Grand Theatre

60 - 62 Broad Street,
Banbury, OX16 8BL

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Associated British Cinemas Ltd.

Architects: Joseph G. Gomersall

Firms: Drury & Gomersall

Styles: Art Deco, Egyptian

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Grand Theatre

This was a remodeling on the earlier 500 seat Grand Theatre which had opened in 1911. Originally a live theatre, it began screening films from 1929, when “Showboat” became the first sound film to be shown in Oxfordshire. The Grand Theatre was closed on 13th June 1935, for reconstruction and modernisation.

The Grand Theatre re-opened as an independent cinema on 12th December 1935 with Paul Cavanagh in “Without Regret” and Bing Crosby in “Two for Tonight”. Designed in an Egyptian/Deco style by Joseph G. Gomersall of the noted architectural firm Drury & Gomersall. It was taken over by Associated British Cinemas(ABC) in August 1943, but was never renamed.

It closed on 14th December 1968 with Doris Day in “Where Were You When the Lights Went Out?” and Raquel Welch in “The Biggest Bundle of Them All”. It was converted into a bingo club, operated over the years by ABC, Star, EMI and Zetters.

By 2006, it had been converted into a Chicago Rock Cafe, with most of its internal decor intact. Chicago Rock Cafe became insolvent and it became a nightclub named Wonder Lounge. That closed suddenly in 2013. In January 2014 the building was put up ‘For Sale’ and the vacant building was demolished in 2018.

Contributed by Ian Grundy, Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

sisu on October 2, 2013 at 2:26 am

this was the cinema that started my pulse racing, as a child, to see what went on in the projection box, and after leaving school, started at the classic cinema

Doolally on January 22, 2014 at 9:35 am

Currently ‘For Sale’ for the guide price of £400,000, on, reference W-93105

Ian on January 6, 2024 at 7:41 am

The Grand was demolished in 2018, and has been replaced with shops and apartments. After Chicago Rock Cafe closed (when the group went into administration), it became a nightclub called Wonder Lounge which also closed suddenly in 2013.

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