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Report - - Grand Cinema, Southport, Feb 18 | Theatres and Cinemas | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Grand Cinema, Southport, Feb 18



albino-jay

28DL Regular User
Regular User
#1
Tourderp mooch, but it is a good un non the less. A few people have been popping in here over the years but have kept it off the radar for a good while but its doing the rounds at the minute. I'm still waiting for the youtube videos seeing that lot have been there now.

Visited with @Lavino and @GK_WAX the other week and we met @Cloth Head @scrappy and Karl? whilst we were in there.

If you go watch out for the floors as they are a bit sketchy to say the least.​

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 bingo hall closed around 1999.

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.


Pics

Excuse some of the photo's it is absolutely pitch black in here so it's all long exposures and light painting. Quite tricky with shiny things on the walls and mingtastic colour schemes.

Some old uns to go with.
A lovely shot taken in the 40s I think



another old one not sure on the date



one before its closure



and as it looks today



Sadly, not so grand.



Straight in with the auditorium, back when it was a cinema with the superb art deco ceiling



and later in its life as a bingo hall



and as it is today









The screen area as a fresh looking bingo hall



and today, looking a bit tired. Still great to see some of the original features present though.





The canteen. The kitchen was all still in tact. It's pretty cool to think this back half of the building has been closed nearly 20 years and it's untouched if you like. No vandalism, it's not been stripped. Just natural decay of a disused old building. Superb!



Inflation is a bitch. 30p for a Mars bar!!





So here's the floor that Host fell through a good while back. Just a bit shot eh lol



Damp is causing the ceiling to fall in in quite a few places.





Moving on to the front half where the casino was. This side wasn't very interesting so I didn't get many photos.



Stained glass on the front windows with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs



Upstairs there was some old service rooms with some pretty neat lino





Moving back down to the main foyer. Some more Art Deco styling.




Then heading underneath the False floor in the bingohall





As we headed out with a reyt buzz.



And I'll end on a picture of the amazing organ which was removed and is currently in storage in Chorley.


 

xexxa

A national treasure
Regular User
#4
Reminds me a little bit of the casino in Portsmouth. Used only on the bottom floor with two floors of decay up above
 

Joey Miller

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#12
hello i'm really eager to explore this place but I live 53 miles away haha, anyway soon i plan to get the train here and was just wondering if anyone can tell me how to gain access or would like to come with me and show me? i'm 16
 

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