Monday, October 05, 2020

The Gaumont Grandeur Of Halifax

To me it is, and has always been, the Gaumont Cinema. It’s had other names and been other things, but even today I would probably still refer to it as the Gaumont. The surprising thing is that it has only had that name for a comparatively short period of its 107 year history; for just twelve years from 1948 until 1960. The other surprising thing is that it ceased being a cinema so early - by 1962, shortly before I took this photograph, it had become a bingo hall. Whatever its name and whatever its function, it remains a striking building. It is now Grade II listed, and the Historic England listing citation contains the following description:-

“Prominently sited, the cinema was designed as a major contribution to the grandeur of Halifax town centre and forms an architectural group with the listed Civic Theatre, the former Victoria Hall of 1901. The principal and right-hand facades of the cinema are rich examples of the Edwardian Baroque style. The architect, obviously well versed in this vocabulary, created dignified facades which are also eye-catching and festive enough to express the new entertainment medium”. 
Grade II Listing Citation, Historic England (Oct 2000)

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