First Granada Cinema, Rear View 1, Dover, Kent, England, United Kingdom

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Comments (4)

John Latter on April 7, 2009

Another view of the now-derelict building that was once the first Granada cinema to be opened in the UK (see 'Standard Info' below for more history) .

Click to see a front view of the building from Castle Street.

This photo was taken on the 29th of March, 2009, at 9.08 am from Dolphin Lane [1].

The alley to the right of the building is Dolphin Passage: turn right at the end where it joins Castle Street and you will see Dover Castle looming above the town; turn left and the Market Square is less than 100 yards away; cross Castle Street and go through the car park and you'll reach Pencester Gardens.

If you walk along to the left in the above photo then Dolphin Lane turns into St James Lane where a third view of the building was taken.

[1] From The Street Names of Dover:

Dolphin Lane - Took its name from a public house "The Dolphin" situated in the Lane. Formerly the lane gave access to Market Square and because the buildings in part occupies the site of the lane the block of shops and maisonettes on the east side of the square has been named Dolphin House. There was a Dolphin House here until 1906 when together with a number of cottages it was demolished to add to the brewery. It had from time to time been used as a Volunteer Institute and by the Young Women’s Christian Association as well as a private residence. In ages past it was probably part of the Harbour, for in sinking a well there they came across eight feet of harbour mud.

Standard Info

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 J D Wetherspoons who also own Dover's The Eight Bells public house/pub. The Eight Bells was also once a cinema: The Plaza Cinema and then the Essoldo Cinema.

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

I remember watching, "The Adventures of Robin Hood" along with "The Adventures of William Tell" as a child and I once met David Whitfield (who sang William Tell's theme song) backstage when he appeared at Dover's Granada cinema. I was only a few years old at the time and he gave me a bottle of beer to drink to shut me up so that he could chat to my (much) older step-sisters :)

This video link to "Guilherme Tell has David Whitfield singing during William Tell's opening scenes - it might bring back a few memories for anyone as old as myself!

(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.

This is the Images of Dover website.

John Latter on February 21, 2013

Also see the February 2013 photo:

Art Deco Ruins of First UK Granada Cinema, Castle Street, Dover, United Kingdom

John Latter / Jorolat

Dover Blog: The Psychology of a Small Town

This is the Images of Dover website: click on any red or blue "John Latter" link to access the Entry Page.

John Latter on March 4, 2013
Dubris on April 21, 2015

sadly, this area of Dover is being redeveloped and has been completely flattened.

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on March 31, 2009
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by John Latter
    • Camera: PENTAX Corporation PENTAX K100D
    • Taken on 2009/03/29 09:08:08
    • Exposure: 0.006s (1/180)
    • Focal Length: 21.00mm
    • F/Stop: f/11.000
    • ISO Speed: ISO200
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash