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The Grand Theatre - Doncaster - November 2017

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RichPDG

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The History
The Doncaster Grand was constructed in 1899 and originally stood on a prominent site in a shopping street facing the main railway station. However, town centre improvements robbed it of any sensible context and it is no longer in a street, but attached rather indirectly to the Frenchgate shopping centre. It still faces the station, however is separated from it by a busy inner ring road which comes so close that it has actually snipped off a lower corner of the stage house. It was threatened with demolition until an energetic local campaign and Friends group secured statutory designation in 1994. The frontage, which, with an improved setting, could again become a local landmark, is three-storeyed. Baroque in treatment, with a complex rhythm of bays articulated by coupled and single pilasters and groupings of arched windows and doorways all rendered. There is a large broken segmental pediment over the three central bays with date 1899. It retains an intimate auditorium. Two well curved balconies with good plasterwork on fronts, the upper gallery is benched. Single pedimented and delicately decorated plasterwork boxes in otherwise plain side walls, flanking a decorative plasterwork rectangular-framed 7.9m (26ft) proscenium. More decorative drops to the ante-proscenium walls, bolection mouldings and plasterwork panels to the stalls and ceiling. Deep central oval ceiling dome. The Grand could quite readily be restored and reopened. It could offer amateur and community drama and musical productions, small scale touring and other activities to complement Doncaster's new venue, Cast.

The Explore
Having had a spell of bad luck whilst exploring other sites, we decided that this would be a pretty safe bet and thought we would drop by as it was on our way home. This place can only be described as a death trap if you're not looking where you are walking, there are massive holes in the floors, spongy floorboards and mould everywhere!

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Dirus_Strictus

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Being born and work based for many years in Doncaster, I saw this building slowly decaying on an almost daily basis as I travelled to and from work. Upkeep costs on this building are huge, and no matter how many volunteers you have, this building never earns its annual upkeep costs. Statutory designation in 1994 may have knocked even more nails in the coffin, than actually removed any, by severely restricting remedial actions to more costly options and hence the 'we'll just let it stand and rot' one sees today. Years ago it was suggested that a more user friendly and modern interior was needed to meet the then present day theatrical requirements - but I doubt the good citizens of Doncaster would want that mill stone added onto their yearly Rates Demand.
 

THEGART

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I love the font on the door, that shot sums up so much about the era this place is from
 

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