34-36 Union Street,
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Styles: Art Deco
Previous Names: Gaumont Palace, Gaumont
Located in the Stonehouse section in the west of the city centre. Built on the site of the 1,500-seat Andrews New Picture Palace, which had opened in 1910, and was demolished in 1930. The Gaumont Palace was opened on 16th November 1931 with Jack Hulbert in "The Ghost Train" and Sydney Howard in "Almost a Divorce".
The imposing brick building had a white stone tower feature in the central section above the entrance. Seating inside the auditorium was provided for 1,462 in the stalls and 790 in the circle. It was re-named Gaumont in 1937.
The Gaumont was closed on 2nd December 1961 for sub-division, with a dance hall occupying the former stalls area, and a 1,043-seat cinema in the former circle area, which had been extended forward. This opened as the Odeon on 10th September 1962, a day after the town’s previous Odeon on Frankfort Street had closed.
The Odeon continued until closing on 9th April 1980, and in December 1980, it was converted into a roller disco in the former stalls area. From 1987, it became a nightclub and rock music venue, last known as ‘The Boulevard’ the building then stood empty and unused. I believe the former circle area containing the Odeon cinema remained closed and unused during this time.
In the summer of 2013, it was converted into a religious broadcast studio.
It is currently on the Buildings at Risk list and is part of the local Conservation Area. In June 2021 it was announced that new owners had taken over the building with plans to convert it into an entertainment centre which will also be programmed as a concert and live performance venue. Renovations began in May 2022.
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