Gaumont cinema Worcester
The Gaumont Cinema
The old Gaumont, now a bingo hall, was state-of-the-art when it opened in 1935. It also hosted concerts by everyone from Buddy Holly to the Beatles and Jimi Hendrix.
The Gaumont cinema, like so many built in the boom times of the 1930s, is now a bingo hall - but it has a fascinating history, having hosted gigs by Buddy Holly, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Mott The Hoople and David Bowie.
When the cinema opened, on 28 October 1935, it was at the cutting edge of cinema technology, with a design by W.E.Trent and Ernest Tulley that featured some striking architecture.
The facade is dominated by the five large windows above the traditional cinema canopy - these originally threw light into a 100 seat restaurant, that later became a disco, and is now the dojo of Worcester Judo Club.
Inside the cinema were 1,740 seats, some of which were specially equipped for "deaf people and those who were hard of hearing" as the opening advert boasted.
To watch the opening film, The 39 Steps featuring Robert Donat and Madeleine Carroll (and three other films), you would have had to pay anything from two shillings and sixpence (12.5p) for the front circle, down to sixpence (2.5p) for a seat in the stalls.
The advert in the Worcester Evening News for opening night also boasted that the Gaumont offered patrons free parking.
If four films weren't enough, then there was also entertainment provided by "John Bee at the mighty illuminated Compton Organ".
Pop and rock
The Gaumont also had a very large stage - 70' wide and 40' deep - which was one reason why the venue was able to host some of the top rock and pop acts, including:
last updated: 27/02/2009 at 11:17
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