Report - - The Futurist Theatre and Cinema, Scarborough - April 2015 | Theatres and Cinemas | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - The Futurist Theatre and Cinema, Scarborough - April 2015


Is this the future?
28DL Full Member
The Futurist Cinema and Theatre, which can be found in Scarborough, was constructed and fully competed in 1921. Originally it functioned exclusively as a cinema, up until 1958 when its stage area was extended to provide live performances; Shirley Bassey, The Beatles and Ken Dodd were some of the notable acts. In later years, as the site expanded, it also absorbed the adjacent Arcadia Theatre and this was developed into a lounge area. By the 1980’s, Scarborough Borough Council assumed control of the venue and thereafter it was leased to Apollo Leisure Ltd. who ran it until 2002. In December 2002, Barrie C. Stead, the owner of Hollywood Plaza Cinema, bought the Futurist Theatre and refurbished it; installing new projectors, a CinemaScope screen and a DTS sound system. The Futurist, however, closed on 5th January 2014 because a report conducted by the local council suggested that the site was “beyond the point of refurbishment”. The council is now marketing the entire site for redevelopment.

Inside, the Futurist Theatre has a large auditorium with a deep circle, and it is supported on twelve individual columns. In addition to these features, there is also a raised gallery which is divided into separate boxes. The ceiling is divided into two sections which are split by a wide arch: the front part is original with an elliptical dome containing three ornamental ventilation grilles, while the second, which dates from 1968, is much more basic. Finally, there is a deep wide stage with a full tower and counterweight sets.

In October 2014, the BBC reported that Flamingo Land placed a bid to purchase the Futurist Theatre. If successful, the developers intend to demolish the site to make way for a rollercoaster, botanical gardens and a magical cave-themed attraction. The proposed name for this new attraction is ‘Flamingo Land Coast’. Although campaigners have petitioned to save the 1920’s Futurist Theatre, no further decisions have been publically released.

It was 1am (ish) one random week day when we found ourselves inside a car travelling towards Scarborough. Up front, the conversation was rather philosophical (trying to fathom the nature of reality, and that sort of stuff), while those in the back were enjoying a quick bevvy. Outside though, the exhaust was beginning to fall off, and the temperature… Well, that was pretty chilly. Nevertheless, we managed to survive the conversation and, although the car began to emit sounds similar to those of a tank, the exhaust didn’t completely fall off. So, in the end we made it to Scarborough ready and eager to explore.

After taking in a bit of good old sea air and a quick look around we managed to find our way inside. The air was immediately incredibly stale and there was a bit too much asbestos for my liking, but we carried on, and, suddenly, we were inside an almost working theatre. For once, I mused, I could sit wherever I fancied, without the Odeon Ticket Inspector watching to ensure that I sit in the inferior chair I’ve been allocated; not the more sophisticated seating that’s always towards the rear of the auditorium. In fact, by my recollection, all of the seats were exactly the same, which to me seems like a reasonably equal way of organising things. That aside, on the whole the Futurist is absolutely huge, and it takes a long time to get around the whole building – when we eventually decided to leave the sun was already beginning to rise over the seafront. But, since all of the electrics work, finding your way around the cinema becomes more or less straightforward as you begin to gather your bearings.

Explored with Ford Mayhem and Deems.

1: The Projector


2: Cupboard in Projector Room


3: Other Side of the Projector


4: Smaller Projector


5: Cream Sherry


6: Standing in the Upper Gallery Boxes


7: The Main Auditorium


8: Which Seat is Mine?


9: Light Filter Machine?


10: Top Boxes


11: Main Corridor at the Rear of the Auditorium


12: Heading Down the Stairs


13: Just Another Row or Two


14: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty


15: The Decorative Ceiling


16: Ice Cream Stand


17: The Chiller Room


18: Schweppes Soda Water


19: Bar Area and Wizard of Oz Cardboard Advertisement


20: The Single Mysterious Chair


21: Managerial Office


22: Backstage Machinery


23: Backstage Pass


24: Side View of Main Auditorium


25: Planes


26: Leaflets in the Bar


27: View from the Rear of the Auditorium


28: The Backroom


29: The Futurist Theatre and Cinema



Last edited:


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
nice stuff man really really nice, i saw the chuckle brothers here as a kid haha


Got Epic?
Regular User
Next person who goes needs to have a root around up the fly tower end of the place. Theres bits there that seems to have been closed off for a while. The windows along the front at the top are the give away.


Super Moderator
Regular User
Wow lovely photos.

So no verdict on if its getting demolished or not?


Is this the future?
28DL Full Member
It's rediclous this place is getting bulldozed really. Great shots.
Cheers. I agree. There are active cinemas that are in much worse condition.

Wow lovely photos.

So no verdict on if its getting demolished or not?
Thanks :thumb Not that I could find. I think it's probably inevitable that it'll get demolished though. I can't imagine the botanical garden idea will fit in well on the seafront though...


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
this place is in great condition, such a shame its being knocked down, you could do so much with this place :rolleyes:


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
such a shame such great buildings are being knocked down, why on earth can't they make other uses out of them.


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Looks amazing! What a beautiful cinema, shame it is going to be demolished.

Similar threads