First Granada Cinema, Castle Street, Dover, Kent, England, United Kingdom

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Comments (15)

John Latter on May 13, 2007

This building was opened by Sidney and Cecil Bernstein on January 8th, 1930 as their first Granada Cinema (followed by Walthamstow).

The interior was designed by Theodore Komisarjevsky (1) who set the auditorium in a Moorish style and the foyer in that of Louis XV.

It became the ABC Cinema in 1960 and finally closed on the 30th of October 1982.

Later, the building first became Images Nightclub and then Snoops Nightclub. It now stands derelict and is currently owned by Wetherspoons.

When I was a kid I used to go to 'Saturday Morning Pictures' here for sixpence in 'old money' - now 2 and 1/2p!

Earlier today, I was talking to some people in Dover's Three Links Club who can remember paying 1 old penny (just under 1/2 a new p).

I'm pretty certain that this building appeared in the 1955 film, "Contraband Spain", starring Richard Greene of "The Adventures of Robin Hood" fame.

(1) "Theodore Komisarjevsky was a leading 20th century theatrical director and designer, particularly known for his productions of plays by Anton Chekhov and William Shakespeare in England in the 1930s.

In the 1930s his productions of King Lear and Macbeth for the Stratford-upon-Avon Shakespeare Memorial Company were widely acclaimed as the most innovative of his time. He also published a study of theatrical costumes, translated and wrote plays, and gave lectures at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. In 1930s he designed interiors for a number of landmark movie (cinema) theatre buildings of the Granada Theatres Ltd.

jburba on July 9, 2007

Hi John, I'm happy I've found somebody interested in this building. I've discovered it last Summer during holydays in England. I'm very interested in architecture and I have noticed it immediatly as I was walking in Castle Street. I tried to find informations about it and then I have written two articles on my blog. You might want to have a look (it's in french). The most interesting thing I have discovered is that Dover Granada Cinema was the first ever "Cinema Palace" in Great Britain.

I would be very interested if you had some more informations about it or actual photos of the inside.

Thank You


John Latter on July 9, 2007

Hi Jean-Blaise,

I was aware that this building was the first in the Bernstein's Granada Cinema chain and have put a brief outline of its history in the first Comment to the photo.

I do keep a lookout for any activity on the site in case there's an opportunity of taking any internal photographs. An 'Urban Exploration' group are also interested.

From what I've heard, however, the insides are in rather poor condition.

If I do get any more photos (either current or historical) then I'll let you know!

John Latter / Jorolat

jburba on July 10, 2007

Hi John, Thank you for your message. It would be great if you had some new photos.


Matthew Walters on July 11, 2007

Hi John

That's a really interesting story. You may be interested in the Northwick Cinema in Worcester. It's a stypical art deco building and apparently had one of the finest interiors of it's time. Since closure it has been several nightclubs, a bingo club, and most recently a furniture shop.

Next time I'm passing with camera, I'll try to get a pic.

John Latter on November 10, 2007

The block of flats to the right of this art deco building also appear on the right-hand side of this photo of the fountain in the Market Square.

John Latter on October 6, 2009

The lane to the left of the first Granada cinema to be opened in the UK is Dolphin Passage.

There are two further views of the building:

Rear of the now-derelict Granada Cinema building from where Dolphin Passage meets Dolphin Lane


Rear-view, taken from where St James Lane is about to join Dolphin Lane

John Latter / Jorolat

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richard_f21 on February 11, 2010

Hi, I was a senior projectionist in this cinema 1977. It had 2 35mm /carbon arc projectors running 40 mins of film on each. Cool crowd of people/staff. Some wicked memories.

John Latter on February 12, 2010

Thank you for the info, Richard :)

andybdjuk on January 23, 2011

Hi Richard can you contact me as I may have some photos you would be interested in. There is a error when I try to send a message to you.

Kim Childs on October 9, 2011

Hi, my mum worked at the Granada many years ago, she often spoke of the live acts that played there.

John Latter on October 9, 2011

Kim Childs, on October 9th, 2011, said:

Hi, my mum worked at the Granada many years ago, she often spoke of the live acts that played there.

I only saw one show sometime in the sixties with PJ Proby and (I think) Dave Berry.

Like I said to you on the Bleriot photo page, it'll be interesting to see any photos of "Old Dover" that you have.

Thank you for your comments :)

John Latter on February 21, 2013
John Latter on March 4, 2013

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on March 22, 2007
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by John Latter
    • Camera: PENTAX Corporation PENTAX Optio 33LF
    • Taken on 2007/03/22 16:45:43
    • Exposure: 0.003s (1/320)
    • Focal Length: 5.80mm
    • F/Stop: f/4.800
    • ISO Speed: ISO100
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash