the Stanley Grand Casino, and from 2007 became the Mint Casino, but this was closed by May 2016 and the building is boarded up in early-2017. It is a Grade II listed building.

The building in its heyday.


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The explore
It’s one that’s been covered before but not for a while so wanted to put my take on it, plus you can’t beat a bit of a hometown adventure!
I went just after the huge weekend thunderstorms and to say the roof leaks is an understatement! The main auditorium is pitch black bar the odd spot of daylight and the sound of dripping water is quite eerie.
The decay is extensive considering it’s only been shut three years, I can only imagine prior to closing there were many buckets catching many leaks and I cannot see this building being restored with the damage it’s taken. The floor has given way on one side and is decidedly suspect in others and it reeks of damp and mould.
The contrast between the old bingo halls grandness and the casino part that’s so well lit overlooking Lord Street is like two different explores.

apologies for the lighting, Hope I’ve captured enough to demonstrate how stunning it once was!

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The Disney stained glass was one of my favourite bits, a great explore overall. thanks for looking.
 

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