Sculpted frieze depicted story of a film

The Gaumont
The Gaumont
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At 2pm on Monday, September 3, 1934, the new Gaumont Palace, Doncaster, was opened by Mayor Councillor GH Ranyard.

Towards the end of 1933, demolition work had begun on the Majestic Cinema, at the junction of Thorne Road and Hall Gate and it was approximately nine months since the work on the construction of the Gaumont Palace had started on the same site.

The new manager of the Gaumont was W Sherwood.

The first of many interesting features of the new building was the fine sculpted frieze over the main entrance.

The frieze was the work of sculptor Newbury Trent and depicted the growth of a film from its conception by the author to the writing of the scenario, the building of the set and, finally, the shooting of the actual scene.

The building was designed to seat 1,800 and opened with Evergreen starring Jessie Matthews.

A feature of the programmes to be presented was organ recitals on the mighty Compton organ by Hebron Moreland who came to Doncaster from the Queen’s Hall in Newcastle.

The cafe of the Gaumont was on the first floor above the entrance hall and could be approached either direct from Thorne Road or from the main staircase of the theatre.

The Gaumont went through a modernisation scheme costing approximately £80,000 in 1968, was converted in April 1973 to accommodate three smaller cinemas and was renamed Odeon in January 1987.

The Odeon has since closed and was demolished amidst much controversy in recent years.