The State Cinema, Grays, Essex - September 2023

Derelict Places

Help Support Derelict Places:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Veteran Member
Veteran Member
Feb 19, 2009
Reaction score
Now I know what you’re all thinking! Another report of another Tour Bus site; but it is one I’ve wanted to see since probably most of today’s Instagram Explorers were probably in Primary School! I had seen the reports all those years back and always marvelled it. It was always one I wanted to do; but it was always sure to be sealed.

The of course renovation to a Wetherspoons began, covid happened, and it was in a part of the country that I don’t often venture too. But when the tourbus began flocking here in their droves; I decided to add it to my hit list.

I descended upon the site with a Non-Explorer friend on a road trip; which turned out to back to back fails. I arrived at The State the day after it had been sealed by an individual. Then from then on each site we tried was a total no go.

Roll forward a week or two; I returned with an Explorer Friend and achieved a 100% success rate on a complete clone of site lists as two weeks before. We weren’t even going to attempt The State, but low and behold it was very easy to get into.

Although it was long past the prime of the explores that happened here 10-15 years previously; it most certainly didn’t disappoint and had some great shots within.

I absolutely love Art Deco. The cinema was opened in 1938 and closed in 1988 with its very own closing ceremony on the 5th September of that year, playing “The Hurricane” as it did on its opening night 50 years previously.

The bar upstairs briefly reopened as “Charleston’s” in 1991 but closed in 1998. Jamiroquai filmed a music video here in 1998 for “Deeper Underground”. in 2000; the building was Grade II listed, and in 2015; Wetherspoons Pubs bought The State in the hope of converting it into a pub, but this fell through in 2019 and the site has been sold and has been decaying since.

Luckily the Compton Organ was saved!













One of the highlights here, was of course the beautifully decayed Projection Room within; which contained films from Denham Film Labs, which @mookster and myself explored back in 2017! Small world!







Thanks for looking! More At:
This looks awesome, new to all this so I keep finding places which are not there now or properly boarded up so I can’t explore.

This was quite recent, would it be worth a visit?
thanks for the photos - the interior is magnificent. The State has its own, lengthy, Wiki entry. Seating up to 2000 people, the cinema had air conditioning and 'an illuminated Compton organ'
I remember taking my daughter there many years ago, as her friends were performing on the stage.
But it's just too big - and has been replaced as a cinema by the more modern Vue at the local Lakeside retail park and shopping centre. Parking is easy and you can pop into the shops as well.
Thurrock is a unitary authority which doesn't have a lot of money and has recently gone bankrupt. I doubt it would have the funds to preserve the State. Grays town centre is not the sort of place you would go out of your way to visit. So I think The State will be demolished sooner or later.
This looks awesome, new to all this so I keep finding places which are not there now or properly boarded up so I can’t explore.

This was quite recent, would it be worth a visit?
quite a few have done this recently, Im not sure of state of play there myself now but certainly worth getting there asap to find out.

Latest posts