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Report - - The Sandonia Theatre - Stafford - Sept 2011 | Theatres and Cinemas | 28DaysLater.co.uk
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Report - The Sandonia Theatre - Stafford - Sept 2011

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#1
I thought this one could have be really good inside! In reality its probably one of most stripped out and empty examples out there.. :(

I first looked at it maybe a year or so ago. It looks great from the outside and i must apologise as this report is pretty incomplete without external shots. When we returned recently nothing much had changed and there was no real sign of any work going on apart from a few heaps of rubble in the yard which could have come from anywhere. We found a silly way in which took quite a bit of wiggling and pushed our flexibility to the very maximum so you can imagine it was a big disappointment to find the auditorium stripped back to the brick! To the rear of the stage there is a 4-5 story block of dressing rooms and a basement but apart from a few old cans and the remains of a piano they were empty. I poked my head up into the fettid air conditioning rooms but though better of it. Back in the Auditorium we spotted a pair of projector lamp houses in a pile of scrap, an annoying sign that the place had probably been amazing at the time of closure and that we were just a bit too late. The front of the building had just two floors. Both of which retained their plaster work and comedy murals from its days as a snooker hall.

Apologies for the photos. I didn't have much motivation!

theatrestrust said:
The building, which was a theatre until 1923, when it became a cinema, is long and narrow. White stone façe to Sandon Road with central entrances flanked by one small shop each side. Above is a semi-circular arch and a circular window surrounded by garland and a central figure decoration. Flytower with a long lantern on the roof. The three-storey dressing room block is behind the stage, rectangular except for a cut into one side, due to the presence of an adjacent brook which necessitates a permanent pump in the cellar. There are eight dressing rooms. The lower part of the auditorium is used as a snooker hall. The stalls rake has been split into two terraces providing room for thirteen full sized tables and the stage has a false floor over the original rake, providing for four more tables. A false ceiling divides the snooker hall from the circle - at present left without seats. The auditorium before its horizontal division was tunnel-like. Long barrel-vaulted roof with parallel ribs can be seen above the false ceiling. The back of the circle is just short of 30.5m (100ft) from the proscenium opening. Staffordshire knot ornament within wreaths on circle front. The decoration is otherwise quite plain. The proscenium arch has a large plaster motif consisting of two female figures. The fly tower is cut off from the stage by two false ceilings. The safety curtain remains in situ.

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