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The Music Hall and Theatre History Site
Dedicated to Arthur Lloyd, 1839 - 1904.

 

artsdepot , 5 Nether Street, Tally Ho Corner, North Finchley

Formerly - The Gaumont Theatre

A Google StreetView Image of the artsdepot, North Finchley - Click to Interact.

Above - A Google StreetView Image of the artsdepot, North Finchley - Click to Interact.

The venue known as artsdepot, situated on Tally Ho Corner and Nether Street in North Finchley, first opened on the 23rd of October 2004. The complex, which was designed by the architect Ruddle Wilkinson, houses two theatre spaces. The main Theatre is the Pentland Theatre which has raked seating for 395 people, and backstage the Theatre has a proper fly tower with 30 sets of counterweighted bars, and four dressing rooms for accommodating up to 70 artistes. The smaller Studio Theatre has seating for 148 people wrapping around an intimate thrust stage, and backstage there are two dressing rooms for artistes and a separate green room. There is also a cafe and gallery and several other studio spaces. The cost of construction was mostly met by the inclusion of other commercial developments on the site.

An Advertisement for the forthcoming opening of the Finchley Gaumont - From the Hendon & Finchley Times, 2nd of July 1937.The site that artsdepot stands on today was formerly that of the Gaumont Theatre, a 'super cinema' designed in the Art Deco style by the architects R.H.C. Golding, William Edward Trent, and W. Sydney Trent, and built at a cost of £100,000. The Theatre opened on Monday the 19th of July 1937 with a showing of the films 'Black Legion' and Feather Your Nest'. Seating some 1,390 people in its stalls and another 725 in its balcony, the Gaumont Theatre had a total capacity of 2,115.

Right - An Advertisement for the forthcoming opening of the Finchley Gaumont - From the Hendon & Finchley Times, 2nd of July 1937.

The Gaumont Theatre had a very wide proscenium opening of 53 feet which made it perfect for later Cinemascope presentations, and was equipped with a Compton Theatre Organ whose rising Console was situated in the Theatre's Orchestra Pit, played on the Theatre's opening by London's Dominion Theatre Organist, Fredric Bayco. The Theatre also had a fully equipped stage for theatrical productions, with a stage depth of 36 feet, and a large stage house capable of flying and storing scenery out of site. There were also six large dressing rooms and several smaller ones for its artistes.

A photograph of the FinchleyGaumont Theatre on its opening in July 1937.Having opened in July 1937 the Gaumont went on to have a long and successful career as North Finchley's major Cinema / Theatre but by the 1970s its fortunes were wavering and reconstruction ensued, closing off the Theatre's Balcony and converting the stalls seating layout with fewer but more comfortable 'luxury chairs' seating 831.

Left - A photograph of the Finchley Gaumont Theatre on its opening in July 1937.

The Rank Organisation closed the Gaumont completely in October 1980 and the Theatre then stood empty and unused for many years until it was finally demolished in February 1987. The site then stood empty itself for another 15 years, being used only as a temporary car park and outdoor market, until it was finally reused for the building of the artsdepot which opened in 2004.

You may like to visit artsdepot's own website here.

Some information for this Theatre was gleaned from the excellent Cinema Treasures Website which also has some interesting images of the Gaumont and its eventual demolition here.

If you have any more information or Images for this Theatre that you are willing to share please Contact me.

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