Comments

 

Date:
08 Jan 2008
Time:
01:55:05

Comments

Great work Joe, really hope that some significant interest is shown in saving this magnificent building. There ought to be a name and shame in the national press against TSP properties for wanting to destroy such a well preserved and well loved piece of our heritage. Parasites. Keep up the good work. PS. As for the supermarket on the State's car park, I remember a time when there were a row of very run down houses next door to the cinema. When these were demolished, the unofficial 'dirt car park' became known as the State Cinema car park and the council were more than happy to take motorists money to park there! How about getting the council to intervene and get something happening? All the best, Gary


Date:
08 Jan 2008
Time:
22:22:29

Comments

Hi, Great to see someone making an effort to save the State! I have very patchy but emotive memories of the cinema - I remember feeling like I was somewhere special as I stood in the grand, art-deco foyer - waiting for my Mum to finish at the confectionery counter! I am privileged enough to have seen the organ rise from the stage. At the State, you were at an event, a spectacle...I can't say you get that experience at Lakeside. How the local council can neglect such a treasure is truly criminal. The State needs to be run by and for the people of the area - not kept locked shut by some massive supermarket chain who know nothing of the area or its heritage. Let's save the State...my Grandad would be proud! Neil.


Date:
11 Jan 2008
Time:
22:42:36

Comments

such a shame that our once great nation is allowing such greedy property speculators to destroy our national and more important local and cherished landmarks another product of our politicians who really don't care about our country and just feather their own nests when in office wonder how much cash it will cost in bribes to remove its listing. wish I had the money to buy it please fight them till the last. Bob


Date:
12 Jan 2008
Time:
00:08:55

Comments

To your "filmography" section can be added: "Chicago Joe and the Showgirl" (1990)- scenes in the foyer mainly - and "Lipstick on Your Collar" (1993-TV series)- mainly scenes around the organ, with Roy Hudd acting the part of the cinema organist. Best regards, Jeremy B


Date:
12 Jan 2008
Time:
16:23:53

Comments

Congratulations on your very interesting web site. I wish you all the best in your drive to get the public aware of this important building. It's just across the river from me (Gillingham), rest assured should the Compton rise again I will be there to witness it. Regards, Peter Towell


Date:
12 Jan 2008
Time:
17:47:07

Comments

A very worthy cause indeed - the theatre and its lovely Compton Theatre Organ MUST be conserved and put to good use again. Wishing you every success with your noble project: I'll try and send you a donation after next payday Best regards Robin


Name:
Paul Bland
Date:
15 Jan 2008
Time:
13:09:07

Comments

Congratulations on an informative and interesting site. Somewhere in the depths I have an LP recorded at the State by David Hamilton with an excellent sleeve photograph of the proscenium. As regards filmography, am I right in thinking the State was used for some interiors in the detective series "Jericho" a while back? The top of the organ console was just visible in one sequence. Good luck and keep up the excellent work.


Name:
Paul
Date:
19 Jan 2008
Time:
10:51:53

Comments

Thank god someone is thinking about the State, It is such a magnificent building, the interior is how I remember cinemas as a child, It would be perfect as a music venue, there is loads of car parking which could also bring in revenue if properly managed, surely with the seating capacity of the State it could become a major attraction. All the best with your campaign. Paul


Name:
John Marsden from Perth in Western Australia
Date:
20 Jan 2008
Time:
08:49:05

Comments

What a gem of an old theatre. wow I wish I had the money to save the Sate. Years ago I went to the state theatre in the 60's when I was on holidays from western Australia, and I could not get how big it was and the different service you could get at the state. I hope for the people of U.K. that you can save the State as in Western Australia we have lost all our old Cinemas to Cinema Complexes.


Name:
Date:
21 Jan 2008
Time:
17:44:31

Comments

So, Thurrock Council "..didn't think the State as an entertainment venue would be sustainable.." Is that because their replacement plan for the town incorporates a theatre near the Marina? Thurrock Council are the real villains in what's been allowed to happen to the State - since they opened the Thameside years ago they've been undermining it's potential. And you can guess why - money. Backhanders from developers and operators of any new venture to dodgy councillors I'd bet.


Name:
Alan Hodson
Date:
27 Jan 2008
Time:
03:07:07

Comments

Birkenhead had a similar 30's style cinema which was demolished with undue haste. The bulldozers moved on site within days of being refused listed status by English Heritage. 7 years on and the site is still a vacant plot - what a waste. Good luck in keeping up your campaign to save the State and don't let it go the same way as our own Ritz.


Name:
GD
Date:
02 Feb 2008
Time:
09:27:41

Comments

Has anyone noticed that the old Dominoes building on the other side of the railway, probably no more than half a mile from The State has gone up in flames. This building is also listed, has had numerous planning applications for either is destruction or significant redevelopment turned down and now has been subject to a suspicious fire. I fear that The State will go the same way if immediate action to secure it's future isn't taken.

Reply

Yes, I read that in the local paper this week; seems a coincidence the building should suddenly burn down after being refused planning permission! The report in the newspaper says the fire fighters that attended thought the cause of the fire was suspicious. A link to the full article is below.

http://devel.thurrockgazette.co.uk/mostpopular.var.2002183.mostviewed.controversial_grays_town_centre_building_ablaze.php

 

 


Name:
Date:
03 Feb 2008
Time:
15:39:20

Comments

Well done for trying to save the State. I no longer live in the area but would definitely bring my children to experience the magnificent atmosphere the State always had. It is a fabulous waste of our heritage and should not be allowed to be destroyed by turning it into a gym or anything other than a venue for entertainment as it was intended. I have been to theatres in London that couldn't match the ambience the State had. Keep up the good work and hopefully you will "Save the State"! Donna.


Name:
Mike Foreman
Date:
04 Feb 2008
Time:
15:41:26

Comments

Well done for all your efforts to save the magnificent State Cinema. Unfortunately, local people have forgotten that behind the drab brick exterior they have a world class auditorium on their doorstep and that is equal to (or better) than say, the Empire, Leicester Square! My earliest memory is going to see Star Wars on the first night in 1977 having won tickets in the Thurrock Gazette. It was inevitable that multi-screen cinemas would kill the huge single screen venue, but I agree that there must be a way that the venue could be used for multi purposes, i.e. cinema, theatre for local groups, maybe a bar / restaurant. It basically needs some ways of bringing money to fund the general upkeep for it's primary purpose.


Name:
Geoff
Date:
04 Feb 2008
Time:
15:44:30

Comments

The State Cinema was the best venue when I was a child growing up in the 40's/50's, nothing to beat it elsewhere. I suspect that TBC are involved in the neglect of this lovely building; remember the council's deliberate desecration of the Old High Street, the Fire Station and Library in Orsett Road. Thurrock Council have a lot to answer for !


Name:
Lisa
Date:
05 Feb 2008
Time:
20:52:47

Comments

I just stumbled across this great website which has brought back many fond memories of watching Back to the Future and Ghostbusters here as a child! I agree with every single comment already made. Thurrock Council are a bunch of useless morons who would rather waste money on building ridiculous traffic systems, that almost cause accidents in Thurrock, and hundreds of speed bumps. If the council succeed in their plans for this beautiful building then I would imagine Grays folk will be up in arms. The venue is perfect for gigs (look at the likes of Brixton Academy and Shepherds Bush Empire), live acts, shows, bingo the lot! What a waste of an opportunity to really turn this place around and again make it the centrepiece for the town centre. Alright it may need a bit of tarting up but it's our history just like Tilbury and Coalhouse Forts, lets invest in it! The worst thing the council did was ruin the 'old' town centre which has now lost its character and atmosphere. I am not surprised The State is now becoming a victim of these brainless idiots.


Name:
Ross Bannister
Date:
06 Feb 2008
Time:
10:24:23

Comments

This is an excellent idea! I really believe the Council should pick up the ball with the State, take it over and run it, as you have suggested, as an entertainment venue. This wonderful period building should NOT be left to fall down! The local council and the TGDC need to be much more pro-active with this. We have seen too many local heritage sites go i.e. Old Grays High Street, Palmers Boys School, Ford Place, Leonards (Belhus) House, The Queens Hotel, The Kings Arms.. the list is sadly long! Lets all hope they see the light before it's too late.


Name:
Katie
Date:
06 Feb 2008
Time:
14:04:37

Comments

I'm only young and have never been fortunate enough to actually go inside the state, but there's something about it that is really appealing! Sometimes I just want to be able to walk through them doors and take a step back in time and live the life that was led by people over half a century ago. the council are rubbish, they spend far too much time banging on about schools and other institutions and they don't realise that there is a big money making scheme slap bang in the middle of Grays. I really like this website, well done on all the effort, lets just hope the council take notice!


Name:
JDesmedt
Date:
06 Feb 2008
Time:
16:19:50

Comments

I've lived in Thurrock for 30 years and was fortunate enough to go to the State Cinema as a child. I have very fond memories of going into the beautiful foyer, up the grand staircase, and into the Cinema. I too was privileged to see the organ rise from the stage. It is beautiful inside and I would love to have been able to take my children. I feel very sad every time I walk past the building, and especially knowing that many people in Thurrock have no idea what a wonderful place it is. Good luck with the petition!


Name:
Alan Warner
Date:
06 Feb 2008
Time:
16:32:26

Comments

I was born in 1946, and as a young lad remember going to the State Cinema almost every week, I believe the manager at the time was a Mr Smeedon, are there no photographs of him or the staff still in existence ? Regards Alan A Warner


Name:
Peter Hammond
Date:
06 Feb 2008
Time:
17:18:28

Comments

*** PLEASE NOTE *** There is a 'Strategic planning' consultation exercise going on at present by Thurrock council. See: www.thurrock.gov.uk/planning/strategic/content.php?page=preferred Please register your desire to see the State cinema returned to the community as a live performance venue, or make any other comments you might have.


Name:
alan rockliffe
Date:
06 Feb 2008
Time:
17:20:39

Comments

absolutely brilliant idea!! TBC only seem interested in building more homes, which equals more council tax and possibly a wage rise for councillors ? I wonder whats going to happen to the oddfellows hall in dell road, another great local asset?? how would I find out?? e mail; alanrockliffe@hotmail.com


Name:
Peter Hammond
Date:
06 Feb 2008
Time:
17:34:54

Comments

With reference to my previous comment the contact details for the Strategic planning team are: Strategic Planning Team, Thurrock Borough Council, Sustainable Communities, Civic Offices, New Road, Grays, Essex, RM17 6SL Email - strategic.planning@thurrock.gov.uk Telephone - 01375 65 2270/2274 Fax - 01375 652713


Name:
Claire Bannister
Date:
06 Feb 2008
Time:
17:56:07

Comments

I have tried on a number of occasions to try to find out who actually owns the State Cinema and eventually came up with a name but when I tried to locate the 'company' I was unsuccessful in finding an address or number or website...... Who does own it? I have also tried to find out what the council are doing to ensure the upkeep of this listed building. It appears to me that they are ignoring it and then when it gets too bad will then have the excuse for it to be flattened! I hope I am wrong. I think it is a wonderful building and a huge part of the heritage of this area. Various councils over time have rid the town of some of the wonderful heritage. They cannot keep doing it.


Name:
Peter Hammond
Date:
06 Feb 2008
Time:
18:35:10

Comments

With ref to Claire Bannister's comment above, the State is owned by TSP Properties Ltd whose registered office is at Waltham Forest Business Centre. I have a copy of the Companies House register information. The two company directors are a Terence Phillips and Michael Colley. Please feel free to email me for further details - peter@hws.org.uk


Name:
Christine Roberts
Date:
06 Feb 2008
Time:
20:32:24

Comments

Saw my first ever film at the state in the sixties and was so surprised to hear that it still existed as I have now moved out of the area! Fantastic pictures, brings back lots of memories of my childhood and teenage years, how can it be possible to destroy such a fantastic building? Good luck with the petition.


Name:
Shirley O'Donnell
Date:
06 Feb 2008
Time:
22:53:19

Comments

I was a "WAR" baby, and a follower of the skiffle and jazz groups (60's). Am I right in remembering that they had Sunday evening concerts there or am I having a senior moment! There were a group of us from Barking & Dagenham who travelled to Grays to see shows. The same groups performed at the Odeon in Barking Essex. If I am wrong, I wish you all well in your efforts to save the cinema. It seems these days, if it's old tear it down. I am in Florida and we are now working in reverse, we don't have a lot of "OLD" but we are preserving what we have. Good luck,


Name:
Martyn Bannister
Date:
07 Feb 2008
Time:
12:25:26

Comments

The STATE and the RITZ were our two main entertainment centres as children when we trekked up to Grays from Orsett where we lived in the 1960's. I remember many happy sundays spent trying to find understanding adults who could be coerced into taking us into the pictures when we were a little to young to get in by ourselves. The organ was still in use in those days and was played to entertain the audience before the main picture started. It was often pressed into use when the film broke too! I think it would be a shame to lose this fine example of Art Deco architecture and the loss of the organ itself would be a tragedy. Keep up the good work.


Name:
BBC Essex
Date:
07 Feb 2008
Time:
12:48:03

Comments

Hi there, I'm the south Essex reporter for BBC Essex. We had an email from a 'Ross' about this petition but there was no contact number. I'm interested in the comments posted here and the concerns about the future of the State Cinema. Could someone please give me a call on 01702 346 674. Thank you. Colleen.


Name:
Jo Lochrie
Date:
07 Feb 2008
Time:
22:12:30

Comments

I wish very good luck with your campaign. I was a regular user of the State cinema as a child and teenager. I always felt it was a very grand building, even as a child. It would be wonderful if it could be used as an entertainment venue and even occasional cinema. Keep up the good work. Joe


Name:
Miss Natalie Williams
Date:
08 Feb 2008
Time:
14:20:54

Comments

I am so pleased that someone has finally decided that the state can no longer be left to decay. im only 20 and so have no first hand experience of that state, but my parents and grandparents have and have told me how beautiful it was, I have also felt a mix of awe and sadness every time I walked past it. thurrock should also be proud of it, that both a popular and successful film (roger rabbit) was made there, and that it was used for the Godzilla theme song video. I fully support any efforts to save it. (I also and thrilled at the photos, vie never seen inside it before!)


Name:
Michael
Date:
08 Feb 2008
Time:
14:46:09

Comments

This place has GOT to be made into a music venue like Hammersmith Apollo. Not only does Essex need a massive venue like this to bring bands/celebs in, but the venue is opposite a train station!! (some london music venues are 10 mins walk from stations)


Name:
Alison
Date:
08 Feb 2008
Time:
14:59:18

Comments

I'd love to see this fab building reopened as I lived just across the road from it for most of my life.... its a shame such a beautiful building got closed. I say get it reopened and give the people of thurrock some where to go! other then wondering the streets committing crimes!!


Name:
Hannah Judd
Date:
08 Feb 2008
Time:
22:52:28

Comments

Hi, I think the website is fantastic. For as long as I can remember I have wanted to see inside the State. I myself am slightly to young to have been to the state myself but my boyfriend has and has spoke about what it was like. Now I have seen the pictures, it is even more impressive than I imagined. I walk past the state building a lot, and it says a lot about a town that has a wonderful building such as the state, that has left it to fall into disrepair. The State should definitely be reclaimed as a performance venue. Hannah


Name:
Lee
Date:
09 Feb 2008
Time:
15:48:13

Comments

Yes! How encouraging. We've all got the right ideas: Grays has decayed considerably and lamentably but it's never too late to revive hope. This building lies at the heart of the town and its restoration would revive also something of the community pride we all wish we could have. Near train stations and within walking/bus-ride distances for locals, the location, again, makes restoration a viable project. And as a venue for all kinds of entertainment, day and night, it has to be recognised as a brilliant opportunity - not just for a few blockbusters a week, but for entertainment on a 'city-scale'. If things happen, why not 'think big'? Perhaps when the 2012 money-splurging extravaganza that is the Olympics rolls in, towns like ours will see some of the benefits of cash injections and art council-type projects.


Name:
Linda
Date:
09 Feb 2008
Time:
17:13:58

Comments

Great site. It brings a lump to my throat to see such a lovely building in such a perilous state. I would dearly love to see the State used for entertainment purposes again and hope I get the chance to see its interior again. I pray that the money necessary to save this wonderful building is forthcoming. Linda


Name:
Date:
09 Feb 2008
Time:
19:51:18

Comments

I agree with the comments that the cinema should be considered as a live music venue. There is already a gym nearby. If the planned improvements to Grays are to go ahead ie with the building of a new university/learning campus and the addition of new coffee shops and bars then why not? Hammersmith Apollo, also a 1930's cinema with Compton organ and close to a train station, is now a successful venue in its own right. Surely we don't need more of the same daytime activities but somewhere close to enjoy a night out.


Name:
Alan Rickards
Date:
09 Feb 2008
Time:
20:30:25

Comments

I was born and bred in Grays in the 50s and 60s, eventually leaving the area for Cheshire in 1985. However, the State (along with the Ritz and the Regent) bring back some very fond memories. Too many examples of older architecture are being torn down in the name of progress and I am glad that a stand is being made against demolition of this superb example of it's type. All power to your elbow!


Name:
Mrs. E. Styles
Date:
09 Feb 2008
Time:
23:20:28

Comments

I can remember going to the State on numerous occasions. The building was beautiful. I remember going to see a film and the queue was almost down to the war memorial I finished up going home without seeing the film. The last film I did see was with my two eldest children when Slade in Flame was shown there. I hope that the cinema will be saved and that either opened again as a Cinema or have a Theatre Group with plays or both. Keep this place open for future generations.


Name:
Pieter Hildebrand
Date:
10 Feb 2008
Time:
13:00:31

Comments

Our family only arrived in Grays in 2005 and the State theatre/cinema was the first thing that impressed me. I will not forget the first time driving past and even though i was trying to navigate the one way traffic system etc. I could not take my eye's of this magnificent building. Untill today i still stretch my neck when i drive past and imagine it open and in full swing. I have since tried very hard to get involved or even just to see the inside but everywhere i ran into closed door's. I wish to be involved in this.. If i could be of any help please contact me and i will be there. Best wishes. Pieter.


Name:
Stephen Edgeway
Date:
10 Feb 2008
Time:
15:17:40

Comments

I regually went to the State cinema as a child and although saw many a film (Doulble features in those days)I was always intrigued by the bright beam of light that came from the back of the theatre. In 1964 I saw a job advertised in the Thurrock Gazette for a trainee projectionist, I got the job at £4.19.6d a week. Although I was only 14 at the time and I did not leave school until I was 15. I went there every evening and weekends so by the time I was 15 I was able to run a show. I was there from 1964-1968 when I left I was second projectionist. The State Cinema (Theatre)could easily house a West End show, Concerts and more. Its is a fantastic place with so many fond memories for me. I commend you for the work you are doing.


Name:
AM
Date:
10 Feb 2008
Time:
16:18:24

Comments

I was in Tunbridge Wells the other week and was ate in an old early 1900s opera house / 1930's cinema that had been converted into a Weatherspoons pub. Interestingly, the old interior seemed all intact, including the lighting rigs above the stage and all the balcony seating. Some tables had been placed in the orchestra pit and a bar was situated on the old stage. The building is also still fully functional at it's intended purpose and hosted several performances last year. I wonder if such a chain would be interested in carrying out a similar job with the State


Name:
AM
Date:
10 Feb 2008
Time:
16:19:32

Comments

Regarding my last comment, please see the following link: http://www.jdwetherspoon.co.uk/pub/theoperahouse


Name:
Peter Hammond
Date:
10 Feb 2008
Time:
16:32:24

Comments

RE Wetherspoons etc. I think that ought to be a last resort but I guess it's better than turning the place into a health club or gym, or letting it rot further. The primary consideration by the owners and the council/DC should be for the State to be used as a place of entertainment. I'm sure it's needed in the area as such. Peter


Name:
Manny Motashaw
Date:
10 Feb 2008
Time:
21:59:44

Comments

Perhaps you may like to talk to Alan Gosling of hte Purfleet Heritage Trust which is an organization in Purfleet that has resuced the Purfleet Garrison and runs it very successfully as a museum. They may be able/willing to help achieve a similar result with the State.


Name:
clare
Date:
11 Feb 2008
Time:
10:36:46

Comments

I have lived in Grays for about 4 years and have always loved The State and have been curious about it. Thanks for posting pics of the interior. I would love to see it reopen as a cinema for less mainstream films or as an artistic venue. I can't believe it was bought for £550 000! I think it would be grossly inappropriate for it to be turned into a gym or trendy apartments. If I had known that was the purchase price I might have put my name in for it. It is a unique Essex land mark that should be restored, preserved, and above all, PROMOTED.


Name:
Mike Collins
Date:
11 Feb 2008
Time:
12:29:03

Comments

In relation to the proposed redevelopment of the State cinema: This is a historic building that ought to be preserved and brought back into use for the good of the community as an entertainment venue. As a prime example of one of the few remaining cinema theatres that has not been 'butchered' by conversion in multiple smaller units, the Thames Gateway Development Corporation and Thurrock council now has a wonderful opportunity to restore the State to its former glory to provide a 'jewel in the crown' for the new Grays town centre. Such a move would undoubtedly garner interest and support not only from the local community but also from the wider community in the Greater London area and Nationally.


Name:
debbie owen
Date:
11 Feb 2008
Time:
14:00:34

Comments

having lived in grays all my life, i remember going to the state from when i was a little girl up till i was a teenager. it was a lovely building, i remember the staircase, it always seemed so beautiful and the red velvety settees up the top. it would be so nice if it could be restored to it's once former glory.


Name:
Greg White
Date:
11 Feb 2008
Time:
15:30:04

Comments

I remember going to the State Theatre many years ago on 're-opening night' around 20 years ago when Roger Rabbit was released. As a child, going to such a large venue was an amazing feeling (being used to the 700 seater Canon at Basildon). As a local musician, I think it would be a great shame to see this beautiful example of the 1930s taken away from its original purpose and turned into something horrible like a gym or suite of over-priced flats. If we look at other similar theatres/cinemas, many have been pulled down, turned into bingo halls (the Ritz, for example) or turned into Pubs (e.g. The Playhouse in Colchester). It would be great to see the State turned back into a working concern, and I am sure that there are many in Thurrock and the surrounding area that would give their time and support to see the State re-open again.


Name:
Jacky Osborne
Date:
11 Feb 2008
Time:
22:06:11

Comments

I'm all for restoring the State and making it a cultural/entertainment venue open to all of the public. We don't need another gym.....dominoes closed not too long ago..we have Impulse Leisure buildings (3 of them, Ballantynes and of course Palmers. Why more resedential in the town centre....as far as I'm aware queensgate is still pretty empty. The state has so much potential for everyone, its my dream to win the lottery and do wonderful things with it!! Nostalgia film or music nights, tea dances in the afternoons, more contemporary stuff in the evenings...cocktails; ice cream parlours...the potential is endless. Mr. hammond has my vote.


Name:
Kate, Yorkshire
Date:
12 Feb 2008
Time:
09:15:14

Comments

Good luck with this, we're trying to save the facade of the old National Picture Thetre in Hull which was destroyed during a showing of 'The Great Dictator' in 1941 by a parachute mine. Cinemas are such a vital part of out social heritage which have disappeared so quickly over the last few years. Good luck.


Name:
Alan
Date:
12 Feb 2008
Time:
09:48:47

Comments

Sadly I arrived in the Grays area far too late to see this incredible building in use. There's hardly ever a time when my wife & I dont peep through the doors to catch a glimmer of this impressive glipse of the past. I would definatly love to see this put back into use and wholehearletly support any initiative to get it back as an entertainment venue. Being an expert in Audio visual I would also welcome a volunteer scheme to assist in the running of the venue to which I would immediatly sign up.


Name:
FAY
Date:
12 Feb 2008
Time:
20:40:23

Comments

I'M TOO YOUNG TO REMEMBER THE STATE AS IT WAS BUT WHEN I WENT ON A SORT OF THEATRICAL TOUR AROUND THE STATE I WAS SO AMAZED AT THE INERIOR, AND THE ACTORS LOCATED AROUND THE BUILDING REALLY MADE ME FEEL LIKE I WAS TAKEN BACK IN TIME FOLLOWED BY A FILM IN THE AUTORIUM. I WOULD GIVE MY DAYS OFF UP TO CLEAN UP THE STATE, AS WOULD THE REST OF MY FAMILY!!! KEEP UP THE HARD WORK I'M WITH YOU ALL THE WAY!!!


Name:
John
Date:
13 Feb 2008
Time:
22:26:34

Comments

It's just one more sign of the times. If it isn't financially viable then it doesn't have a use. Thurrock Council doesn't appear to have a social interest in anything in Grays except it's magnificent "Council Offices". Thanks for making us all realise that a great chunk of social history is about to be lost for ever and is worth fighting for. Keep fighting!


Name:
Nick Howell
Date:
14 Feb 2008
Time:
10:05:54

Comments

Great to see someone taking the intitive and trying to sort out the future of this histroic building. I remember it fondly as a child. Personally I find it completley shocking and embarrasing that the council has not managed to secure the future of this building for so long. I guess as ever, it takes someone to stand up and shake things around, good luck! Nick Howell.


Name:
Mark Jones
Date:
14 Feb 2008
Time:
10:14:02

Comments

The facilities in the State could be easily used to benefit all of Grays. A family friendly restaurant,subsidised movies for teenagers,shows transferred from the Civic Centre (which could then be converted to more sporting/leisure facilities),etc. It only needs a little joined up thinking to incorporate this historic building into the plans to refurbish Grays Town Centre.


Name:
Hayley Chaplin
Date:
14 Feb 2008
Time:
13:46:15

Comments

Congratulations for standing up and fighting for what is a very impressive building. I have lived in Tilbury which is only a few minutes away from Grays all my life and remember when I was little my father taking myself and my sister to see Robin Hood. I now work across the road from the State in a solicitors. We can see the building from our offices. One episode of "Jericho" was filmed in the State and I was lucky enough to be speaking to one of the First Aid people when I was asked if I would like to go inside and have a look round to see how much it had changed (if any) since my childhood. I was to be very honest quite surprised at the water damage and would look forward to seeing it restored in order that I may then take my children to enjoy the experience. I will certainly keep watching your site. Hayley


Name:
Debra Nicholson
Date:
14 Feb 2008
Time:
16:29:17

Comments

During the 1970's and 80's I used to go to the State and the Ritz with my friends at least once or twice a week. I remember queuing at the tiny box office. I went on my first date to the State and my then boyfriend paid to go upstairs to the 'best seats'. The stairs were wide and I loved the art deco feel of the building, although I couldnt really articulate it at the time. It should be restored to its former glory.


Name:
Glen Ellis
Date:
14 Feb 2008
Time:
19:24:06

Comments

I used to go to the state as a child and teenager and just before it closed I took my girlfriend (now wife). Then when it reopened in the late eighties you could see a film for one pound. This was to compete with the new multiplex at the lakeside retail park. Then if memory serves me correctly it closed again because the film distribution companies would not supply new films unless part of a package of films which was too expensive and forced the closure. I would love to see the cinema open again, for shows plays pantomimes etc . Let’s not let this wonderful asset go to waste. Let’s build the town up around this right down to the river, let’s have a landing stage for boat trips and perhaps commuting to London. How many other towns would love to have a building like this and a river frontage? Nothing wrong with wetherspoons, though I think this would be a bit to big for them, They could perhaps make use of the old post office.

 


Name:
Philip Reed
Date:
14 Feb 2008
Time:
20:47:48

Comments

It would be great to see the State Cinema come alive as a live music venue, I remember being a regular visitor to the cinema in the early eighties and enjoyed the building as much as the movies. I especially remember the night the cinema reopened with the film Back to the Future, it was the largest single cinema audience the UK had seen in decades. Imagine 2,200 people watching the compton organ raise from below the stage, it felt more like 1940's than 1980's. Good luck with your project.


Name:
Lisa Pennycook
Date:
14 Feb 2008
Time:
22:59:04

Comments

I often went to the pictures at the State, we used to feel really special as it felt so grand and royal. It was like a whole day out as you got more than one film in those days. I also went to my first, of many, concerts there to see David Essex, what a wonderful experience, it would be great to see it used in this way again, I'm sure todays youngsters (my own included) would love it. I felt really sad when I saw the photo's of what it looks like inside now, such a shame. Come on everyone, lets give Thurrock something to be proud of, get the State back to its rightful splendour.


Name:
Sylvia Tripp
Date:
15 Feb 2008
Time:
11:54:08

Comments

My daughter forwarded your email to me regarding the latest on the State Cinema. I hasten to add, that I do not tune into Essex radio, therefore I didn't hear the latest bulletin on this wonderful landmark, the State Cinema, where I spent many a great evening watching films and sometimes flirting in the back row (as did many of us, way back in the 60's). Many years later, I married and had a daughter who later became a budding young musician and played the electronic organ beautifully. My husband and I took Dawn along to the State Cinema and she actually played the Compton Organ but found it more challenging, given that she was only ten years old and didn't have the power in her leg muscles to push the powerful foot pedals that generate the sound to the pipes. However, the enormous keyboard was second nature to Dawn and we marvelled at the way in which she handled this huge piece of equipment which was unfamiliar to her. I would dearly love to see the State Cinema re open it's doors to the public, in it's former glory, but do you think the public would be supportive, given that many prefer to hire a DVD? Such happy memories and your Website has provided snapshots of other things too from behind the scenes. Most of the public have never had a chance to see the camera's that portrayed the films. Just a suggestion: What about having an 'Open Day' to give the Thurrock people a chance to go back inside this monumental building. This would undoubtably rekindle thoughts of long ago and quite possibly people might want to add their names to your petition. Also, have you thought of putting those snapshots in the Thurrock Gazette? Like I mentioned earlier, some of us don't tune into Essex Radio. Regards Sylvia

Reply

Hi Sylvia,

Unfortunately you are right, the State would almost definitely fail if reopened just as a cinema due to stiff competition from multiplex venues. We are proposing that the building be used as an entertainment venue similar to the Cliffs Pavilion. The Cliffs attracts some big name comedy and music acts and we believe the State could also. Additionally the State could show classic films either during the day or in between show nights.

I would love to get the building opened to the public for a day but unfortunately we do not own the building and the current owners seem reluctant to let anyone in.

There is due to be a piece about the State in the Thurrock Gazette shortly.


Name:
marie
Date:
15 Feb 2008
Time:
15:06:40

Comments

congratulations on your efforts to save the state , unfortunatly i only visited the state when it was reopened as charlstons wine bar i think that using the state as a venue like the cliffs pavillion is a fantastic idea what a wonderfull way to experiance modern day music and theatre in such amazing surroundings and to bring back some pride in to the area, to let it go to waste for any longer would be a crime .


Name:
Steve Pavitt
Date:
15 Feb 2008
Time:
15:42:29

Comments

Great site-keep up the good work, thanks for the comments on my site "Bygone Grays Thurrock". Have put a link from mine onto yours. Have subscribed to your newsletter.


Name:
Mark Johnston
Date:
15 Feb 2008
Time:
23:19:12

Comments

I have lived in the grays area all my life and as a child attended many film shows and even a school talent show at the state,I remember David Essex appearing there in the 70's and the whole area being packed with screaming schoolgirls,although there was a choice of cinemas between the state and the Ritz (now the Bingo Hall in Quarry Hill) the state remained a firm favorite,It is particularly sad that a building full of happy memories for me,and indeed a building full of the happy memories of thousands of children being allowed to fall into disuse.With the plans for the re-generation of Grays this would be an Ideal venue for concerts,plays,comedy club in fact a whole centre of entertainment for the area,I will be happy to lend my support to any campaign which fights to preserve the future of this fantastic building for the use for which it was intended,entertainment of the public of Grays!


Name:
Mark Johnston
Date:
15 Feb 2008
Time:
23:19:19

Comments

I have lived in the grays area all my life and as a child attended many film shows and even a school talent show at the state,I remember David Essex appearing there in the 70's and the whole area being packed with screaming schoolgirls,although there was a choice of cinemas between the state and the Ritz (now the Bingo Hall in Quarry Hill) the state remained a firm favorite,It is particularly sad that a building full of happy memories for me,and indeed a building full of the happy memories of thousands of children being allowed to fall into disuse.With the plans for the re-generation of Grays this would be an Ideal venue for concerts,plays,comedy club in fact a whole centre of entertainment for the area,I will be happy to lend my support to any campaign which fights to preserve the future of this fantastic building for the use for which it was intended,entertainment of the public of Grays!


Name:
Samm Taylor
Date:
16 Feb 2008
Time:
00:14:58

Comments

I am saddened to see such a beautiful art deco building sitting there empty and unloved,why can we not have her restored to her former glory and reopened to the public? i do hope one day to set foot inside that door again as i am passionate about this building and my generation would appreciate it surely as much as me. Miss samm taylor of grays aged 36.


Name:
Scott
Date:
16 Feb 2008
Time:
01:05:22

Comments

Hi i lived in grays since 1986 and havn't even set foot in it.Either it was closed down or turned in to the wine bar. Hey wouldn't it be great if you could of got bob hoskins on board as he was in the film that was made in there.


Name:
Lynne Tyrrell
Date:
16 Feb 2008
Time:
10:26:40

Comments

I have very fond memories of the state as a child. The foyer and big grand stairs - even the steps up to the cloak rooms/toilets upstairs. It always seemd so special. I loved to sit in the rear circle or fromt row og the front circle for the best of views - and to view the stalls below. Or sit in the stalls on a Saturday morning with what seemed half the youngest of the area! Most certainly it should be restored and used for what it was built for - cinema and entertainment.


Name:
Janet Thurnell
Date:
16 Feb 2008
Time:
22:58:57

Comments

I remember when I was little (I was born in 1940) how excited I always was to go to the State Cinema,even having to wait outside sometimes with my parents until the gentleman in the lovely red uniform would come out and call 3 at 1 and sixpence etc. I now, of course, enjoy the smoke free atmosphere that abounds but what joy a visit to this lovely lovely building was...so many memories......lets hope it is saved from the 'lets pull it down' brigade. Long may it 'live'


Name:
chris bass
Date:
17 Feb 2008
Time:
15:16:50

Comments

great work ! long live the state hurrah. about time something was done about the state cinema, it would be great to have it open again, i used to go there every saturday morning for the matinea when i was a kid, such a great atmosphere. what gets me is why use the thameside theatre for all the shows in grays when you have the state cinema that also converts to a stage with that magnificent organ ? cant it be opened back up and used for this ? be the new cliffs pavillion ! come on grays look at the posssibilities ! we cant lose such a wonderful building to health spa's and flats. i would sign this petition ten times over if it means saving this wonderful building, keep up the good work. chris


Name:
Date:
18 Feb 2008
Time:
01:08:25

Comments


Name:
laura thompson
Date:
18 Feb 2008
Time:
11:00:50

Comments

i couldn't belive it when i read the paper this week. i love the state cinema and i really really wanna go inside. its good to know there are other people to. i even wrote a letter and put it frow the door. but sadly nothing happened. i think its lovely. its got so much class. its a piece of history. it needs some love.


Name:
Stephen Edgeway
Date:
18 Feb 2008
Time:
13:30:08

Comments

Further to my previous comments regarding my time as a projectionist at the State Cinema. I have just looked at your photos of it's current condition. I was shocked to see what has happend to it with regards to the ceiling and the mould on the seats. Perhaps we could (if there were enough of us) hold a demonstration outside the State Cinema. We need as much publicity as we can get in order to get something done.It looks by the photos that time is not on our side. If I can be of any help please let me know. Regards Steve.


Name:
Stephen Edgeway
Date:
18 Feb 2008
Time:
13:30:16

Comments

Further to my previous comments regarding my time as a projectionist at the State Cinema. I have just looked at your photos of it's current condition. I was shocked to see what has happend to it with regards to the ceiling and the mould on the seats. Perhaps we could (if there were enough of us) hold a demonstration outside the State Cinema. We need as much publicity as we can get in order to get something done.It looks by the photos that time is not on our side. If I can be of any help please let me know. Regards Steve.


Name:
ross wilson
Date:
18 Feb 2008
Time:
17:51:37

Comments

i have used the state cinema many times watching films in my teens and watching talents shows. it would be good to see it open and running again even if it showed older films. i saw for the first in time in ages last weekend and my kids asked me what the old building is i explain to them what it was and it would be nice to get everyone together and buy it as a public purchase i bet alot of people would put the cash in and it would bring in alot of heads together to bring it back to life, they say 2 heads are better than 1. All the best ross


Name:
Jason Mcquade
Date:
18 Feb 2008
Time:
20:37:59

Comments

I can only really say i hope the state does get the future it deserves. One really has to question the local councals policys on this one, Could it be fear of competiton for the thameside thearter or yet another morrisons inspired con job for the hole of grays once again!


Name:
Peter Valentine.
Date:
18 Feb 2008
Time:
20:44:22

Comments

I worked in the State Cinema.Grays.. This historic building must be restored to it's former glory and used again as an entertainment venue for everyone to visit and enjoy. This unique cinema must be preserved as an historic landmark for future generations. Thurrock Council must take notice of what the general public want, this is our history, the building and it's art-deco interior must be saved.


Name:
Claire Sylaj
Date:
19 Feb 2008
Time:
09:02:13

Comments

This cinema needs to be saved as it is a wonderful example of social history. It doesn't have be a museum piece but a functioning cinema; i do believe there is an example of this in London? It then can be marketed as a night out for "grown ups" who don't want to sit with teenagers throwing popcorn! An example of this is the Croydon Clock Tower cinema. Good luck.


Name:
John Brighton
Date:
19 Feb 2008
Time:
09:45:40

Comments

This building is part of the towns and the nations social history and should be not be vandalised by being turned into a health/gym club.It should be returned to its original use and enjoyed by not only the ratepayers of Grays but the nation as a whole.So much of our history is being lost to "quick buck "operators its time it was stopped.


Name:
Lynn Oxland
Date:
19 Feb 2008
Time:
10:14:36

Comments

Remember seeing Herbie films in this wonderful cinema as well as Grease. Time we saved this wonderful place and reopened it. Local dance and drama groups, chools etc should be offered it for putting on shows etc at a price they can afford.


Name:
Kev
Date:
19 Feb 2008
Time:
13:05:58

Comments

as a relative newbie to the area I never had the good fortune to actualy step inside the building but from what I have since found out it should be reinstated as a Cinema/concert hall for the local people. Keep up the good work


Name:
sarah
Date:
19 Feb 2008
Time:
13:38:52

Comments

Its good to see an effort made to save a landmark of which people have grown up around and has a lot of history. me myself have never been inside the building, as im too young to have ever seen it open properly, but have always wandered and hoped that one day it will re open, i hope all this effort makes a difference and tht cancel stand up and listen, but i would be so disappointed to see it knocked down just to fill some greedy mans pockets with money!


Name:
Christine Peyton
Date:
19 Feb 2008
Time:
15:45:09

Comments

I used to love going here when I was a kid. I remember watching 'Back to the Future' here and 'An American Tail' I think it is so important to save buildings like this, something to remind us of, of what use to be. Memories are so important to have. I now live in the United States and have to say I don't miss Grays too much - except for family and friends and the good old State Cinema!


Name:
vanessa
Date:
19 Feb 2008
Time:
16:11:59

Comments

I never got a chance to see the State cinema for my self as others have but its one of my wishes in life. You see i'm 14 years old and ever sice i was about 11/12 The State Cinema has inspired me. Its such a beautiful building and has so much pertential. It gets me down to think that one of the good things in Grays has been deserted and just left there to grot!!


Name:
John Locke
Date:
19 Feb 2008
Time:
16:13:18

Comments

Well folks, I was directed to this website through the period re-enactors slaving away behind the scenes, organising their own efforts to save this magnificent piece of modern historical architecture. Please take heart, that this has already been truly achieved in my home town of Berkhamsted, in the neighbouring Western county to you folks in Essex. Out cinema was called the Rex, but it was saved through some rather ingenious design activity. Its original foyer area & dining area, have become a trendy period piano bar club. The front part was added to with modern apartments & the original cinema itself, can be used for those interested in the period genre setting (its made some income from being used as a film location set). The prospects may well seem dark for those involved with the campaign now. However, there WILL be light at the end of the tunnel. When the arm twisting & public opinion have influenced the powers that be to act accordingly. Keep pushing hard folks, the mountainous obstruction can be shifted with effort. All the best. John Locke.


Name:
Paula Davey
Date:
19 Feb 2008
Time:
20:30:34

Comments

Wow, talk about stepping back in time. What a great informative site that has created an interest and talking point for my family. I have sat here with my 9 year old Daughter showing her where I've sat in the cinema and talking about my visits to the State. After looking at the pics she said herself that it should be saved so she can go there. Good LUCK, you have my whole family's support!


Name:
Marion Davies
Date:
20 Feb 2008
Time:
10:48:39

Comments

I would really like to see the State returned to either a cinema or a music venue (what a great place to have a concert especially with two colleges in the area). But I am afraid that if it is going to sit there and be a blank canvas for vandals, it will become an eyesore in Grays town centre and I do really feel it should go.


Name:
Jackie O'Kane
Date:
20 Feb 2008
Time:
11:02:32

Comments

What a great website! - Lived in Grays until going to university, spent many evenings watching films there and even won the State/ Thurrock Gazette Talent Contest there in the 80's. Would love to see it as a theatre/ music venue. I live in Leigh now and have seen the Cliffs and Palace theatre go from strength to strength - Thurrock Council are fools to be letting this venue slip through their fingers - grab some lottery funding/ private backing and turn this fantastic old lady into a venue that young and old can enjoy. Let's face it, Grays needs it and the Civic Hall/ Thameside sadly just don't have that wow factor!! Good luck with your site!!


Name:
David Stanley
Date:
20 Feb 2008
Time:
13:49:09

Comments

What a fantastic website! I am a local musician, composer and organist from Southend. I am also an Assistant Head Teacher of a local secondary school. I also appeared as the Music Teacher in That'll Teach Em on Channel 4 television. If I can help in any way with your cause please let me know. I would love to play the organ as I am a huge fan of theatre organs, having played at Blackpool and previously helped to save the Hadleigh Kingsway Compton that I believe is the sister organ to the State. I wish you all the best with your amazing efforts. Regards David Stanley dstanley@eastwood.southend.sch.uk


Name:
Nick Craske
Date:
20 Feb 2008
Time:
14:54:52

Comments

We used to have a nice cinema in Eltham from about the same time so dont want to see another one go. Very good luck with the campaign. In solidarity Nick.


Name:
Brenda Breslin
Date:
20 Feb 2008
Time:
16:58:01

Comments

It's a disgrace that this building has been left to deteriorate for so long. With all the up and coming plans for the area it would make sense to use some of the money to restore it. I think the decor should be as original as possible and old photos should be used for accuracy. When the restoration is complete the old photos could be a feature inside to show people the State then and now. The facade needs brightening up however and lots of coloured lighting might do that. I'm thinking of the theatres in the west end. With the planned improvements for Grays stretching down to the riverfront this building could be made a really beautiful art deco feature of the area.


Name:
Jacqui
Date:
20 Feb 2008
Time:
20:02:02

Comments

Fantastic website but saddened to see the true state of the building, have there been any costs indicated for the essential repair to at least make it safe & water tight? Would love to walk round the old place again - is there any chance of guided tours, this could help finance the repair work in some way?? I think the idea of a public ownership would be fantastic or even a public involvement to undertake the clear up & repair work. Have added you to my favourites & am checking in on a regular basis for any updates. Keep passing on the message to all friends & colleagues!!


Name:
sharron peel
Date:
20 Feb 2008
Time:
22:28:36

Comments

I have fond memories of the state.In 1980 as a young girl, I started dating my first husband, we would go to the state every sunday night - the night the films changed for the week. we would queue outside in all weathers to see the latest blockbusters.....not like the 'plastic' cinemas these days, the state was an event.


Name:
Richard Scruby
Date:
21 Feb 2008
Time:
09:49:48

Comments

I remember going to the State and seeing the Organ rising up. At the time I did not realize what a wonderful instrument it was only it looked very good. I don't know what it would cost to refurbish the State or if a study has been made. I am sure if someone could put a deal together and offer it to Essex people to invest say a £1000 each not as an investment but an interest to preserve a historic building and perhaps get a return on their money later but not important if they don't, I think 5000 people out of the whole of Essex could do this. I would imagine big stars would love to appear at such a nostalgic building and run properly I sure some would appear for very little money. Just a little thought. I would pay the money if a chance arrives. Good luck in your efforts and thanks for trying to save a lovely building.


Name:
mark
Date:
21 Feb 2008
Time:
10:32:26

Comments

well done on bringing the state back to life in pictures at least. whilst looking through the site it brought back some great memories. As a child i have been fortunate to see the organ playing and later on in the years i remember queues going round the building for movies. Nightmare on elm street was fantastic on the big screen and sadly the final film a see there was dirty dancing before the UCI came to town.I also remember going to the nightclub charlestons which was short lived but full with people every weekend. Its terrible and a great shame this place has fallen into such a state.....


Name:
mark hurrell
Date:
21 Feb 2008
Time:
12:43:18

Comments

Please thurrock Council make all the residents proud & feel like you really are a council for the people of Thurrock, like you quite often say you are. Lets, just for once, have some living proof of that & (although it may not make you thousands of ££££'s) buy it back & look after a real gem & a piece of history for this borough. People always make bad downtrodden comments about Thurrock. You have a real 'Once In A Lifetime' chance to do something about this...please please dont let this marvellous building with all its great history & fond happy memories for those youngish (im 38) & old just fall to the waste side & rot!


Name:
joanne
Date:
21 Feb 2008
Time:
12:47:13

Comments

i remember going to see star wars back in the 70's with my my mum it was my first time at a cinema i am now a mother and would love my son to see where mummy used to go see movies it was also where i had my first date. this building should be saved so that future generations can enjoy it as i did it is a very retro place inside which is very popular and i would love to see the state in its former glory once again


Name:
Phil
Date:
21 Feb 2008
Time:
13:47:02

Comments

Hi...I'm really pleased someone is trying to save this brilliant building, i myself was an actor for many years and actually appeared in the jamiroquai video filmed there, it's a great location....lets hope its saved


Name:
Rebecca Ramos
Date:
21 Feb 2008
Time:
17:13:57

Comments

I am very much in favour to re-instate the State Cinema in Grays into its former glory. I hope the lottery fund will assist. I also hope that Thurrock Council do not approve permit for it to become something else ie more flats. I would like to see movies and live shows instead of going to Lakeside or Bluewater. There are so many aspects that the State Cinema in Grays could be viable. It does not have to be restored to its full capacity seat of 2,200 to compromise as long as the original art deco is retained. I will not be surprised if there is going to be arson FIRE I foresee like what happened to the listed building Rising Sun Pub that became The British Legion in the High Street corner West St by the vicarage.


Name:
Sarah Reynolds
Date:
21 Feb 2008
Time:
18:21:42

Comments

I was taken by my mother to see Herbie goes bananans and the Fox and the hound at the state when I was a young child, I remember the large staircase looking so big and splendid to me and the piano would magically disapear just before the film started, to a child it was amazing, I remember going a few times as a young teenager, and again I remember going inside the state when I was older when it was opened as a bar/club for a short while.I have always lived in Thurrock as did my parents and grand parents and love to listern to the stories of old grays in all its glory, I hope my children enjoy the stories I now share with them. I know my 5 year old son is fasinated with the State building and spends along time trying to look inside through the blacked out windows, you can just about make out the old staircase, it is just a shame my children have only Lakeside to go too, as Grays has become run down and a place you wouldnt want to be in after dark unless you can help it, the pubs are rough there is no resturants, bars or any reason for anyone to visit really other than to shop or pop to the bank! I really do belive that Grays could be great again and i belive the State could be the start I do belive it has had its day as a cinema though but a live music venue would be perfect!


Name:
Sue Higgs
Date:
21 Feb 2008
Time:
21:18:06

Comments

Each time I walk past the State, it distresses me to see the condition the building is in, having seen the internal condition of the building on the website, it distresses me even more. The beautiful Art Deco interier will be lost or ever if something isn't done to save it soon.


Name:
Date:
21 Feb 2008
Time:
21:21:39

Comments

This is the sort of project lottery fund money should be going to. Also the council should be contributing ideas,money and labour to restore this historic venue that quite clearly holds many fond memories to the residents of thurrock. maybe multi sreen complexes have killed the state as a cinema but as a venue for music events and shows like cliffs pavillion hold seems exactly what is needed to kick start the regeneration of grays. but no doubt it will end up as a block of flats and our council tax will be put to a better use with a few more mini roundabouts and speed bumps added to the growing collection in thurrock


Name:
Laura
Date:
21 Feb 2008
Time:
22:34:19

Comments

I wonder if any Thurrock celebrities might want to to high-light this worthwhile cause? Russell Brand & Joe Pasquale are well known to be from this area & must know the State Cinema very well. Also there is Denise Van Outen (had connections to Jay Kay & Jamiroquai), Michelle Collins, Alison Moyet & many of the Grange Hill cast to name but a few!


Name:
Audrey Richards
Date:
21 Feb 2008
Time:
22:56:19

Comments

The State must be saved it is one of the few old remaining buildings we have left in Thurrock. Our lovely Grays Library. Palmers Boys School all gone next St Chads School will be gone. Its a disgrace GODD LUCK IN YOUR CAMPAIGN.


Name:
Julie Hinz
Date:
22 Feb 2008
Time:
09:54:34

Comments

I think the state should remain as a theatre. It could host a variety of shows, live performances, plays, etc., and become a sought after venue in the right hands.


Name:
Dave Edwards
Date:
22 Feb 2008
Time:
12:21:12

Comments

Why doesn't the council get involved and submit a plan for redevelopment as a flagship theatre for Essex and use the Thameside for something else. We are getting the Royal Ballet at Purfleet from private investment so why not upgrade the State Cinema


Name:
Steven
Date:
22 Feb 2008
Time:
14:02:00

Comments

I say clean it up in there make it all nice and for a grand opening have Lee Evans preform! That would be good


Name:
Sue Drury
Date:
22 Feb 2008
Time:
14:54:38

Comments

I can remember going to the pictures every Sunday and I think it was really cheap aswell - only £1 each! I have very fond memories and wish it was open again!


Name:
janice sear
Date:
22 Feb 2008
Time:
15:44:36

Comments

I remember going to St George's Day parades/services in & around the State with Thurrock Scouts and Guides. I never was lucky enough to watch films there, but wish I had done and still had the chance now instead of walking over to the Retail Park at Lakeside. Good Luck with this


Name:
Matt Goldsmith
Date:
22 Feb 2008
Time:
16:26:18

Comments

It's about time too!! The state is a big part of Grays and Thurrocks history. My friends and I would always meet up there at least once a week to watch the films as kids. And i would gladly give some of my time to help restore it back to it's former glory!! And i'm sure i'm not the only one.


Name:
caz
Date:
22 Feb 2008
Time:
16:41:24

Comments

Why doesn't someone involve some celebrities in the mix. Russell Brand is a Grays boy and I bet he would help with the cause and what about Mcfly (Corringham), Phil Jupitas and Denise Van Outen (Corringham). We need serious help here! We cannot allow the council to take away our heritage and wonderful venue for live gigs, shows, comedy acts, you name it!


Name:
Michael
Date:
22 Feb 2008
Time:
17:35:04

Comments

I have always understood that any owner of a listed building has a legal duty to maintain it in good order. If this or similar is the case then such a duty is enforcable. If the council are not willing to take such action the a civil action might be brought against the owners and possible the council for failing in the duty. This would or course require someone with experiance in these maters to action. I hope this helps. Such a venue is deffinately worth the fight.


Name:
Peter Hammond
Date:
22 Feb 2008
Time:
17:59:20

Comments

RE Celebrities: I have tried to contact Bob Hoskins and Russell Brand. As yet no reply but I'll keep trying. RE damage being caused and listed status: Today I contacted the council planning people who are responsible for listed building inspections and they told me an inspection is scheduled for next week. They also said that the owners have been told of their legal obligations and that after a previous inspection they were issued with a notice to repair the downpipes and the roof. The downpipes have been done but as far as I know the roof has not. Hopefully this new inspection will get some results. Peter


Name:
Damion
Date:
22 Feb 2008
Time:
19:11:29

Comments

Firstly, well done for taking the initiative by creating this website and starting this campaign. I have lived in this local area all my 34 years, I can remember as a child being taken to the cinema to see my first film, The Rescuers, I promptly fell asleep and missed it (being only 4 or 5), I used this cinema throughout my teenage years until it closed. This cinema needs to be saved, for too long has it been a haven for pigeons and a canvas for mindless graffiti. I pledge my support, and good luck.


Name:
Luan Selby
Date:
22 Feb 2008
Time:
19:50:13

Comments

I have very fond memories of childhood visits to the State. It was a regular weekly family outing if i'd been good. Tickets were £1 and a box of smarties was 50p!! I sat in the same seat as Roger Rabit.


Name:
Gerrard
Date:
22 Feb 2008
Time:
21:06:18

Comments

Excellent site well done. This cinema should be preserved and put back as a Venue. Why not ask for volunteers to do some repairs. I would be glad to donate some of my Time! I think some big Names would like to play at Grays. Jools Holland might like to get his hands on that keyboard for a fund raiser!


Name:
Jill Rainbow
Date:
22 Feb 2008
Time:
22:08:33

Comments

I remember going to the State every school holiday with my best friend to see the latest film out, some of the ones that I remember are Steptoe & Son, Steptoe & Son Ride again and Slade in Flame and The Railway Children but there were so many others. It was always an occasion, we were going to the pictures! I remember the queue being very long and having to line up for ages. There were uniformed doormen controlling the flow of people going into the cinema at one time and the ushers & usherettes also had uniforms. The inside always made an impression on me no matter how many times I had been there, right from the ticket hall to inside the auditorium, I always had to have a gaze around at the beautiful décor, it looked just like those glamorous 1920’s films with people like Fred Astaire. I could almost imagine him tap dancing his way across the stage. The Vue cinema just isn’t the same, it lacks the atmosphere and beauty, and I just can’t describe the way the State felt. It would be such a waste of yet another part of Thurrock’s history going down the pan if it is demolished or made into a gym, we do not need yet another gym or leisure centre or health club, what we need is a decent place to have a good night out. It has everything in it to offer, a theatre a restaurant a civilised bar not to mention the cinema facilities. All of those could be reopened and all under one stunning roof. Just think of the performances that could be put into production on that stage, it could easily match the Cliffs Pavilion in the kind of productions that could be put on there, special showings of rare or vintage films could be shown there, vintage as in 1920’s to almost present day. That fantastic organ could be restored, how many are left now? The décor is original and not a reproduction or cheap imitation, how many venues can boast that!! Wedding receptions, birthdays, corporate gatherings, the list is endless. The revenue that could be brought in to the area not to mention employment in both labouring to restore the place but running it when it is ready. If the council own it the profits could be put back into the area, it needs it! COME ON, SAVE THE STATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Name:
Date:
22 Feb 2008
Time:
22:10:34

Comments

Keep the State please.


Name:
Tony Snelling
Date:
23 Feb 2008
Time:
00:14:54

Comments

It's sad and absolutely disgusting to see the State has been allowed to decay over the years. A cinema which once stood proud in the centre of Grays has been left to slowly rot, and those responsible including Thurrock Council for allowing it to happen should be ashamed of themselves. I have happy memories of the cinema as a kid, seeing films like "Herbie", "Ghostbusters" and many others. The whole experience of seeing the latest release and also the atmosphere that the 1930's Art Deco interior gave when you went through and sat down was fantastic. It was like stepping back in time, and it felt great! The State should not be converted into anything else, but should be restored keeping it's original and beautiful 1930's style and used as a centre for entertainment. With its stage, and also its seating capacity, with the correct management and publicity it could really be a winner for Grays. Grays has lost too much already over the years, the State must not become another casualty.


Name:
matt
Date:
23 Feb 2008
Time:
00:26:19

Comments

joe your a star mate, so glad someone has made a stand to save her, i went many times as a kid, last time i went it was to see batman & im sure that was one of the last films shown there,tho could be wrong as i was only a kid. i have said for years how good it would be for live bands etc etc & of corse a film nite once a month & could have a nite club or bar in there to. i also agree with all the comments on here & what lisa said about all the roads, what kind of idots are running thurrock. what a waist of money, that all sould have gone to the state. how can this great place be left all these years to fall apart, thurrock council shame on you!!! please keep up the good work, we need to get bob hospkins on side, he fell in love with the place after he done roger rabit there. bob hospkins tryed to save the state after that. all the bast matt


Name:
Katherine
Date:
23 Feb 2008
Time:
02:17:02

Comments

It almost makes me angry to find out that i have never, and might never be able to see the state theatre, being only 17 years old. I would like to think that it could be somewhere i could take my children. The fact that someone wants to knock down what should be one of the nicest, and most treasured buildings in the country to build a gym on it's site really hilights what kind of world we live in now. I honestly can't see why they're even considering it. Will a healthspa really be as awesome and hold as many memories and good times as the state has?


Name:
ughi
Date:
23 Feb 2008
Time:
03:18:53

Comments

uyi


Name:
chris bass
Date:
23 Feb 2008
Time:
06:39:24

Comments

further to my recent comments..........i read in the thurrock gazette that the thames gateway are planning a royal opera house ! WHATS WRONG WITH THE STATE THEN ? can't this magnificent building be used for this come on its allready there, it must be cheaper to revieve the state than to build some ugly new building, i thought thurrock was about regenevation ! so what about regenevating the state, its an ideal venue and would bring grays town back from ghost town status. chris


Name:
Peter Hammond
Date:
23 Feb 2008
Time:
12:01:20

Comments

RE Opera house - Chris, I believe the Opera company are just creating a storage facility, maybe with rehearsal space, in Purfleet somewhere. I too thought along your lines and contacted them. They are not looking at putting on performances in the borough though.


Name:
Mick P
Date:
23 Feb 2008
Time:
12:38:09

Comments

only had memories of the inside until now,thanks to this site,i have many many happy memories of the state as a child 1965-72 ? remember amongst other films Bambi,Jungle Book,i also remember sometimes creaping through one of the side fire exits that were sometimes left open! but i didn`t miss the very long line of people waiting to get in Happy Days!I hope one day people will be allowed in to view for themselves i bet you would see that familiar que again i would be at the front!


Name:
v reynolds
Date:
23 Feb 2008
Time:
13:22:27

Comments

I have grow up with the state in my teens meet lots of boys on sunday night.Why not make it a centre the people of thurrock and the teens of today.We have noend of unused sport clubs.It could be a cinema/ swimming pool/ bowling /bar restaurant/live entertainment some were peple could meet have a venu do somthing that every body could use please


Name:
Roger Pope
Date:
23 Feb 2008
Time:
13:28:18

Comments

We need to give things for people do in the local area. We should not let a local building likes this be removed or changed into more houses. Give us our cinema and local venue back to the people of thurrock


Name:
Tracy Henderson
Date:
24 Feb 2008
Time:
00:30:23

Comments

I think this website is fantastic and i will definately be forwarding a link to everyones email. Lets fight for this building! I loved the internal photos which really brought back some memories. I believe i say E.T here though would have to check with my mum for sure but it was strange seeing the Charlestons photo as i did go there a few times in the early nighties! Hope the petition helps - though i was under the impression that online petitions dont count if addresses are not submitted - just a thought. Tracy


Name:
sue hurrell
Date:
24 Feb 2008
Time:
08:10:49

Comments

I feel disgusted that somecan can buy this & just leave it to go to 'rack & ruin'. My family & i have many happy memmories going to our local cinema as children, seeing the Organ being played & lowering just before the film started, is something many people still talk about now. Come on Thurrock Council buy it back & restore it to its former glory....maybe then you could ask for help from the Lottery.


Name:
Nicki
Date:
24 Feb 2008
Time:
09:08:56

Comments

HI, i have been thinking about the 'future' of the cinema and come up with some ideas, which would be good if they were taken into consideration re: the state! Due to the fact that the building has large stage and cinema, if it were made back to that, schools could put on large productions (revenue could be put back into the building) drama clubs could be held there and productions put on (keep the kids off the street!) a youth club maybe so that the kids have somewhere to go, drop in coffee mornings, make use of the building for the community, so that any money that is spent in there on productions, youth clubs etc... can be used towards the running costs of the building. I personally think this would make good use of the building, i remember when i was younger going to saturday cinema and loved it! maybe that could be run again? Although there is already a theatre in grays (Thameside) it would be able to bring more shows to grays, im sure people would want their taxes used in a regeneration project of this type, that the whole community could benefit from, rather than seeing such a wonderful looking building (although not necessarily on the outside!) to be used, rather than to be left to rot! I would be pleased if my suggestion could be put forward to the relevant committee for suggestion..... Thanks


Name:
Peter Hammond
Date:
24 Feb 2008
Time:
10:34:46

Comments

Nicki, your suggestions have already been mentioned in the reports I have written and meetings I've had. My concept is for the State to become a live music and comedy venue (which would return the highest revenue) for, say, three nights a week (weekends) but that early in the week in could be used for local bands, local theatre groups, other performances and suchlike. In addition if the front stall were made removable the auditorium could be used for exhibitions and even sports events on occasion. Film shows from time to time would also be possible of course. Further suggestions have included the use of spare offices equipped as media suites for media training courses and the stage area being used in daytimes (when it isn't required for setups) as a recording studio or video studio. This lot is in addition to the restaurant having internet access making it into a cybercafe and at least one of the bars open every day as a pub.


Name:
luisa lucchesi
Date:
24 Feb 2008
Time:
11:08:32

Comments

a great website!! I was fortunate to see some films at the State just before it closed. I am in my twenties now but would have loved a venue to go to the cinema or see bands or touring west end shows as i was growing up. The state has so much to offer Grays and I hope that it will return to its former glory and help transform our town for the better.


Name:
Michael
Date:
24 Feb 2008
Time:
16:26:52

Comments

Following on from my last comment; the legal position is as follows. There is no specific duty on owners to keep their buildings in a good state of repair (although it is clearly in their interests to do so), but the Local Authority does have powers to take action where an historic building has deteriorated to the extent that its preservation may be at risk. If the Local Authority feel that a building is at risk of being lost, there are a number of courses of action we can pursue. * Under section 54 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 the Local Authority may carry out urgent works for the preservation of the Listed Building after serving notice on the owner. The Authority may then recover from the owners the cost of these works carried out under these provisions, subject to the owners right to make representations to the Secretary of State. * Under section 48 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 the Local Authority may serve a repairs notice on the owner. This notice will specify the works which the Authority considers reasonably necessary for the proper preservation of the building. This is not restricted to urgent works. * If at least two months have elapsed following the service of the repairs notice, under section 47 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 the Local Authority can commence compulsory purchase order proceedings including the compulsory purchase of the Listed Building and any land felt to be needed for the purpose of access, amenity or management in connection with the building. The quetion now, therefore, is how to mobilise the local council to take it's responsibility seriously and do what we have elected them to do, 'look after our interests'.


Name:
Peter
Date:
24 Feb 2008
Time:
17:03:25

Comments

Michael - Well the State has been falling into disrepair for 20 years. The roof has been leaking for this long and the downpipes got so bad most of them fell off or had big holes in, with the result that water cascaded down the outside of the building, particularly the North wall. This resulted in a lot of penetrating damp, as can be seen from my photo of the interior North wall in 2004. The damp has also de-faced a lot of the brickwork on that wall which makes the bricks more porous. Only recently have the council or DC taken any steps to force the owners to do anything about it and temporary plastic downpipes have been fitted. I'm told that another inspection is due to take place this coming week. Let's hope this time they force them to repair the roof, which as pointed out in the 2003 structural survey, needs considerable attention.


Name:
laura thompson
Date:
24 Feb 2008
Time:
18:13:22

Comments

hello im gald theres people thinking like me. i love that building. its a piece of history. if i had loads of money i'd buy it and turn it back into a cinema.


Name:
brian at b p services
Date:
24 Feb 2008
Time:
18:58:14

Comments

i have been to the state when it was in use. I have since worked there on other occasions as a plumber and have seen a side of the building that the public do not see. the present decline in condition started many years ago when it was not used enough due to growth in television and was unable to operate on a sound financial footing.perhaps help from the lottery fund and council could get it up and running again.


Name:
Adrian
Date:
24 Feb 2008
Time:
20:37:19

Comments

Save the State!TSP, Thurrock Council, Thames Gateway - what combined power, and yet so little vision. The cultural heritage of the country is being eroded by private greed, central government planners and local government apathy. The website highlights what one individual can do faced with this three-headed monster.


Name:
Chris
Date:
24 Feb 2008
Time:
23:25:16

Comments

I found it really sad looking at the photos and the bad state of repair this wonderful old building is in. I regularly went to this cinema in the 60's and early70's and it was an experience! I felt so special going up the great red carpeted staircase and being shown to my seatby an usherette with her torch and then buying ice cream in a tub in the interval. It made for a magical evening. I know we can't reproduce that era as time moves on and progress is made but it would be wonderful if this building could be put to good use for the whole community. Good luck and keep fighting.


Name:
Sharon Smith
Date:
25 Feb 2008
Time:
16:33:45

Comments

I only moved to Grays seven years ago yet feel very strongly that the State should be restored to its former glory. As a music or entertainment venue, like Hammersmith Apollo, it could bring in much needed revenue to the area and put Grays on the map. I was interested to read in this month's issue of "Essex Life" magazine about the Electric Palace in Harwich, built in 1911. Apparently, Clive Owen, Hollywood actor, is its patron and is was through his determination and a team of volunteers that the cinema was reopened in 1981. Just a suggestion, and forgive me if this has, or is, already being done, but how about lobbying celebs. and get them talking about it? I've heard Russell Brand mention the Thameside Theatre in passing, if we could get someone like him on board we'd be noticed! Who cares if you like him or not, so long as we can raise the puplic's awareness of this magnificant building.


Name:
Peter Hammond
Date:
25 Feb 2008
Time:
18:17:38

Comments

RE Celebs, I've written to Russell Brand and Bob Hoskins


Name:
Julie Harris
Date:
25 Feb 2008
Time:
19:34:32

Comments

My 15 year old son who attends Belhus Chase came home very excited today and asked me if I knew of The State Cinema in grays. Apparently his English Teacher has come up with a good use for the building. Give it to all our local schools to use for drama, music and film. What a brilliant idea! It would not only help school children all over our borough to really learn more about the arts and actually have a feeling about them, but it could also be a way of raising funds to keep it that way. Come on Thurrock Council, think of the future Oscar/Grammy/Music award winners, hailing from Thurrock because of this wonderful asset!


Name:
Abi
Date:
25 Feb 2008
Time:
21:46:31

Comments

Save the state! It holds so many memories and was the place for Roger Rabbit, they should keep this place and lots of people would go back there. Its part of Thurrocks history! I will be very annoyed it if it knocked down or changed to a gym etc.


Name:
Abi
Date:
25 Feb 2008
Time:
21:46:35

Comments

Save the state! It holds so many memories and was the place for Roger Rabbit, they should keep this place and lots of people would go back there. Its part of Thurrocks history! I will be very annoyed it if it knocked down or changed to a gym etc.


Name:
Peter Day
Date:
25 Feb 2008
Time:
21:58:09

Comments

I am delighted to see that there is so much interest in the restoration of this building. I congratulate you on the website and all that is being done. This is one of the few in-tact original cinema buildings from the thirties, and is important not only to the local area but for the whole country because of the place it holds in the history of our cinema buildings. This was a wonderful building to visit for cinema and organ concerts. The films were always enjoyable here and the presentations were an example to other cinema/theatre operators. There are a few other examples where enthuisats have managed to save key cinemas, and I see no reason why The State cannot be resoted and used for a variety of entertainment including the some film presentations and organ concerts. I feel sure there will be volunteers who will gladly give their time helping to run the venue, and, as we did before, help to keep it clean. Good luck with the work and I hope that all of the interested parties will come together for a satisfactory outcome.


Name:
Tony Walker
Date:
25 Feb 2008
Time:
22:02:25

Comments

I was born in Orsett in 1950. The State was very much part of our lives growing up in the sixties. I suspect my landmarks are gone. A drink in the Queens after a movie was a typical Saturday Sunday night. Let's not forget courting in the back circle, if you could afford the extra money! I remember my girlfriend pressing ten shillings into my hand to take us to the State and a drink after wards. I don't recall the movies I saw. But seeing your site and knowing what we have today it will be sad to loose this building. The USA is the same, no character to the theatre. Good luck with your initiative. Tony Walker Austin, TX. USA


Name:
Dylan
Date:
26 Feb 2008
Time:
01:21:37

Comments

Jolly Good Show!


Name:
Caz
Date:
26 Feb 2008
Time:
07:57:44

Comments

I am the Belhus Chase English teacher in question and I have been telling all of my kids about this wonderful place and they were shocked. They didn't have any idea what was inside this building and when I showed them this website they were so passionate about restoring it to its former glory. Isn't this telling us something Thurrock Council? When the youth of today or our future leaders want to bring back some culture and history to Thurrock surely we should take their passion and build on it. Many people moan about Thurrock's young people, but I think this shows that we just need to find something they can fell passionate about and something in Thurrock they can be proud of. THE STATE IS THE PERFECT SOLUTION! Let's make it into a working theatre/comedy club/tea dance/performance venue, run by local schools and of benefit to the whole community! Has anyone looked into lottery grants?


Name:
Peter Hammond
Date:
26 Feb 2008
Time:
08:30:19

Comments

Hi Caz: How about either inviting the council or Development Corporation to your school to talk to the children about the borough's history and in the process you could make a fuss about the State cinema? With some of Joe's banners and flyers up and the website on screen at the time it would be very interesting to see their faces and let them explain why they have done so little about the State for so many years, and what they intend to do about it now! I'm sure the Thurrock Gazette would be keen to be there too with a camera!


Name:
Dennis Foster
Date:
26 Feb 2008
Time:
09:18:55

Comments

Both my wife and I are of the age to have been ardent "State Cinema " goers in our teen age years and further. It must also be remembered that this cinema survived the whole of the Blitz in the Second World War. I also think I am right in saying, that it never closed in the heaviest of Air Raids ever. I have personally sat through many an air raid when you could hear the anti-aircraft guns firing and the bombs exploding over the soundtrack of the film. After a history such as this , the cinema must be left to live another day. After all what would the "back row Ghosts have to say about the current (State ) of affairs." Their opinions must count


Name:
Ian
Date:
26 Feb 2008
Time:
21:33:01

Comments

Hi There I often shop in Grays and always comment to the wife what a great shame that the state stands empty. i went to see the film el condor. there in the early 70s also the battle of britian, if you want to see a refurbished cinema hall of the same internal design, the jehovahs witnesses own one in southhall/ enfield london.


Name:
Theresa Gray
Date:
27 Feb 2008
Time:
14:08:19

Comments

I used to walk to the State as a child from ockendon to queue to see movies, seeing the inside again brought back so many good memories, I was always impressed by its grandness! It should be saved, too much of grays has already been demolished, Once upon a time I campaigned outside the Queens hotel to try and save that. Grays has lost a lot of its character and I often pass the state and wish I had the means to restore it. I have lived in Thurrock for 46 years. My son is a prominent local pianist, he would give anything to tinker with the compton organ, How about a resurrection?


Name:
Lyn
Date:
27 Feb 2008
Time:
16:01:47

Comments

Having fond memories of queuing for Saturday pictures at The State in the 60's I have written several letters to local newspapers about restoring and saving this historic landmark. It should be used for shows and concerts that all could appreciate. However, once Lakeside was opened and Congress House closed, The Queens knocked down and M&S, tescos and Joyes (remember near the market) closed and all the 'nice' shops like Ticehursts in Orsett Road - Grays 'died'. It is shameful when you go out of Thurrock and visit lovely old towns across the country where the local councils have kept their character and old buildings. The few people that are left in Thurrock now and remember The State as it was must fight. So well done and good luck with the petition.


Name:
Lyn
Date:
27 Feb 2008
Time:
16:02:13

Comments

Having fond memories of queuing for Saturday pictures at The State in the 60's I have written several letters to local newspapers about restoring and saving this historic landmark. It should be used for shows and concerts that all could appreciate. However, once Lakeside was opened and Congress House closed, The Queens knocked down and M&S, Tescos and Joyes (remember near the market) closed and all the 'nice' shops like Ticehursts in Orsett Road - Grays 'died'. It is shameful when you go out of Thurrock and visit lovely old towns across the country where the local councils have kept their character and old buildings. The few people that are left in Thurrock now and remember The State as it was must fight. So well done and good luck with the petition.


Name:
Lin
Date:
27 Feb 2008
Time:
16:44:19

Comments

What fond memories of walking from Ockendon to Grays in the 60's to watch Saturday movies. This building must be saved and restored for theatre productions and concerts. Grays was a place proud to visit but what can it offer now. Just take a look at Orsett Road and what has replaced Congress House and Ticehursts to name a few. Even the old fire station would have retained some of the character.


Name:
Mike Whittaker
Date:
27 Feb 2008
Time:
21:21:06

Comments

Firstly, congratulations on a fantastic website. I too have many fond memories of the State. My 1st ever memory of going to the movies was to see the original Star Wars, and I have loved the State from that moment. Too many films and performances seen to remember them all, but I remember winning a competition at school to see Charlie Drake in a production he was doing there at the time, the then final Rocky film ( Rocky IV ), we all knew he was going to win but the roar and the atmosphere inside that great auditorium still makes the hairs stand up on the back of my neck when I think of it today. Even going in there a little tipsy for a midnight showing of Eddie Murphy's Raw with my mates great days. I was devastated when it finally closed and have been banging on to anyone that would listen ever since that we have a great concert/theatre and comedy venue on our doorstep rotting away. Whenever I walk past the building memories come flooding back and a smile comes to my face, which is quickly replaced by a feeling of anger and sadness at the thought of this wonderful old girl being left to rot. She would be a wonderful venue if restored and would bring big names and publicity and revenue to our dying town. I was again walking past today starting at the top and looking down ( I always stare at the red State sign even though you can hardly see it through the pigeon poo ), then saw the details for this site, and those pictures have brought it all back. I believe the State belongs to us and it should be the people of this borough that decide it's fate, not some greedy no nothing councilors or property developing parasites and we should do all we can to save her. Sorry if I've bored you all rant over!

Reply

Hi Mike,

Thank you for your comments. I don't think any visitors to the site would find your comments boring, in fact it's good to know that we are all singing from the same hymn sheet. The State holds so many fond memories for so many people that I find it almost criminal that it has been allowed to get to the condition that it is currently in. In my opinion Thurrock Council should have made sure that Morrisons sold the building to someone that will restore the building and put it to good use rather than a property company that is just out to make a quick buck!

 


Name:
steve m
Date:
28 Feb 2008
Time:
11:31:35

Comments

i have looked on the national heritage site and have found that they will issue grants to restore old buildings etc... all they need is for the requestor of the grant to have some sort of plan as to what they want to do with the building and some backing from another source( eg local companies). anyone willing to help put some sort of plan together and put it to national heritage? surely its worth a try?


Name:
Robert Seaman
Date:
28 Feb 2008
Time:
15:32:10

Comments

This is fantastic. Too long has this beauty of the cinema world been neglected. I work backstage at Queens production of We will rock you, at the Dominion theatre. The dominion in itself is a massive venue. In fact the theatre is most probably about the same size as the State, in fact i believe the state has a slightly larger capacity, although the stage at the Dominion is by far bigger. The interesting thing about these two theatres is that they were both built and designed around the same time. The dominion having opened in 1929. What you are doing for this spectacular theatre is highly impressisve. I have printed out some of your campaign posters, and will be putting them up not ony at the Dominion, but also most theatres in the West end. I believe that this venue should not only be saved for the people of Thurrock, but indeed the whole country. Thurrock council should be ashamed of themselevs. For too long we have had to put up with there lack of vision, there complete arrogance in the way they go about there buisness. It is time that this once great building be recognised for the importance it holds in our history. I will be supporting you all the way on this,and many people who i have spoken to will be doing the same. Good luck.


Name:
Peter Hammond
Date:
28 Feb 2008
Time:
17:00:21

Comments

Robert, many thanks for your enthusiastic words. Joe, who has set up this campaign, is certainly to be congratulated. The support and interest raised so far is wonderful. Your offer to help spread the word via the Dominion and other theatres is superb too. These buildings are a part of the country's heritage and owners of them and councils should not be allowed to let them decline and fall into disrepair. The State could provide a much needed boost to the area and certainly deserves to be used as a place of entertainment again. Hopefully people-power will play a part in that becoming a reality.


Name:
Tricia
Date:
28 Feb 2008
Time:
17:49:27

Comments

I really hope that this wonderful building is somehow restored to it's former glory. I (one of so many) remember my parents taking me to the State cinema in the 50's and recall a special treat, being allowed to sit upstairs. It was a wonderful experience. It isn't just nostalgia or a hankering for those youthful days, it's just appreciating the architecture of another wonderful building that will be lost forever if help is not forthcoming. Good luck, I hope help is at hand.


Name:
Caz
Date:
28 Feb 2008
Time:
18:41:35

Comments

I don't mind putting my proposal together for the schools and performing arts venue and sending it to the Heritage people. What do people think of my idea?


Name:
Josie Norcott
Date:
28 Feb 2008
Time:
19:04:14

Comments

The state cinema should reopen as i beleive it would bring in a good income and will be a popular attraction for grays.


Name:
steve m
Date:
29 Feb 2008
Time:
09:22:12

Comments

caz, this sounds like a great idea, this will definately provide a much needed boost to grays. we just need someone to take overall charge of this. maybe some kind of meeting is needed?


Name:
Peter Hammond
Date:
29 Feb 2008
Time:
10:34:58

Comments

Caz, to stand a chance of being commercially viable, or at least supporting itself, I would have thought that the main use for the State would have to be as a music and comedy venue. This idea has already been put to the council and DC (who, I should add, were rather off-hand and dismissive of the idea!!). The only way it could be used full-time for schools etc would be if it were council owned and funded, and I doubt they'd be on for doing that. However if it could be made self supporting as a venue most of the time there might well be occasions when it could be used for school/amateur productions. It all depends what the owners end up doing with the place - for all we know they might be planning to build flats on the roof and let the auditorium out as a church or health club. I still think you ought to invite the council to your school to give a talk about local heritage and directly ask them about the State when they come.


Name:
doreenduce@btinternet.com
Date:
29 Feb 2008
Time:
14:06:17

Comments

I visited the State regularly in my teens - I see from the mediathat the Royal Opera House requires premises in the area - would not the State by ideal!!!!


Name:
Caz
Date:
29 Feb 2008
Time:
15:25:37

Comments

Pete and Steve I will try and see our local councillors at their surgery and I think it should be run as a proper business, music venue etc, but schools could help to run it. It is hard to explain what I mean, what I will do is write a proposal and post it here so you can see my ideas in full.


Name:
John Howarth
Date:
29 Feb 2008
Time:
15:36:41

Comments

Just viewed your site for the first time. What a magnificent building from an era of film presentation long since passed, and what a tragedy if it were to be demolished. Strikes me this is a one time opportunity to save what appears to be the last of its kind,but will anyone rise to the occasion? Best of luck, I suspect in our greedy, short term society you're going to need it.


Name:
Judy Mullins
Date:
29 Feb 2008
Time:
18:13:29

Comments

I was taken to the State many times by my parents as a child. Our family 'sat round' Its A Mad Mad Mad Mad World as it was so funny. (No extra charge!!) The grand staircase was always something special to me and coming down it after the film made me feel like Royalty. I loved the upstairs foyer too with its plush red carpet and the loos which were at either end of it with lovely marble type steps and the art deco arches. It was the venue of my husband and I's courting days too. When will the powers that be open their eyes to this beautiful building and the possibilities it holds? Have downloaded the poster. Good luck with the campaign.


Name:
Anne Saunders
Date:
29 Feb 2008
Time:
18:43:51

Comments

Its such a shame to see from your website that the State is in bad repair and how it has been left. I saw only a few films there because I did not reside in the area until it had shut. I remember going there with my boyfriend (who is now my husband). Hopefully it will turn into something real nice and bring back the memories of the old place and my children can enjoy it too. Good luck!


Name:
Mike Jones
Date:
29 Feb 2008
Time:
19:35:25

Comments

Hi Please could you call at your convieniance. I am news reporter for Link FM and would love to help 07775857459


Name:
Pieter Hildebrand
Date:
29 Feb 2008
Time:
23:25:25

Comments

My son and me have again tonight made a detour to pass by The State. We stopped around the back for a while and just look and all the "I wonder why's" and "What if this and what if that's " was said again. We noticed a light in one of the window's wich must be more or less on the same level as the projection room. Is someone so lucky to be staying there? I just hope someone has not gained unlawfull entrance as this might cause even further damage. The State has captured the interest of young and old again and i think it is really important that it just be renovated and then kept and used as it is. Please contact me via my e-mail address - pieterh1@hotmail.com - if i can do anything to help. See you on Saturday 15th March !


Name:
Dave Bunting
Date:
01 Mar 2008
Time:
01:43:19

Comments

The state could must be saved. It would attract big name acts to perform, much like Brixton Academy. Good work with the site, lets hope the powers that be listen to the opinions of the public for once!!!!!


Name:
ian
Date:
01 Mar 2008
Time:
14:40:07

Comments

not being a resident of grays tho having visited many times in the past couple of years your plight was bought to my attention by a friend of mine. i hope you manage to save an amazing monument of local heritage and that at least one of our countrys old film houses can be saved. the building is of amazing architectural and heritage value. i just hope the same thing doesnt happen to the state as did to gravesend cinema when planning was turned down and 2 weeks later it gets burned to the ground. i hope u manage to save this one from underhanded developers and councils. if u hold any rallys or should i be handed over to a volunteer based refurb let me know and id be honoured to work on the restoration of such a great building.


Name:
ROBERT BASS
Date:
01 Mar 2008
Time:
14:42:56

Comments

THURROCK COUNCIL ARE MISSING OUT ON A BIG OPPURTUNITY NOT SAVEING THE STATE. THE MONEY THAT COULD BE MADE BY BRINGING SHOWS AND BANDS TO GRAYS THAT WOULD PUT GRAYS ON THE MAP


Name:
Dannielle
Date:
02 Mar 2008
Time:
09:58:18

Comments

can someone please tell me why, anyone would let this beautiful building decay away or turn it into a gym. MADNESS!


Name:
Emma Hopper
Date:
02 Mar 2008
Time:
17:29:57

Comments

I have never been fortunate enough to experience the State in all its glory, but i must say i wish i could!! As a young member of the community i feel it is a disgrace that such a wonderful piece of our heritage should be left to decay. If we are indeed supposed to live in a democratic age then TBC should pay serious attention to this matter, instead of focusing purely on money! Perhaps some national press attention would shame them into some positive action!


Name:
fispence@hotmail.co.uk
Date:
03 Mar 2008
Time:
13:04:55

Comments

i saw david essex at the state many years ago wot a fantastic time we all great memories this is a fantastic venue for future events like this long may it reign!


Name:
Sylvia Waite
Date:
04 Mar 2008
Time:
12:09:26

Comments

I remember seeing Highlander back in the 80's when films were a £1!! I was in awe of this wonderful building and think it's absolutely disgusting it has been allowed to fall into disrepair in this way. Later I went when it was called Charlstons, but if I remember rightly some of it was then closed off to the public, probably to preserve this wonderful old building, and quite rightly so! I was under the impression that Morrisons supermarket bought the State as part of an agreement, with a promise to restore and re-open for the residents of Grays to enjoy, am I wrong or have they gone back on their word now that they have what they want? Grays is severly lacking in places of historical interest but is in possesion of a gorgeous piece of architecture that is being left to rot, what a terrible shame.


Name:
Peter Valentine
Date:
04 Mar 2008
Time:
12:23:56

Comments

Sylvia, in answer to your comment. Morrisons no longer own the State Cinema. They sold it to a Property Developer.


Name:
MARGARET VERITY
Date:
04 Mar 2008
Time:
14:11:57

Comments

I HAD THE PLEASURE OF BEING IN AN AUDIENCE FOR A FILM CREW WHO WERE USING THE THEATRE AS A BACKGROUND FOR A POPULAR TV SERIES. THEY USED THE STAGE, THE SEATING AREAS, THE ORGAN AND THE PROJECTION ROOM. IF THIS BUILDING WAS REPLACED THERE WOULD NOT BE AN HISTORICAL BUILDING TO USE FOR PERIOD PROGRAMMES. THIS BUILDING SHOULD BE REFURBISHED AND RETURNED TO COMMUNITY USEAGE, AS A CINEMA, THEATRE AND AS A BUILDING TO TREASURE. I BELIEVE IT IS ONE OF THE OLDEST REMAINING BUILDINGS OF IS KIND IN THIS COUNTRY AND SHOULD BE PRESERVED AS PART OF OUR HERITAGE, LOCALLY AND NATIONALLY.


Name:
Peter Valentine
Date:
04 Mar 2008
Time:
14:48:11

Comments

Margaret, would that TV Series by any chance have been "Lipstick On Your Collar" with Roy Hudd seated at the Compton Organ ?


Name:
fiona wright
Date:
04 Mar 2008
Time:
16:12:21

Comments

I have very fond memories of the state cinima my mumand dad used to take my brother and myself there when we were children and i have seen quite a few films there. THIS CINIMA IS HISTORY AND MUST NOT BE ALLOWD TO ROT. WHY DONT YOU GET IN TOUCH WITH THE BBC AND SEE IF THEY CAN GET IT PUT ON THE RESTORATION PROGRAMME. I am sure this cinma is worth doing world wide press coverage. or get in touch with Richard Branson and see if he would be intrested in conveting it into a concert hall, like the Hammersmith odean used to be. DO NOT LET THURROCKS HISTORY ROT AWAY. TRY GETTING NEWSPAPER COVERAGE OR OTHER SUCH MEDIA COVERAGE TO KEEP THIS PLACE OPEN.


Name:
steve m
Date:
04 Mar 2008
Time:
17:11:21

Comments

i have contacted a local bus company (ensignbus) to see if they will be willing to put posters up in their buses about saving the state - small idea but will help the cause for sure ( if they say yes) as their buses now cover 90% of thurrock


Name:
sharon stammers
Date:
04 Mar 2008
Time:
17:12:28

Comments

Hi - i applaud your efforts to save this wonderful building. I saw films there as a kid (70s/80s) as did my parents and my grandmother (aged 93 and still living down the road) She talks of queues round the block to get in. I have wonderful memories of the organ rising up before a film and the organist being pelted with paper aeroplanes as he played madly. The same rather large lady sat in the box office throughout mine and my parents childhood prompting the family theory that she was stuck in there and couldnt get out. I also joined Friends of the State as a kid (sad i know) and have a vague memory of a special event there where i toured the site.


Name:
wayne robinson
Date:
04 Mar 2008
Time:
19:33:08

Comments

problem starts with the council, why have the thameside theatre when around the corner you have the most beautiful crafted theatre, and why spend money ( in the last five years doing up the thameside ) when this part of history is rotting away. shame on thurrock council, this building should have had money invested years ago and , the national lottery should have been involved surely the council should have invested 500 thousand and got the lottery to double the amount and then thurrock would have the most beautiful cinema / theatre in the uk, which would then lead to future investment from west end shows etc ps after all it is tax payers money they are falling to spend on what we want after spending a fortune on silly one way roads and sleeping policeman in every road, the council have neglected to look after its heritage kind regards and support from tenerife


Name:
steve m
Date:
05 Mar 2008
Time:
12:38:23

Comments

i have had a reply from ensignbus confirming that they will indeed put posters up on all of their buses, also they will allow people to hand out flyers on their buses. i will be providing these to ensignbus to put up in their buses (35 in total)..... any volunteers to hand out flyers on the buses? let me know with a date/ time etc and i will get in contact with them to let them know. please see below for a copy of the email. For such a noble cause, we would be delighted to help with putting posters up and would also be happy to allow people to hand these out on our buses. If you could let me have the posters, I will get them put up. They would be ideal in Landscape format (if possible) and we would need about 35. I sincerely hope that something can be done to save such a historic landmark. Best regards Paul Dickson Ensignbus


Name:
steve m
Date:
05 Mar 2008
Time:
12:38:55

Comments

i have had a reply from ensignbus confirming that they will indeed put posters up on all of their buses, also they will allow people to hand out flyers on their buses. i will be providing these to ensignbus to put up in their buses (35 in total)..... any volunteers to hand out flyers on the buses? let me know with a date/ time etc and i will get in contact with them to let them know. please see below for a copy of the email. For such a noble cause, we would be delighted to help with putting posters up and would also be happy to allow people to hand these out on our buses. If you could let me have the posters, I will get them put up. They would be ideal in Landscape format (if possible) and we would need about 35. I sincerely hope that something can be done to save such a historic landmark. Best regards Paul Dickson Ensignbus


Name:
steve m
Date:
05 Mar 2008
Time:
12:39:03

Comments

i have had a reply from ensignbus confirming that they will indeed put posters up on all of their buses, also they will allow people to hand out flyers on their buses. i will be providing these to ensignbus to put up in their buses (35 in total)..... any volunteers to hand out flyers on the buses? let me know with a date/ time etc and i will get in contact with them to let them know. please see below for a copy of the email. . For such a noble cause, we would be delighted to help with putting posters up and would also be happy to allow people to hand these out on our buses. If you could let me have the posters, I will get them put up. They would be ideal in Landscape format (if possible) and we would need about 35. I sincerely hope that something can be done to save such a historic landmark. Best regards Paul Dickson Ensignbus


Name:
steve m
Date:
05 Mar 2008
Time:
12:41:07

Comments

sorry about the past comment..... the copy of the email didnt come out correctly! here it is again! - - - For such a noble cause, we would be delighted to help with putting posters up and would also be happy to allow people to hand these out on our buses. If you could let me have the posters, I will get them put up. They would be ideal in Landscape format (if possible) and we would need about 35. I sincerely hope that something can be done to save such a historic landmark. Best regards Paul Dickson Ensignbus


Name:
Paul Cole
Date:
05 Mar 2008
Time:
13:11:19

Comments

I'm amazed that such a fine example of Art Deco architecture has been allowed to rot. Shame on the owners and Thurrock Council! The most bizarre thing for me is that there are numerous other theatres in this area (Cliffs Pavilion, Central Theatre in Chatham) which do very well, but do not have the advantage of superb transport access that the State has. Surely a business case can be made for the theatre, although a Lottery grant would certainly be needed to carry out the necessary repairs. How about a staged restoration? Maybe it would be possible to open part of the auditorium whilst the rest is still being worked on? One of the council's remits is to provide youth facilities - well, what a perfect venue for a Performing Arts centre...and a great venue for local schools to use!


Name:
Stephen Marck
Date:
05 Mar 2008
Time:
16:21:26

Comments

Totally agree with your sentiments. Michele was an extra for the scenes filmed in the cinema for Dennis Potter film (name escapes me). We will try to be their on the 15th. Please send us any furter details, and keep in touch. Stephen & Michele Marck (CC41Swing) cc41swing@btinternet.com


Name:
Michele Marck
Date:
05 Mar 2008
Time:
16:27:38

Comments

The State Cinema is one of my old haunting grounds when I was growing up. I have fondest memories, I remember going to watch Saturday Night Fever, Grease and Rocky III to name but a few films. The greatest moment was when I was an "extra" in the Dennis Potter 1950s series "Lipstick on Your Collar". I was in Grays Town Centre a few weeks ago and felt rather choked up at how Grays has become a graveyard town and The State is just stuck there - it belongs somewhere else indeed, a higher place and it needs reviving - a magnificent building which needs to be brought back to life!


Name:
Sophie
Date:
05 Mar 2008
Time:
17:33:49

Comments

The State shouldnt be knocked down and turned into something it shouldnt.It Should be used for a drama studio for schools across thurrock.This way it could help different age groups for example:Elderly people can have there bingo nights in the day and the kids could have it in the afternoon.This is one of the biggest Cinema's in the country and there could be a lot more done to it if you turned it into a Drama Workshop and not a gym.


Name:
Date:
05 Mar 2008
Time:
22:39:55

Comments

Hi i come from Grays and when i was a child it was a great joy to go to the State something i will rem for a long time what has the council done just letting it go to waste i was there for the night club to what a shame a place like this could end up a mess lets hope it can be brought back to life cos something as old as this has a lot to give. i just hope that one day i can take my kids there as my parents did for me.


Name:
steve m
Date:
06 Mar 2008
Time:
12:30:27

Comments

posters will be on ensignbus's buses from early next week! so look out!


Name:
steve m
Date:
06 Mar 2008
Time:
12:32:54

Comments

any volunteers to help hand out flyers on ensignbus's buses?


Name:
dean scates
Date:
06 Mar 2008
Time:
15:33:42

Comments

iv seen this cinema hundreds of times walking past in grays and would have loved to just go in a have a look about, and as i saw the place in these pictures its such a waste. if there was anyway it could be saved i would help to do it


Name:
Caz
Date:
07 Mar 2008
Time:
07:07:45

Comments

Steve, when you thinking of doing this bus leaflet hand out day?


Name:
KEN WILLIAMS KAWERAU N.Z
Date:
07 Mar 2008
Time:
07:12:32

Comments

my brother in law sends me thegazetteover to new zealand and i have just reed you item about old state i first went to the state just befor the war with my mum and dad to see an all boy band ilived on the Belmont till 1966 thats when i come to New zealand my e mail is gerry. w @ slingshot.co.nz i would like to hear from any body hwo remembers me


Name:
steve m
Date:
07 Mar 2008
Time:
10:29:31

Comments

caz, firstly thankyou for your interest in handing out flyers i was thinking of a weekend sometime - but am not deciding on a date yet untill the flyers are produced.... i will keep you updated .


Name:
steve m
Date:
07 Mar 2008
Time:
10:29:33

Comments

caz, firstly thankyou for your interest in handing out flyers i was thinking of a weekend sometime - but am not deciding on a date yet untill the flyers are produced.... i will keep you updated .


Name:
Pete Stammers
Date:
07 Mar 2008
Time:
11:11:49

Comments

I used the State many times to see films and it has always saddened me to see its decline. I think the council used to own it at one time. I have seen the attempts to bring it back to life and thought Morrisons were allowed to develope the area including the State. So each owner has let it down. The present owners gave me the impression they were local people and were going to restore it. I would like to see it restored and run on the lines of the Cliffs Pavillion Southend, maybe by the Thameside theatre. Whilst there will be support to save the State, will there be the support if it comes back to life. Pete


Name:
Tom Hunt
Date:
07 Mar 2008
Time:
15:34:18

Comments

Please keep the State cinema! I love in grays and i want the State to reopen


Name:
Heidi Edwards
Date:
08 Mar 2008
Time:
08:05:23

Comments

Great website, ive been to the state as a child but never realised how beautiful the decor is, im now older and love art deco buildings and interiors, please keep up the good work. Can we not put to the council for it to be opened once in a while as a tourist thing to raise money to re open as a cinema, bar and restuarant for grays as we have nothing for the community of a social thing for us. We don't need anymore out of town people having houses/flats in grays!! and i would hate for the site to be knockdown and made into a gym/flats!! Is chafford hundred and its gym not big enough for everyone!!


Name:
Stuart James
Date:
08 Mar 2008
Time:
19:10:04

Comments

i HAVE LIVED IN GRAYS FOR NEARLY 40 YEARS AND REMEMBER IT BEING A GREAT NIGHT OUT.I DISTINCTLY REMEMBER SEEING SUPERMAN FLY OUT FROM THE SCROLL WORK DOWN THE SIDE OF THE STAGE.WHAT A BUZ1.i'm ashamed of the way our heritage is trodden down and i'm ashamed of how grays is these days.if a meeting was allowed into the sate i would be in the queue,last thing cant remember the restaurant where was it.if someone knows let me know sjames40@ford.com


Name:
Peter Hammond
Date:
08 Mar 2008
Time:
19:20:26

Comments

Stuart, the restaurant area is off of the circle bar area upstairs. Regards Peter


Name:
lily mills
Date:
09 Mar 2008
Time:
13:54:33

Comments

we all should save the state becouse we can add history and learn more about it.


Name:
David Foulkes
Date:
10 Mar 2008
Time:
13:36:07

Comments

this place MUST be saved if we can get it approved then a registered charity would be the way to go if anything comes off then i will help in any way i can spent many many hours there as a kid !


Name:
David Foulkes
Date:
10 Mar 2008
Time:
13:42:17

Comments

I do know a man who could help send me a message on dave_automech.uk@hotmail.com


Name:
Lynne
Date:
10 Mar 2008
Time:
17:37:11

Comments

I well remeber the State and the Ritz as a child. They were beautiful places, although as a child that meant very little at the time. I have been a Grays resident for most of my life and feel so sad that this beautiful building has been left with no one to love it. I would love to be able to see inside the State again and think that it deserves to be brought back to its former glory to be loved and admired.


Name:
hayley johnson
Date:
10 Mar 2008
Time:
17:37:46

Comments

im 18 and everytime ive walked past the state ive looked through the glass and wished i could go in there because of the grandure of the place even in its delapidated state. i reckon that it should be done up and turned into a theatre that benefits the community, having drama workshops for children ect. I find it rather sad that a piece of our local history is being threated when it should be rejuvinated


Name:
Peter Hammond
Date:
11 Mar 2008
Time:
19:45:50

Comments

An excellent update to the gallery section Joe! Peter


Name:
Michele Marck
Date:
12 Mar 2008
Time:
13:28:29

Comments

I tried downloading the campaign posters but the image quality is poor. Stephen and I will try to get there on Saturday, unfortunately C2C have planned Engineering works at the weekend which makes the journey longer from Westcliff. Michele PS. It was great looking at the archive pictures, especially the Programme for First Night Opening - wouldnt it be great to have another one soon, before it's too late!!

Reply

Hi Michele, When downloading the posters make sure that you select "SAVE TARGET AS" rather than "save picture as". Otherwise you are only downloading the small thumbnail image that is used for the web page. Alternatively email me at info@statecinema.co.uk and I will email them to you. Joe

 


Name:
Peter Hammond
Date:
12 Mar 2008
Time:
16:21:00

Comments

RE the downloadable posters, I've just downloaded them both and they are not poor in image quality. Each is over 3500 pixels across and should print to A4 size very well indeed. The pictures on them are sharp and clear too. Not sure how you got them at low res, but they should be good quality. Pete


Name:
John Harris
Date:
13 Mar 2008
Time:
17:05:54

Comments

Have you a facebook group?


Name:
Pete the Pilot
Date:
13 Mar 2008
Time:
18:44:09

Comments

Yes there is a facebook group at www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=6858957870&ref=mf


Name:
Caroline Stannard
Date:
14 Mar 2008
Time:
14:18:22

Comments

Ive passed the State many times and it saddens me that such a awesome building is decaying into nothing. Sooner or later it s going to be beyond saving and that will be a real shame. Thurrock council shoulld pile tax payers money into turning it back into a piece of history that will serve the people.


Name:
j thorpe
Date:
15 Mar 2008
Time:
11:15:49

Comments

i'm 27 years old and the state is always something i remember my grandparents talking abot to me. personally i think that the state should reopen as a cinema. why change it into something that we already have in the area. that building survived the war and holds alot of memorys for elderly people round here from first jobs to first loves.why cant the owners think of peoples feelings and memorys for a change then trying to destroy our state building.


Name:
karen
Date:
15 Mar 2008
Time:
15:03:09

Comments

I am now 50 years old and remember going to the state cinema every week during my teens. I can remember seeing the band Hot Chocolate play there during the 70s too. How can Thurrock council let this grand building go to rack and ruin? Still I suppose it fits in wih the rest of the town now !! My uncle Dougie was one of the ushers at the cinema when it first opened, and I can recall being told of the uniform and hat he had to wear. Heres hoping someone listens and we can get the show back on the road.


Name:
penny holmes
Date:
15 Mar 2008
Time:
20:08:53

Comments

How many more years dilly dallying? We have lost all the character buildings in grays - this is or last chance so let's see a huge united response fo a change from thurrock residents


Name:
Dave H (Totton)
Date:
15 Mar 2008
Time:
21:40:34

Comments

What a wonderful building! It would truly be a shame if The State were not fully restored to its former glory! Great site and fantastic pictures!


Name:
Glenn Baxter
Date:
16 Mar 2008
Time:
18:33:54

Comments

I only the State could be restored to something like its original form. I stopped going to the soulless multiplexes long ago and would gladly pay top dollar to watch any one of the classic films I never got the chance to see on a proper big screen. Just imagine Lawrence of Arabia, etc….thank you for putting this site together and good luck.


Name:
mark
Date:
16 Mar 2008
Time:
18:45:30

Comments


Name:
mark
Date:
16 Mar 2008
Time:
18:48:29

Comments

congrats on the updated website with great pictures. I almost feel as if i was sitting back in the room waiting for the movie to start. Lets keep up the momentum for save the state.


Name:
stuartavo
Date:
16 Mar 2008
Time:
20:06:46

Comments

could peter hammond ring me re campaign poster printing.happy to help 07751610700


Name:
John Mason
Date:
16 Mar 2008
Time:
21:06:45

Comments

Good work. Have you thought about setting up a Facebook group. This could be a really good way to get interest and more people to sign the petition. Happy to do it for you if you want to email me. masojon@btinternet.com


Name:
mark williams
Date:
17 Mar 2008
Time:
10:35:41

Comments

i used to go to see movies at the State when i was a kid. The State had a much better atmosphere than the newer multiscreen cinemas which opend in Lakeside. Even though at the time its technology was far behind the new cinemas, the State was still and as far as I'm concerned was the best.


Name:
Peter Hammond
Date:
17 Mar 2008
Time:
11:26:17

Comments

RE Facebook, there is already a Facebook group. It's called "Save the State cinema!" Peter


Name:
jane musson
Date:
17 Mar 2008
Time:
13:38:19

Comments

I pass this lovely old cinema a couple of times a week and i could cry. This holds many happy memories for me. As a child/teenager i spent many a happy evening at the State! By the way, my mum was an usherette there for six years during the seventies. Please contact me if there is anything i can do. This must be saved!!!!!


Name:
Debbie
Date:
17 Mar 2008
Time:
19:57:30

Comments

"SAVE THE STATE !!! ..."


Name:
Jane
Date:
18 Mar 2008
Time:
09:33:09

Comments

I find it an absolute disgrace that this beautiful building has not be re-opened by Thurrock Council and left to rot over the years. As a child i used to go there every weekend to the kids clubs. What on earth do the Coucil do for our children now !!! Its the least they could do to for the local community. I have recently seen some stunning shows at Cliffs Pavillion and various other theatres but none of them are as big as the state! I have even seen some at the Thameside Theatre which are always packed out and sometimes difficult to get tickets for. Why on earth are we letting this happen!. Having recently gone upto Lakeside Cinema to watch a film with the kids we discovered that the films are not shown very frequenly sometimes. I think the state could be a little goldmine and bring the public back to Grays. Who really wants to spend time sitting in traffic at Lakeside (with terrible designed roadways) when you can do something much more local. We just haven't got the option these days. Local kids just seem to hang around the streets on in Lakeside shopping centre causing mischief. And who can blame them; what else is there for them? Good luck with your pertition and i shall continue to spread the word.


Name:
Pete (Pete the Pilot)
Date:
18 Mar 2008
Time:
09:48:16

Comments

Well said Jane.


Name:
Emma North
Date:
18 Mar 2008
Time:
12:59:24

Comments

Hi, I work in a local Solictors in Grays I always look at of the Reception window to see the State Cinema, I always think what a lonely place it is now, it's lost the life and enjoyment it once had. I think you are doing something brilliant we should restore our past to its former glory, instead of letting it to 'die'. I really hope the Council will actually listen to all of us out there and to save this most wonderful building. I would like to congratulate you on the effort you are making


Name:
KAYLEIGH
Date:
18 Mar 2008
Time:
16:23:43

Comments

I THINK IT IS DISCUSTING THAT PEOPLE ARE LEAVING THIS BEAUTIFUL PLACE TO ROT. IT SHOULD BE REOPENED FOR THE LOCAL PEOPLE ONCE AGAIN AND BE USED FOR THR BEAUTIFULLNESS AS IT IS. SOME THING LIKE THIS CANNOT BE LEFT TO ROT AND BE USED AS NOTHING. THE HISTORY ALONE IS AMAZING SO WHY SHOULD WE HAVE TO STAND BACK AND WATCH PART OF THURROCKS HISTORY FADE INTO THE BACK GROUND. IT WILL MAKE THURROCK A BETTER PLACE AS IT WILL BRING PEOPLE FROM ALL OVER THE COUNTRY TO SEE WHAT AM AMAZING ARTIFACT WE HAVE PROTECTED IN THURROCK. IT MAKES ME SICK!!


Name:
ray curtis
Date:
19 Mar 2008
Time:
13:01:37

Comments

What an absolutely wonderful work of art the cinema is . Heard the organ on radio 2 last night . As always large buildings like this need to have a diverse amount of potential uses to make it viable , If that fabulous bar had a dancefloor incorporated into it , or maybe even the foyer area, it may well lend itself as a suitable venue to the growing interest in dancing to 20s/30/s/40s music .


Name:
Pete (Pete the Pilot)
Date:
19 Mar 2008
Time:
14:18:54

Comments

Further to the comment by Ray Curtis. When Charlestons leased the building an area adjacent to the Upper Foyer Bar was used as a Dance Floor


Name:
DIANE
Date:
20 Mar 2008
Time:
10:27:08

Comments

i did a search as i went to Grays for the first time in about 25 years and saw that the STATE was still standing ! had no idea it wojuld still be there, it is so sad, i went there as a child i n the 60's - i also remember the Ritz is that still there ?? is the State older than the Ritz? i shall be back to site forupdates


Name:
stacey hobby
Date:
20 Mar 2008
Time:
17:23:25

Comments

all the state cinema needs is a cleen up then it can be used


Name:
Pete. (Pete the Pilot)
Date:
20 Mar 2008
Time:
17:40:34

Comments

How we all wish that was the case Tracey. I am afraid there is a lot more involved than just a clean up.. Pete.


Name:
david brightmore
Date:
20 Mar 2008
Time:
22:33:49

Comments

I would just like to say how great the cinema really is, i can remember my first two film,s witch was back to the future and E.T. remember also paying just a pound to get in. Good old day,s a .


Name:
Abigail
Date:
20 Mar 2008
Time:
22:44:57

Comments

Keep the state open! Im young, but would love to walk through them doors and go to the cinema there that have been used years back. Many people have used it and if it opens again I am sure many still will!! KEEP IT OPEN! For everyones sake. Come on Thurrock Council sort it out and keep it!


Name:
Matthew
Date:
20 Mar 2008
Time:
23:17:32

Comments

Dianne - The Ritz is still there but is now a Bingo Hall.


Name:
Robert Yuille
Date:
21 Mar 2008
Time:
02:57:27

Comments

How many thousands of us Thurrock folk have thought "They" should do the State up and then waited for the magic "They" to do something?I'm ashamed of myself for being so uninvolved,as we all should. I've always thought it should be restored to a live venue.Let's look at the alternatives for Thurrock people,the Thameside Theatre...if a never ending supply of tribute acts and caberet circuit entertainers is your bag,you are more than catered for.The Civic Hall...if you're under 16 or enjoy a never ending supply of tribute acts and caberet circuit entertainers,well...I think that's pretty much covered it. So Cliffs Pavillion and then after that?Right, get on the train at Westcliff(do not alight at Grays,it's shut) and travel 50 miles up the track(as far as you can go actually)then get on another little train and get out at a little place called THE CENTRE OF LONDON.There, you can take your pick but remember not to relax and enjoy yourself too much; because at about 9:30pm you'll be racing back to Fenchurch Street to watch the "Late" last train back home, trundling out of the station, without you.Fear not,you've got at least another 2 hours excitement ahead of you, as you sprint back to the tube(these little beauties will get you to your shut main station for at least another 90 mins)From Tower Hill take the District Express to Upminster and wait for a 30 quid cab home.You should be home just in time to get up.Now,wasn't that fun? Let's get it back in the hands of the people that care and will use it,that's "us" not "They".


Name:
claire docksey
Date:
21 Mar 2008
Time:
09:56:57

Comments

My son,Jordan Docksey has just showed me this site and we pass this Theater in Grays all the time.I have always thought it a shame it's closed down but never knew the history of the place and its glory in it;s hay day.It must be very sad for older residents that still live in the area and remember the Theater how it used to be.Surely someone out there with a few bob could help make this the glamorous place it once was,and it will give the people a fantastic time out with all the history and glamor.I really hope it will reopen with the help of the community and all the funds it needs to be restored.


Name:
matt
Date:
22 Mar 2008
Time:
13:06:01

Comments

save the state!!!!!!!!!


Name:
matt
Date:
22 Mar 2008
Time:
13:17:24

Comments

peeps of thurrock please make a stand to save this wonderfull old place!!! what has thurrock got these days??? nothing!!!! the peeps at TBC in charge of this sort thing SOULD BE SHOT!!! all at TBC sould be shot for running grays & the rest of thurrock in to s**t!!! i used to be prord to be engish, now im ashamed to be engish!!!! really hope peeps listen to us!!!! thanks matt


Name:
Pete (Pete the Pilot)
Date:
22 Mar 2008
Time:
14:05:29

Comments

Hey Matt. Do not be so hard on TBC. I think they are with us on this one.


Name:
audrey frost
Date:
23 Mar 2008
Time:
08:46:02

Comments

I have been visiting my daughter and her family in Grays for many years and have seen a large number of improvements made to the town but it is sad to see the cinema being allowed to go to ruin. Many people would prefer to visit a local cinema rather than trail round a large place like Lakeside. Children used to love to go to Saturday matinees and the State could provide this entertainment. It could also be used for live shows so come on Grays and SAVE THE STATE.


Name:
Mr. M. Seager
Date:
23 Mar 2008
Time:
14:34:01

Comments

The State is a beautiful building internally, and should be saved as a entertainment centr, with all its features, especially the Compton organ, retained intact. I attended many organ cocerts while these were held.



Name:
Michael May
Date:
24 Mar 2008
Time:
16:30:54

Comments

Firstly thank you! I am delighted to have found this website, for many years I have tried to keep an eye on who owned the State and live in hope that one day I will be able to enjoy some entertainment at this beautiful venue again. I am 37 and born and bred in Grays and my first memories were being taken as a child to see a Bond Film. It was truly amazing I remember the organ appearing and the incredible sound it made then the glitter ball above the auditorium being lit to create the buzz before the film a real fantastic atmosphere and a packed house, for many years after that I remember seeing many films, unfortunately I do remember its demise and a former enthusiast who tried many things to get people back in, cheap ticketing etc I think his name was Roy, I remember sitting there with a mate or 2 in a virtually empty cinema on many occasions. I seem to recall he passed away and after that the Cinema closed. I then remember Charleston's and visited many times, I also remember the Gun incident that closed the venue down for good. Thank you for posting the photo's its great but also sad to see how the inside now looks, I have often wished to have a good look around, I have feared for the State whenever I have passed, seeing guttering hanging off and the huge amount of pigeons that fly freely in and out and as time creeps onwards you know that that wonderful interior will be harder to restore if ever. Like yourself in my younger days I never appreciated the sheer beauty of the inside and its value in history, I often see programmes such as disappearing London and relate them to the State and when you do see a venue that’s had new life breathed in a part of me hopes the State can one day be saved. Congratulations on your campaign, and if in some way you need further help or support then Id love to help.


Name:
Pete Griffiths
Date:
24 Mar 2008
Time:
17:49:40

Comments

Hi I attended the last film shown at the State on 5th September 1988. The film was The Hurricane which was also the first film ever shown exactly 50 years earlier. We paid the same price as they had in 1938 and at the interval, ice creams were given away. At the end, a speech was given by the emotional cinema manager, hoping that one day The State would re-open. I was sad to hear he died some time later. My wife was about to have our first child at the time (she was born on 21st Sepember) and she was in a photograph of the cinema queue which was on the front page of the local paper. We moved away from Grays in 1993, but that night is a special memory of our time in Essex. Hope The State survives.


Name:
Pete. (Pete the Pilot)
Date:
24 Mar 2008
Time:
18:29:07

Comments

Hi, Pete Griffiths. "Hurricane" in fact was not the last film to be shown at the State Cinema.. During the 1990s "Friends of the State" run a few films, I think the last one they run was "Here My Song" with Joseph Locke. The film had intended to be "Singing in the Rain" but the reels of film were received in such a bad condition it was not possible to show them, so another had to be hired which was"Hear My Song"(I was working there at the time). Pete. Pete.


Name:
Val Wilson
Date:
24 Mar 2008
Time:
20:03:05

Comments

I used to go to the State in the late 1950's, when a teenager of 17 years or so. What a glorious evening or afternoon out, to see all the beautiful art deco interior, the organ rising up from the stage front, and the lights. I had to dig deep into my wages to find the bus fare from Rainham, and to pay the princely sum of 1/9d ( lesss than 10p today) to sit in the upper stalls. I can't remember the films, but still remember the grandeur of those nights out!! Bring back the State!!


Name:
Val Wilson
Date:
24 Mar 2008
Time:
20:05:17

Comments

I used to go to the State in the early 1960's, when a teenager of 17 years or so. What a glorious evening or afternoon out, to see all the beautiful art deco interior, the organ rising up from the stage front, and the lights. I had to dig deep into my wages to find the bus fare from Rainham, and to pay the princely sum of 1/9d ( lesss than 10p today) to sit in the upper stalls. I can't remember the films, but still remember the grandeur of those nights out!! Bring back the State!!


Name:
Lisa Partridge
Date:
25 Mar 2008
Time:
09:06:47

Comments

I have lived in Grays all my life and the State Cinema played a huge part in my teenage years and in my 'courting days'!! It infuriates me that it has been left to ruin like it has. What a waste! It is so beautiful and seeing your pictures on your website stirred many happy memories. I could even see where I sat for my last ever movie there which was'Top Gun' in the eighties. It was re-opened around then as far as I remember after being shut down once? Is that right? It makes me so sad to see it now as it has so much potential to be something great again. I know if it opened again as a cinema I would be first in the queue! I would love my teenage daughters to experience the State in all its glory. My oldest daughter is at Palmers doing Film Studies - What an opportunity for her to experience this grand place. I am behind you 100% to see the state restored and once again be put in its rightful place - at the heart of what has become a very untidy and unkept part of Grays town centre.


Name:
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Date:
25 Mar 2008
Time:
10:59:35

Comments

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Name:
Jim Warren
Date:
25 Mar 2008
Time:
11:56:19

Comments

As well as the website to raise public awareness, there are some other things that you can do. English Heritage have an "at risk" register, and if you can persuade them to add this cinema, then they start exerting pressure to ensure that it does not deteriorate further. Then you should write to the council and ask them to issue a "Dilapidation Order" on the owners to prevent any further dilapidation, and if the council do not respond positively to that, you can then formally complain to the council about their failure to act, and if that doesn't produce results, you can report the council to the Local Government Ombudsman. As with all bureaucracies, the trick is to keep nagging and to escalate, because most people give up, and they rely on that.


Name:
Gemma Riddles
Date:
25 Mar 2008
Time:
12:22:11

Comments

I grant you that The State isn't much to look at from the outside, but the interior is stunning, I agree with the everyone else that the Council should step in and save this beautiful building. I was lucky enough to see a few films here when I was younger, and remember it better as the night club. I do hope that it is restored to it's former glory rather that yet more luxuary flats! Hopefully the fact that it is listed will save it from this fate.


Name:
Date:
25 Mar 2008
Time:
13:19:03

Comments

Good website, im only 17 so i wouldnt have actually been into the state itself but its about time our council got there fingers out of there arses and put money into it rather then building houses for people who dont deserve them and save this building!


Name:
richard kemp
Date:
25 Mar 2008
Time:
21:34:31

Comments

hi there, some people i know on a forum saw your website, and thought maybe we could come along to take photo's and have a look around this amazing cinema. would this be possible, regards richard.

Reply

Hi Richard, Unfortunately we do not have access to the building at the moment as the owners are reluctant to let anyone inside. As soon a we can get access to the building it is my intention to arrange some open days for people to take photo's of the building.

BTW - Just had a look at the Underground Kent website and must say it is a fascinating site, this sort of thing really floats my boat. Have you guys visited the underground bunker at Kelvendon Hatch? Joe Gardner (site admin)


Name:
richard kemp
Date:
26 Mar 2008
Time:
12:46:06

Comments

thanks for your email, it was worth a try asking you for a visit, the guys on the forum UNDERGROUND KENT have all been signing the pettition since i put your link onto the forum site (our) thanks again anyway richard kemp richy142@hotmail.com


Name:
Joan Leigh
Date:
27 Mar 2008
Time:
03:03:11

Comments

I was so pleased in the initiative you have taken to save the State Cinema. From the late 50's and 60's this was my local cinema. I remember the plush red velvet furniture and grand staircase, and even got to see the organ rising from the 'pit'. It would be shameful for this heritage building to be destroyed. Surely the 'powers that be' in Grays can see the potential this building holds. I now live in Toronto Canada and believe me this building would be the envy of all and would never be allowed to go the way of the hammer. Wake up Grays to what you have in your own backyard. Keep up the good work to save the "State"


Name:
Danny Boii
Date:
28 Mar 2008
Time:
15:26:32

Comments

Brand for mayor he could save the state and grays is his home town to sign his mayor petition go to www.bsnlp.com and click on russell brand for mayor petition and SIGN IT;)


Name:
Jacqui
Date:
28 Mar 2008
Time:
15:31:37

Comments

Preserve the state and reopen it to the oldies


Name:
SAME AS ABOVE
Date:
28 Mar 2008
Time:
15:52:30

Comments

Just because its called the state. lets not let it deteriate into a state


Name:
wally stammers
Date:
28 Mar 2008
Time:
20:05:48

Comments

May i suggest that to save The State Cinema Sir Richard Branson might show an interest in our Plight and restore it to its former glory



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