The Grand Theatre, Doncaster

Doncaster’s Grand Theatre once stood on Station Road, which led to the train station – quite an important thoroughfare in the town where the Flying Scotsman and The Mallard steam engines were built. You can see the Grand in the centre background of this picture – its the only one of those buildings still standing, all the rest swept away by the 60s/70s in favour of one of those lovely Arndale Centres

The theatre is now hemmed in on 3 sides by the shopping centre (whose owners also own the theatre) and on the other side by a dual carriageway, which has actually taken a bit out of Grand.

I neglected to get any externals on the day (mainly because I wanted to GTFO ASAP as I know the shopping centre security can be pretty keen), so here’s a “library” photo (Lomo fisheye)

Some history courtesy of the Friends of the Grand Theatre

The Grand was opened on the 27th March 1899. It started its life as a Circus Hall and then became the home of the Salvation Army, it was used for Political Speakers and eventually it was bought and turned into a theatre by a Mr J W Chapman, who at that time was the Lessee of the Old Theatre which stood in the Market Place. It was designed by J P Briggs and was built by a local firm of builders, Arnold & Sons.

It was one of the first theatres in the country to have electric lights and also a sprinkler system installed. All staircases in the building are in stone as fire was a great hazard in those days.

Many famous names ‘trod the boards’ at the Grand including Charlie Chaplin, Max Miller, Henry Hall and his band with Betty Driver (who went on to play Betty Williams in Coronation Street), Julie Andrews and Morecambe & Wise.

and from The Theatres Trust

The Grand Theatre’s last stage production was Showboat in 1962 after which it was converted to a bingo hall. In the 1980s a ring road was built around the theatre and as a consequence a corner of the stage was chamfered. In 1995 the bingo closed and the theatre was due for demolition but was saved by the Friends of the Doncaster Grand Theatre along with Doncaster Civic Trust who succeeded in getting it statutory listed Grade II.

The Grand Theatre had a lucky escape in 1942 when a German dropped two bombs on the town centre, one of which flattened a car and motorbike showroom directly opposite the Grand

Fast forward to 2011 and the Grand sits neglected and constrained by its surroundings. There is evidence of water causing some damage in the Gallery section, but not too bad so far although some remedial work wouldn’t go amiss (or a full scale restoration but I think that might be asking a bit much).

From the back of the stage


From the stage

The Circle

The stage as seen from the Circle

Moulding detail

The Gallery

Fantastic detail on these seats in the Gallery

Mouldings above the proscenium


Fly tower

Old posters from around 100 years ago

I hope something can be done to save this beautiful building, but frankly I don’t hold out much hope for any investment in the current economic climate.


Adelphi Theatre, Attercliffe Sheffield

Adelphi Theatre, Attercliffe, Sheffield

Blurb courtesy of

The Adelphi Picture Theatre, in Vicarage Road, Sheffield was designed by the architect W. C. Fenton and opened for business on the 18th of October 1920.

The exterior was built from red brick with terra-cotta enhancements to the main facade. The auditorium was built on two levels, stalls and one circle, with a seating capacity of 1,350, and a projection room at the back of the stalls.

The Theatre was the subject of some restoration and redecoration in the late 1930s but after bomb damage during the second world war, and a brief closure of one month, the building was furthur renovated in 1946.

The last film presentation at the Adelphi, which had always been an independent Cinema, was a showing of ‘The Karate Killers’ and ‘The Rounders’ on the 28th of October 1976.

The Adelphi then became a Bingo Club for many years until it closed in the mid 1990s. It was then converted into a nightclub where live bands also performed on occasions, but closed down in late 2006.

The Adelphi is a Grade II Listed building.

Unfortunately the main auditorium has been “clubbed” to death during the conversion to bingo club and then a nightclub, with zero original features remaining.

But it did have a glitter ball

Front of house and upstairs revealed some nice stained glass windows

and beautiful floors

and a few original mouldings

Overall a disappointing visit, not really surprised Tony turned down the chance to visit.

Bradford Odeon

Bradford Odeon is situated right in the centre of the city.

It opened in 1930 as the New Victoria with a 3300 capacity auditorium plus a ballroom and restaurant.

In 1968 the New Victoria was converted into a 2 screen cinema with a bingo hall, later a third screen was added in what had previously been the ball room.

The Odeon closed in 2000 and the intervening 10 years have not been kind, with water, vandals and pigeons all taking their toll.

Visited with Bugsuperstar, jST & Kook

Really enjoyed this, loads of 80’s cheese and hidden gems.

And in time honoured fashion…

Thanks to Kook for performing usherette duties and the shoulder ride when things went slightly wrong , jST for demonstrating the laws of gravity using bricks and paving slabs , Bugs for making sure we didn’t run around too fast and miss anything (hope the ankle heals quick mate) and not forgetting WYPD for being completely useless


Doncaster Gaumont /Odeon

The 70s

In its prime








Fire poster





Backstage lighting controls




Curtain winch


Dressing room



Prop Room



Fly Tower



Seating in main auditorium



Safety Curtain



Ceiling moulding



Mercury arc rectifier





From the roof






Now sadly demolished…


Millmoor, Rotherham

Millmoor is a stadium in Rotherham, England. It was built and was used for football matches, and until the end of the 2007–08 season was the home ground of Rotherham United F.C., until a dispute over ownership forced them to move to the Don Valley Stadium in nearby Sheffield.

The stadium was built in 1907 on the site of a flour mill, and presently holds around 8,300. Redevelopment work was started on the ground, with a new main stand being built in place of the previous wooden main stand which was built in the 1950s. The new stand was planned to contain corporate facilities and bring the capacity back to over 10,000.

The work was scheduled to finish in 2006, but has faced a series of setbacks, one of which was Japanese Knotweed being found on the site.

Rotherham United have now moved to a new community stadium. In May 2011 Rotherham Titans and Rotherham Council announced a plan to allow the rugby union club to move into Millmoor.

The Railway End is the away fans section where over 2,000 fans can be accommodated.