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State Cinema

A Grade II* Listed Building in Grays, Thurrock

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Latitude: 51.4776 / 51°28'39"N

Longitude: 0.3219 / 0°19'18"E

OS Eastings: 561340

OS Northings: 177960

OS Grid: TQ613779

Mapcode National: GBR YS.MTH

Mapcode Global: VHHNW.J4J3

Entry Name: State Cinema

Listing Date: 22 February 1985

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1111543

English Heritage Legacy ID: 119847

Location: Thurrock, RM17

County: Thurrock

Electoral Ward/Division: Grays Riverside

Built-Up Area: Grays

Traditional County: Essex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Essex

Church of England Parish: Grays St Peter and St Paul

Church of England Diocese: Chelmsford

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Grays Thurrock

Listing Text

22-FEB-85 State Cinema


Cinema. 1938 by F G M Chancellor for Frederick's Electric Theatres. Brown brick with roof cladding painted silver. Cream and black faience cladding to main elevation. A massive quadrilateral with W, E, and N sides articulated by pilaster buttresses. The W elevation steps up to the tower, which is blind, with bulb nosed vertical strips of cream and black faience dying below the top, where a recessed frieze under the flat overhanging roof carries the word "State" in large squared capitals. Three shops are incorporated into this front. The main doors are glazed with glazing bars at unequal intervals. Inside a large steeply raked auditorium extends over an entrance lobby and two storeys of foyers. The lobby is circular, with a frieze moulded alternately concave and convex (a motif, in 2 or 3 dimensions, throughout the building). Above this a saucer dome with a light fitting composed of serpentine prisms. The glass is frosted and reeded (as throughout the building). Original pay box of chrome, wood veneer and glass. The lower foyer is in similar style, with asymmetrical terrazzo floor in pink, yellow, black and white; ornamental radiator grilles, and lettering over entrances and exits. From this a large open well stair with brass handrail leads to the similar upper foyer, which has five scalloped segmental barrel vaults with large fish-bellied hanging lights. Rounded terrazzo
steps upto the toilets. The auditorium which seats 2200 is comparatively plain with a single circle entered by two vomitoria. Except for an added set of curtains, in keeping, all the fittings are original, though some of the seating is from the Odeon, Uxbridge (but contemporary). Outstanding is the illuminated Compton Theatre Organ and attached automatic piano (the latter added later). The projection room retains the original simplex projectors and 3 peerless Magnarc Lamps (2 now converted to Xenon). The sound system dates from 1976.

The State Cinema is one of the best preserved of the "super cinemas" of the late 1930s. It retains the smallest details of its decor and machinery. It is unusual in that it has never been subdivided, and has been used extensively in films and television broadcasts. This simple, austere type of streamlined moderne cinema was once extremely common, but as so little-altered a survival makes this example now unique. It is this combination of the once typical, now unique, that makes this cinema so very special.

Listing NGR: TQ6134077960

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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