Grand Theatre / Wonderlounge, Banbury

Grand Theatre / Wonderlounge / Chicargo Rock, Banbury

A theatre in Banbury that was later used as a nightclub. Many original features remain including the projector room with part of the projection set.

Visited March 2016 Banbury, UK Closed

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.

Grand Theatre, Banbury - Original frontage and auditorium
Grand Theatre, Banbury – Original frontage and auditorium
Grand Theatre, Banbury - The proscenium still remains despite the auditorium being converted to a nightclub
Grand Theatre, Banbury – The proscenium still remains despite the auditorium being converted to a nightclub
Grand Theatre, Banbury - Egyptian and Art Deco fixtures still remain
Grand Theatre, Banbury – Egyptian and Art Deco fixtures still remain
Grand Theatre, Banbury - The bar
Grand Theatre, Banbury – The bar
 
Grand Theatre, Banbury - Conversion to nightclub
Grand Theatre, Banbury – Conversion to nightclub
Grand Theatre, Banbury - View down the old auditorium
Grand Theatre, Banbury – View down the old auditorium
Grand Theatre, Banbury - Original fireplace
Grand Theatre, Banbury – Original fireplace
 
Grand Theatre - Circle level with original decor
Grand Theatre – Circle level with original decor
Grand Theatre, Banbury - The original projector room
Grand Theatre, Banbury – The original projector room
Grand Theatre, Banbury - Remains of a projector
Grand Theatre, Banbury – Remains of a projector
 
Grand Theatre, Banbury - Through projector room door
Grand Theatre – Through projector room door
Grand Theatre, Banbury - Original Peerless lamphouse
Grand Theatre, Banbury – Original Peerless lamphouse
Grand Theatre, Banbury - Cinema arc rectifier
Grand Theatre, Banbury – Cinema arc rectifier
 
Grand Theatre, Banbury - Plate detail
Grand Theatre, Banbury – Plate detail

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