Comments from benrayner

Showing 15 comments

benrayner commented about ABC Dunstable on Mar 15, 2009 at 7:16 am

and altho the nightclub appears to have closed maybe there is hope for sensitive preservation in the following local paper report
Community church planning to expand into former nightclub
By Bev Peck

Scheme lodged with council to renovate Cubes

Dunstable Community Church, in High Street North, hopes to take over the former Cubes nightclub building. Plans have already been submitted to South Beds District Council to renovate and change the use of the former nightspot, which is just yards away from their original building.

The church is keen to move into the extra space due to massive growth during 2008. Senior pastor Doug Richards said: “We are excited about the chance to restore this property to its former glory and make it available for the use and enjoyment of the whole community.”

The church plans to keep its current building as its headquarters.

Everyone is welcome at Dunstable Community Church. Services take place every Sunday at 10.45am and 6pm.

For further details on the church, call the offices on 01582 477147 or visit

benrayner commented about ABC Dunstable on Mar 15, 2009 at 7:12 am

and an auditorium view from 1937 also on flickr.
View link

benrayner commented about State Cinema on Nov 6, 2007 at 5:07 am

Dear Ken it looks a very truncated cinema in all these pix – has anyone got an original photo?

benrayner commented about Coronet Cinema on Oct 5, 2007 at 4:40 pm

Just caught your interior shots Woody – Very nice so I don’t need to upload my rather inferior interiors.

benrayner commented about Gaumont New Cross on Aug 27, 2007 at 11:29 am

here are some more details, mainly about the Nightclub but also a picture from the ‘20s which shows how much is now missing! View link

benrayner commented about Granada Clapham Junction on Jul 20, 2007 at 8:42 am

What about this promising-looking development:

benrayner commented about Greenwich Picturehouse on Oct 13, 2006 at 5:54 am

Thanks Woody – are you in the pay of picturehouses by any chance? We are all bursting to experience this wonderful modern cinema phenominum. All I can say is that the one and only time I visited this cinema I found the house-lights wouldn’t dim completely and when I complained the usherette looked at me as if I was a mad old fuddy-duddy: the film was that very moody, darkly lit, Japanese masterpiece “The Sun”!

benrayner commented about Gaumont State Kilburn on Oct 13, 2006 at 5:43 am

Until the Granada Tooting re-opens for organ stuff the State is still the best soaring auditorium experience for a theatre organ despite the garish gold and green decor from dear Mecca who have so splendidly kept this huge palace alive and well (Thank you Dave!).
At Open House weekends they let you up into the (still seated) circle and explore the back-stage, and Dave will give you a sample of the Wurlitzer. Long may it’s friends and supporters and bingo players keep it alive and, maybe, sometime, in a more enlightened future it will again become a movie palace and live venue, like so many of the refurbished US palaces on this website.

benrayner commented about Coronet Cinema on Oct 13, 2006 at 4:35 am

This seems about the best sort of conversion an old single-screen cinema can undergo: it retains all the space and decoration and is indeed a nice airy place to drink in! Bingo decor and accoutrements are not so aesthetically pleasing! Don’t forget the pleasures of the Egyptian “Capitol” in Forest Hill, alas, without the first “jellymould” Compton theatre Organ that was originally installed but the beer is fine.

benrayner commented about Safari Cinema on Oct 2, 2006 at 4:09 am

still standing but only just – great bites taken out of the Eastern side! Sept.2006 For some very good pictures of the interior – Safari-time – go to the Local Studies at Croydon Library filed under “London Road” plus huge queues for the opening night.

benrayner commented about New Gallery Cinema on Jul 12, 2006 at 3:29 pm

Thank you Ian! Too right! What an earth was the point in ‘conserving’ the structure when the whole point of the space was as an auditorium? The poor Wurlitzer looks very forlorn and alien in this white Habitat environment. How much more sympathetic is the rather lurid environment of the Mecca Bingo setting at the State Kilburn! One does feel that the Americans, on the evidence of this wonderful CinemaTreasures site, might have responded better to an appeal to save this Kinema treasure in the heart of London’s West End and restored the venue to at least a live/movie life . Thank you, Habitat , for the nice white paint and the lovely Exit doors and the history display boards, but you could have saved yourselves a lot of dosh by forgetting most of the details that spelt out cinema and occasion and history…And what happened to the Egyptian murals and bas-reliefs?

benrayner commented about Odeon Bradford on Mar 14, 2006 at 10:59 am

here is Colin Sutton’s website full of info and pics including original New Victoria interiors etc. etc. <> ben 14 Mar 06

benrayner commented about Curzon Chelsea Cinema on Mar 4, 2006 at 11:14 am

a lovely large single-screen gem indeed, but very bland decor and what happened to the curtains ( mostly lost in multiplexes alas) and the gentle music while we wait? Banned because of the high art content? The NFT seems to do nicely without the awful popcorn and still have music. It would be nice to see some revival Big Screen programming mixed in with the Art.

benrayner commented about Rio Cinema on Oct 24, 2005 at 11:10 am

one of the very few single screen ‘proper’ cinemas still operating: a wonderful small compact art deco interior with excellent projection and sound system. The projectionists can still lower the house lights and draw the tabs in a professional manner. People in the balcony are so unused to the ‘circle’ experience that they lean over the edge and peer at the hoi-poloi below just like I used to do as a kid 60 odd years ago! Is the Rio the only ‘community cinema’ in the UK? – something that seems much more common in the USA and has saved single-screen cinemas there to become at least part-time cinemas once more and splendidly restored – one of the fascinations of the CT site.

benrayner commented about RESTORATION UPDATE: Newbridge Wins Round! on Aug 22, 2004 at 8:04 am

pity they never reached the final because of tatty boring old ‘schoolhouse’ The Cinema is wonderful and quite original – lets hope it survives.