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UK The Grand Theatre / Wonderlounge, Banbury - March 2016

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The Grand in Banbury opened in 1911 as a live theatre and in 1929 began screening films. It was the first cinema in Oxfordhsire to show a film with sound, and started with “Showboat”. The theatre closed in 1935 for reconstruction and modernisation.


The Grand reopened in December 1935 , redesigned in an Egyptian/Deco style by Joseph G. Gomersall of Drury & Gomersall architects. It was taken over by Associated British Cinemas(ABC) in August 1943, but was never renamed. The theatre closed in 1968, and was later used for bingo for 30 years. In 2006 the Grand was converted into a Chicago Rock Cafe which later became Wonderlounge.


Despite the many uses, much of the internal decor remains intact including the original proscenium and stage, auditorium plasterwork and the circle – although the circle seats have been removed and is now filled with junk. Amazingly, the projector room still contains the remains of a projector setup – a Peerless lamphouse upon an original stand.


Visited with @SpiderMonkey 



Original frontage and auditorium


The proscenium still remains despite the auditorium being converted to a nightclub


Egyptian and Art Deco fixtures still remain


The bar


Conversion to nightclub


View down the old auditorium - The circle level is now boxed in above


Circle level still retains the theatre's last décor


And moving into the saving grace of this place, the original projector room survives....


The original projector room


Remains of a projector


Original Peerless lamphouse


Cinema arc rectifier


Plate detail

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Pretty smart that projector and excellently shot as always :) 


Would be nice to see the place with all the modern additions stripped back wouldn't it? :) 



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Definitely going to have to give this one a nose seeing as its pretty much on my doorstep as far as exploring around here is concerned...

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Love old theatres, despite it's conversion in its later life, it still looks like a theatre which is cool. :) 

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The promoters who used to run Helter Skelter lived in Banbury. Just a little useless information but thats what caught my eye when I saw the location lol.

The projector room is well worth it, love that. Don't like the garish colours too much. Nice job mate :thumb 

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