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© Mr Thomas Olding

IoE Number: 135797
Location: EMPIRE VARIETY THEATRE,
  SOUTHAMPTON, SOUTHAMPTON, HAMPSHIRE
Photographer: Mr Thomas Olding
Date Photographed: 17 February 2006
Date listed: 08 October 1981
Date of last amendment: 08 October 1981
Grade II

The Images of England website consists of images of listed buildings based on the statutory list as it was in 2001 and does not incorporate subsequent amendments to the list. For the statutory list and information on the current listed status of individual buildings please go to The National Heritage List for England.

1.COMMERCIAL ROAD5239Gaumont CinemaSU 4112 1/286

1. COMMERCIAL ROAD 5239 Gaumont Cinema SU 4112 1/286 II 2. W. and T. R. Milburn, Architects. December 22nd, 1928. Formerly the Empire Variety Theatre and became a cinema after 1933. Large building (capacity 2,250) in 20s Reo-Grecian style. The front elevation is of 5 storeys, stone with red brick infill. Each side has a half-octagonal stone turret. Deep modillion cornice. Six stone pilasters through. Second to fourth floors with lion's head masks at base. Five stone balconies. Five windows in all with metal casements. First floor windows have deep architraves with interlocking circles and glyphs. The ground floor has Vitruvian scroll frieze and 4 square piers with the same interlocking circles and glyph design. Double mahogany doors with brass fittings. Four storeys portion on R.H.S. of red brick with pantiled roof. Three sashes with glazing bars intact. Panels between second and third floors and iron balconette. Cambered arch to ground floor. The foyer is decorated with plaques with antique masks, swags and anthemion motifs and the lower part of the wall is covered with marble. On each side are staircases rising 4 floors with stair wells. Brass handrails with intersecting oval balustrades and newel posts with urn finals. The auditorium has a tall curved proscenium arch with 'torcheres' decoration. This is flanked by panels with anthemion motif. The seating is on 3 tiers supported on columns (Ionic to stalls and Circle). Oval dome with original octagonal glass and metal lanterns with anthemion decorations. The railings to the Circle and Upper Circle have fasces decoration. Ti<o cuuved boxes to each side with vitruvian scroll decoration and pillars with anthemion motif. Round-headed pediments above with fishscale decorations and plumed edge. Three round-headed arches leaf to the Upper Circle boxes which have Vitruvian scroll decoration. This theatre has 22 mahogany and glazed 'Standing boxes' which are a rare survival. The walls are clad with marble to dado level. Included as a complete example of a theatre in 20s lieo-Grecian style.

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