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Report - - Grand Casino, Southport, Nov 2021 | Leisure Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Grand Casino, Southport, Nov 2021

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Bazza74

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
More of an update on this one as it’s now under renovation in an attempt to save this once magnificent building. A group of businessmen who own some of the neighbouring buildings have acquired the former casino and bingo club and are in the process of redeveloping it into a 5* hotel, sky bar, wedding venue, games and entertainment venue where you can play shuffleboard, pool etc.
I admire their bravery in taking on such a building and wish them well (and their deep pockets!).
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Bit of history for anyone unfamiliar with this one:

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.
Gala bingo situated in the main auditorium closed in the early 2000’s hence the decay being vastly worse in that part and the upper floor above the entrance foyer operated as the Stanley Grand Casino then from 2007 became the Mint Casino then Genting casino but following relocation this closed by May 2016 and the building was boarded up in early-2017. It is a Grade II listed building.


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The explore:

I’ve visited this place a number of times over the last few years when access has been available, the roof of the main auditorium is in a very bad way now, although the daylight it allows now helps light what was once an incredibly dark space. The former staff areas have now fallen foul to pigeon infestation making them hard to navigate due to the smashed windows, we actually found decapitated pigeons heads on my last visit (some sick individuals out there!). The Disney stained glass windows that were removed will hopefully be reinstated (one of my favourite bits) and I pray they will retain as much of the Art Deco styling that they are able to.
I’ve always enjoyed coming back to this one from time to time, it will be missed.

Link to my previous report in 2020 below

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One of the decapitated pigeons and those Disney windows!

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IroAhmad

28DL Member
28DL Member
I know my reply is a bit late, but it's great to hear that the Grand Casino in Southport is getting a new lease on life! It's always sad to see magnificent buildings fall into decay, but it's great to see that a group of businessmen has taken on the challenge to restore this historic building to its former glory.
 

Bazza74

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
I agree. I just hope when they get to the main theatre side that they retain or restore some of the lovely art deco design rather than just making it a large white space
 

GRONK

Useful Idiot
Regular User
Fuck me that roof deteriorated fast, did this place back in 2018 and it was fine. :(

3CE96C78-D82F-4468-AD0E-3F8573E22449.jpeg
 

Bazza74

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Totally different! I think the developers got there just in time before the project spiralled!
Literally went in with a JCB and ripped everything back to concrete, sad to see the history lost
 

Bazza74

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
tis a while since i have visited this place ! that roof is absolutely buggared
Got a brand new roof on it these days, it’s undergoing a big redevelopment with the original front part a high end bar and plans for the theatre area becoming a function space
 

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