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21 Mar 2018 106 views
 
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photoblog image A visit to Bloxwich

A visit to Bloxwich

Located in Bloxwich, north of Walsall. The Grosvenor Cinema was opened on 11th December 1922 with Douglas Fairbanks in "The Three Musketeers". It was built on the site of the earlier Electric Palace Theatre (1912-1921), which had been operated by Pat Collins.

Pat Collins built the new Grosvenor Cinema, and it was designed by local Walsall based architects Hickton & Farmer. The facade is in a Classical style, faced with Hathernware terracotta. Inside the auditorium, the projection box was located at the rear of the stalls.

In November 1931, it was leased to Oscar Deutsch, and in July 1935, it was incorporated into his growing chain of Odeon Theatres, and was re-named Odeon. The Odeon was purchased by the Rank Organisation in 1947, and they closed the Odeon on 2nd May 1959 with Peter Finch in "Operation Amsterdam".

It stood empty and derelict for many years. In 1982, it was refurbished and re-opened as Flix nightclub. By 2001, it was in use as a council run youth club known as the Electric Palace. This closed in late-2011. In 2014 it was purchased the pub chain J.D. Wetherspoon and was re-opened as the Bloxwich Showman (in memory of Pat Collins) on 27th January 2015.

A visit to Bloxwich

Located in Bloxwich, north of Walsall. The Grosvenor Cinema was opened on 11th December 1922 with Douglas Fairbanks in "The Three Musketeers". It was built on the site of the earlier Electric Palace Theatre (1912-1921), which had been operated by Pat Collins.

Pat Collins built the new Grosvenor Cinema, and it was designed by local Walsall based architects Hickton & Farmer. The facade is in a Classical style, faced with Hathernware terracotta. Inside the auditorium, the projection box was located at the rear of the stalls.

In November 1931, it was leased to Oscar Deutsch, and in July 1935, it was incorporated into his growing chain of Odeon Theatres, and was re-named Odeon. The Odeon was purchased by the Rank Organisation in 1947, and they closed the Odeon on 2nd May 1959 with Peter Finch in "Operation Amsterdam".

It stood empty and derelict for many years. In 1982, it was refurbished and re-opened as Flix nightclub. By 2001, it was in use as a council run youth club known as the Electric Palace. This closed in late-2011. In 2014 it was purchased the pub chain J.D. Wetherspoon and was re-opened as the Bloxwich Showman (in memory of Pat Collins) on 27th January 2015.

comments (18)

  • Ray
  • Not Germany...
  • 21 Mar 2018, 01:00
It has had quite a career, Bill, and there may be more to come.
Bill Phillips: I think it will be a Wetherspoons for some years to come Ray
  • sherri
  • Arkansas, USA
  • 21 Mar 2018, 01:14
i'm so glad these structures have been restored

they are beautiful

it occurs to me if leaves had been on the trees, you wouldn't have come away with this image and yesterday's image being so visible
Bill Phillips: I would have had to move a bit grin
A great history, Bill, I knew all those cinema names, happy days.
Bill Phillips: Cinemas are just not the same anymore
It has more history than you'd guess!
Bill Phillips: Indeed and Wetherspoons have done a good job on it
  • Chris
  • Not Nowhere
  • 21 Mar 2018, 06:27
Nice art deco achitecture
Bill Phillips: Very pleasing to the eye.
  • Lisl
  • England
  • 21 Mar 2018, 06:28
That is a fine building - how good that it was not swept away
Bill Phillips: The inside has been done well too.
So, standing the tests of time, Bill, I see. I wonder if actress Reese can trace her roots all the way back to this Wetherspoon???
Bill Phillips: Hahaha very good Ginnie!
Is there a Wetherspoons in Droitwich, only it will keep your bar bill down when we all arrive.
Bill Phillips: No. There is one in Bromsgrove. There are some very good pubs in Droitwich though
  • gutteridge
  • Somewhere in deep space
  • 21 Mar 2018, 08:01
Weatherspoons in Bath does a fair breakfast for £3.60. I know you are interested in breaking your fast.
Bill Phillips: We had a bacon roll and unlimited coffee and it was only about a fiver. Wetherspoons aren't that bad and this one had a lot of charm and had been well done inside
  • Alan
  • Great Britain (UK)
  • 21 Mar 2018, 08:35
An interesting history. Hopefully, it's future is more assured as part of the Wetherspoon empire.
Bill Phillips: It seemed to be quite popular and actually they aren't bad for a big chain
An interesting history!

SC seems not to be working properly - I can't reply to comments. Have informed SC of this but haven't heard back.
Bill Phillips: I haven't had a problem replying
Quite a good looking building with a long and varied history. Good to see it is use still even if it is a pub.
Bill Phillips: A pleasant Art Deco building and the interior has been done pretty well too
  • Astrid
  • Netherlands
  • 21 Mar 2018, 12:10
That building went through a lot and I am glad it is now in TLC with Wetherspoon, Bill. What a great portrait of this building. Love the see through of the trees.
Bill Phillips: A lot of Wetherspoons seem to be in interesting buildings and at least they don't get knocked down!
I like the sparse art deco look.
Bill Phillips: It is a pleasing facade and not over elaborate
a fascinating history to this place - in a few weeks, this view will be blocked, i think, Bill.
Bill Phillips: It will indeed Ayush smile
  • Louis
  • South Africa
  • 21 Mar 2018, 19:05
What a history for this building. Not your run of the mill pub. I wonder what they do with the upper stories - can't have your regulars come down the steps, come closing time.
Bill Phillips: The upper floor is used. The whole place is basically a restaurant and bar. We Brits can hold our drink well enough to negotiate the stairs grin
I am glad people are still using it. I love the name Electric Palace!
Bill Phillips: Electric then was like digital now I imagine. State of the art
A long history for a place that seems to represent the architecture of the time.

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