Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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Date first listed:
Statutory Address:


Ordnance survey map of STATE CINEMA
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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Thurrock (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TQ 61340 77960


977/10/10 GEORGE STREET 22-FEB-85 State Cinema


Cinema. 1938 by F G M Chancellor for Frederick's Electric Theatres. Brown brick with roof cladding painted silver. Cream and black faience cladding to main elevation. A massive quadrilateral with W, E, and N sides articulated by pilaster buttresses. The W elevation steps up to the tower, which is blind, with bulb nosed vertical strips of cream and black faience dying below the top, where a recessed frieze under the flat overhanging roof carries the word "State" in large squared capitals. Three shops are incorporated into this front. The main doors are glazed with glazing bars at unequal intervals. Inside a large steeply raked auditorium extends over an entrance lobby and two storeys of foyers. The lobby is circular, with a frieze moulded alternately concave and convex (a motif, in 2 or 3 dimensions, throughout the building). Above this a saucer dome with a light fitting composed of serpentine prisms. The glass is frosted and reeded (as throughout the building). Original pay box of chrome, wood veneer and glass. The lower foyer is in similar style, with asymmetrical terrazzo floor in pink, yellow, black and white; ornamental radiator grilles, and lettering over entrances and exits. From this a large open well stair with brass handrail leads to the similar upper foyer, which has five scalloped segmental barrel vaults with large fish-bellied hanging lights. Rounded terrazzo steps upto the toilets. The auditorium which seats 2200 is comparatively plain with a single circle entered by two vomitoria. Except for an added set of curtains, in keeping, all the fittings are original, though some of the seating is from the Odeon, Uxbridge (but contemporary). Outstanding is the illuminated Compton Theatre Organ and attached automatic piano (the latter added later). The projection room retains the original simplex projectors and 3 peerless Magnarc Lamps (2 now converted to Xenon). The sound system dates from 1976.

The State Cinema is one of the best preserved of the "super cinemas" of the late 1930s. It retains the smallest details of its decor and machinery. It is unusual in that it has never been subdivided, and has been used extensively in films and television broadcasts. This simple, austere type of streamlined moderne cinema was once extremely common, but as so little-altered a survival makes this example now unique. It is this combination of the once typical, now unique, that makes this cinema so very special.

Listing NGR: TQ6134077960


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This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 07 Aug 2002
Reference: IOE01/03990/27
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr M W Keogh. Source Historic England Archive
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