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A Grade II Listed Building in Southport, Sefton

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Latitude: 53.6509 / 53°39'3"N

Longitude: -2.9992 / 2°59'57"W

OS Eastings: 334050

OS Northings: 417624

OS Grid: SD340176

Mapcode National: GBR 7VH6.GZ

Mapcode Global: WH861.WHZG

Plus Code: 9C5VM222+98

Entry Name: Grand/Casino

Listing Date: 5 October 2000

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1385203

English Heritage Legacy ID: 485665

Location: Duke's, Sefton, PR9

County: Sefton

Electoral Ward/Division: Duke's

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Southport

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Merseyside

Church of England Parish: Southport Holy Trinity

Church of England Diocese: Liverpool

Tagged with: Building Cinema

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664-1/10/10002 182
05-OCT-00 Grand/Casino


The former Grand cinema, a 1938 reconstruction of Richard Woodhead's car showroom dating from 1923. Architect for the 1938 conversion: George E. Tonge FRIBA. Faience facade. Return and rear walls of stock brick. Roof not seen. Large auditorium with stadium plan and small stage, set behind two-storey frontage range.

EXTERIOR: Symmetrical seven bay facade in subdued classical style, the bays separated by panelled pilasters on half-storey plinths surmounted by plain capitals with bay leaf drops. The entrance doors fill the three central bays of the ground floor, under a canopy, and the remaining four bays are subdivided. There is an exit door in half the last left-hand bay. The upper storey is continuously glazed with bow windows in the third and fifth bays, each one being divided into four lights. Stained glass in all the upper lights. Continuous entablature - frieze with triglyphs over the pilasters, excepting the second and seventh ones. The triglyphs have swag and drop enrichment. The parapet rises over the centre three bays and again over the middle bays. Original lettering - GRAND - on the parapet over the centre three bays.

INTERIOR: Broad entrance foyer in Moderne style with a series of fluted columns, one of which develops into a torchere. Coffered ceiling with lighting coves. A flight of wide stairs, with a central Moderne chromium balustrade and sides which fold back, ascend to a landing, then branching left and right in `tunnels'. The tunnel ceilings have simple ornamented fluted cornices and the stairs have chromium handrails. Large Moderne auditorium of the `stadium' type, ie, the rear seating is raised but with no balcony. The proscenium verticals have horizontal fluting. On the splay walls, attention is drawn to the proscenium by the four fibrous plaster bands of ornamented grills within enclosing mouldings. Through one of these displays the organ, now removed, formerly sounded. On the ceiling, a border moulding extends back from the top of the proscenium. The reserve area inside is fluted and has ventilation grilles near the top of the proscenium. Further back, over the rear seating, the ceiling develops into a circular feature with a suspended saucer dome which supports a central pendant for a light fitting. The dome is surrounded by ornamented roundels and stars. The rake of the rear seating has been removed to create a flat surface for the bingo tables. Simple horizontal mouldings on the rear and side walls, but now obscured by later fabric draping. Access to the auditorium at the lower level is through doorways encased in horizontal streamlined Moderne fluting. Shallow stage. The former caf? on the first floor over the entrance foyer is now subdivided into administrative offices for the bingo operation.

ANALYSIS: This former cinema has a large and relatively unaltered auditorium and the foyer also retains significant interest. The streamlined styling of the auditorium is particularly dramatic and successful. As a whole it is an unusual example of the conversion of one modern building type into another - a rare surviving example of a phenomenon that was not uncommon in its day. The building closed for films in 1966.

Harold Ackroyd: Southport Stage and Screen, Southport Public Library, 1995, pages 99-105.

Listing NGR: SD3405017624

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