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Coliseum Buildings (Gaumont Palace & Odeon, Jokers Corner)

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Baz
Coventry
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1 of 105  Tue 24th Jul 2012 11:01pm  
Member: Joined May 2012  Total posts:342

Hi all. Does anyone know about this building. I have found that it dates back to before 1928. What was it used for and what's in the dome? Roll eyes It is at the corner of Jordan Well and Whitefriars St. Thumbs up
Always looking forward to looking at the past.

Coliseum Buildings (Gaumont Palace & Odeon, Jokers Corner)
dutchman
Spon End
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2 of 105  Tue 24th Jul 2012 11:23pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2010  Total posts:3091

Hi Baz Wave It was a ballroom, restaurant and shops complex stretching some distance up Whitefriars Street. It was extended towards Jordan Well in 1931 to form the Gaumont Palace. The restaurant side was badly bombed during the war and as far as I know rebuilt only as shop units. I've no idea what the dome was for?
Coliseum Buildings (Gaumont Palace & Odeon, Jokers Corner)
PhilipInCoventry
Holbrooks
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3 of 105  Wed 25th Jul 2012 7:58am  
Moderator: Joined Apr 2010  Total posts:3819

Hi Dutchman, Hi all Wave The top floor had an open garden which had a lawn, flower boarder & a pond with gold fish. I watched a carnival go by from there when I was five. Wave The manager was a Mr. Deakin. It was also the home to the Coventry Bridge Society, who played there. Wave
Coliseum Buildings (Gaumont Palace & Odeon, Jokers Corner)
flapdoodle
Coventry
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4 of 105  Wed 25th Jul 2012 6:06pm  
Member: Joined Nov 2010  Total posts:822

A chunk of the side on Whitefriars Street was a bar/restaurant briefly a few years back. It didn't last. It has been empty for some years now.
Coliseum Buildings (Gaumont Palace & Odeon, Jokers Corner)
Baz
Coventry
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5 of 105  Wed 25th Jul 2012 8:35pm  
Member: Joined May 2012  Total posts:342

Sounds very interesting, Thanks for the info. Sounds like a trip to town is due. And off to the shops to see if I can have a look around in their back rooms etc. with camera in hand. Wonder if any of the Ballroom or stage is anywhere to be seen? Thumbs up
Always looking forward to looking at the past.

Coliseum Buildings (Gaumont Palace & Odeon, Jokers Corner)
dutchman
Spon End
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6 of 105  Thu 26th Jul 2012 2:48am  
Member: Joined Mar 2010  Total posts:3091

I suspect the ballroom section was destroyed in the war or earlier when the cinema was added? There was a dancing school there later but I don't think it occupied any part of the original ballroom? This is weird, I can't remember any of the shops along the Whitefriars Street side except for a dry cleaners ("St George"?) and a photographic suppliers. The corner of the building was famously occupied by a tiny newsagents kiosk for many years. I used to get my comics from there. My dad picked them initially, not knowing what I would like. ("Jack & Jill", "The Dandy" and "Eagle"). Later,. I was allowed to pick my own which consisted mainly of American DC super-hero comics, thus affirming my lifelong inferiority complex. There was no restaurant or cafe during the years I lived close-by, 1960-1967. The nearest was "Victor's" of ice-cream fame on the opposite side of the road. The Gaumont section not only had a stage behind the screen but also an orchestra pit (which was boarded over) and private boxes (which were never used).
Coliseum Buildings (Gaumont Palace & Odeon, Jokers Corner)
mattash
Rugby
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7 of 105  Thu 26th Jul 2012 4:17am  
Member: Joined Feb 2010  Total posts:601

Hi Dutchman, there is one shop I remember and that was an electrical shop. I bought my first tape-recorder (reel-to-reel) from there, £17. The year 1962 from my paper round earnings but no other recollection other than the ice-cream parlour which was on the other side as you stated. Thumbs up
Coliseum Buildings (Gaumont Palace & Odeon, Jokers Corner)
dutchman
Spon End
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8 of 105  Thu 26th Jul 2012 12:13pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2010  Total posts:3091

That may have been the photographic suppliers, Mattash? I remember they sold open-reel tape recorders as well including a very professional-looking upright unit.
Coliseum Buildings (Gaumont Palace & Odeon, Jokers Corner)
Baz
Coventry
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9 of 105  Sun 29th Jul 2012 1:13am  
Member: Joined May 2012  Total posts:342

I went down there today to have a look and found some nice art work above the old main doors. Thumbs up Three letters are on the plaque - F T H. I dont know what they stood for but it was a shock to see the outline of the letters. Thumbs up It looks like the stones were carved and not just had the art stuck on. There is no sign of anything in side the shop, and it may be that the old dance hall was where the old Odeon now stands. More investigation needed. Big grin
Always looking forward to looking at the past.

Coliseum Buildings (Gaumont Palace & Odeon, Jokers Corner)
dutchman
Spon End
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10 of 105  Sun 29th Jul 2012 1:43pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2010  Total posts:3091

No Baz, that was row of 14th century buildings before 1931. There's a picture of them being demolished to make room for the Gaumont Place but I can't remember where. The ballroom and cinema were always separate and each had their own cafe, at least up until 1940. The ballroom was completely destroyed in the Easter raid of 1941 and as far as I can tell was never rebuilt.
Coliseum Buildings (Gaumont Palace & Odeon, Jokers Corner)
Baz
Coventry
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11 of 105  Sun 29th Jul 2012 9:07pm  
Member: Joined May 2012  Total posts:342

Radford Kid has an early photo in his gallery that shows the hole building in all its splendour. As there is another door just up in Whitefriars St, "2 window frames in". And another main door further up as well. It must have ran along Whitefriars, and like you have said, must have been a separate place to the old cinema. I do remember driving to the old cinema carpark once and passing under this building to get to it. There was a back door from the old cinema but cannot recall this building being wide enough to house a ballroom. Blush Still cannot find out what the letters F T H stand for? Could it be that the ballroom was in fact on the first floor and not ground???
Always looking forward to looking at the past.

Coliseum Buildings (Gaumont Palace & Odeon, Jokers Corner)
LdeMain
Nuneaton, Warks
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12 of 105  Sun 29th Jul 2012 9:32pm  
Member: Joined Nov 2011  Total posts:36

I'm quite sure that the upper floors are now university offices - I had a meeting there a few years ago and remember lots of small offices with flimsy partition walls! Leanne
Coliseum Buildings (Gaumont Palace & Odeon, Jokers Corner)
dutchman
Spon End
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13 of 105  Mon 30th Jul 2012 1:19am  
Member: Joined Mar 2010  Total posts:3091

Quite likely, Baz as the entrance halfway along the Whitefriars Street side was originally for the front stalls of the cinema section. After rebuilding only the Jordan Well entrance was used and I think the side entrance became an emergency fire escape.
Coliseum Buildings (Gaumont Palace & Odeon, Jokers Corner)
Baz
Coventry
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14 of 105  Mon 30th Jul 2012 7:36pm  
Member: Joined May 2012  Total posts:342

Thanks Dutchman. I came to guess it may have been upstairs after seeing Radford Kid's pic of it. The main door had a shop each side. Being on a corner, this meant when one entered the place, you went straight up stairs or followed the angle through the building. I believe the letters may stand for - something Theatre House. But this is only a guess. Still cannot find what's in the dome. Another trip required I think! Thumbs up
Always looking forward to looking at the past.

Coliseum Buildings (Gaumont Palace & Odeon, Jokers Corner)
dutchman
Spon End
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15 of 105  Tue 14th Aug 2012 5:49pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2010  Total posts:3091

The 'Gaumont' was owned by the Rank Organisation from 1941 until its closure as the 'Odeon' in 1999.
Coliseum Buildings (Gaumont Palace & Odeon, Jokers Corner)

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