Building Name

Grand Theatre Union Street and King Street Oldham

Union Street
GMCA, England
New Build

The Grand Theatre in Union Street, Oldham was built facing the Starr Inn and opened a month after the Palace Theatre in December 1908. The Theatre was designed by architects Thomas Taylor and Ernest Simister who also designed the Chadderton Town Hall. The exterior was of brick and terra cotta and the interior is said to have been 'elaborate' and consisted of several levels with boxes. The stage was 45 foot wide with a proscenium opening of 32ft 6in and was equipped with an orchestra pit. The Theatre was radically altered in 1937 by Gaumont Super Cinemas when the auditorium was gutted and transformed into a much simpler space of just Stalls and one Circle seating in total 1,842. Only the outer walls of the building were retained. Gaumont took over the building completely in 1944.

It was taken over fully by Gaumont British Theatres in 1944 and closed as a cinema by the Rank Organisation in 1961. It was briefly re-named Astoria Theatre, and The Beatles appeared here several times. In 1962 it was converted into a a bowling alley and then a nightclub in 1973, with a snooker club operating in the former foyer space. Closed for several years, the building stood unused in 2012.

Reference           Who’s Who in architecture 1926 p288