Latest News


Wednesday 19/11/08

The Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation consultation on North Grays is now taking place, plans can be viewed by using the link below. There is an online copy of the proposal document and more importantly a questionnaire and contact form for feedback on the proposals. I would strongly advise all who complete either questionnaire to oppose the plans as they include converting part of the building for shops and accommodation. This is something I feel is completely unnecessary and should not be considered at least until a full feasibility study is completed.

Back in April 2008 a feasibility study was promised by Thurrock Council leader Terry Hipsey to investigate future uses for the State; until this study takes place I feel it is wrong for TTGDC to make any proposals that include residential property as this should be a last resort.

Outline of the Proposals

The Proposal Document

The Questionnaire

Following the release of the Preferred Options document and questionnaire it has become apparent that the wording for question 7 regarding the State DOES NOT give the option to support or oppose certain uses for the State. Campaigner Peter Valentine has been in contact with TTGDC and has received the following advise;

Online Questionnaire

Complete the questionnaire, for question 7   I would indicate that you oppose the plans as the questionnaire is seeking support for this mix of uses.  Then submit the questionnaire.  I would then follow this up with an email using the comments page to articulate exactly how you would wish to see the State Cinema, or any other component of the design brief move forward.  I will be able to match the responses by utilising the contact details you supply on each form.



Saturday 26/04/08

Following a successful awareness event on the 19th April and an additional signature signing event held by Peter Valentine at the Thamesside Theatre in Grays the combined petition count has now reached an amazing 5000 signatures!

Below are some photos from the awareness events held on the 19th and 24th of April.

Members of the public looking at photos of the interior of the State


Anjie Gaywood obtaining signatures and chatting with members of the public.


Peter Valentine Chatting with members of the public about their memories of the State.

Friday 04/04/08

Councillor Terry Hipsey has shown a positive response to our campaign to Save the State cinema. Councillor hipsey is quoted as saying on the Thurrock Gazette website "I have listened to what the campaigners have had to say with great interest and I am delighted to say that we are looking at commissioning a body to look into the business potential and viability of the State and I've already had a meeting with the Development Corporation to open up a dialogue on this issue"

Click Here to Read the full Article on the Thurrock Gazette website.

Tuesday 01/04/08

Following the huge success of the State awareness day, we have another day planned at Grays town centre on Saturday 19th April. We are looking for as many people as possible to join us in obtaining signatures and raising general awareness by handing out leaflets.

Interest around our campaign is growing and many people both young and old want to see something happening to secure the future of the building. Surely now with such public support and local elections only a few weeks away it is time Thurrock council commented on what they are doing to make sure this building is not being allowed to decay further.

I am going to send several emails over the next few days to senior council officials questioning what the schedule of repairs for the State are and when they are taking place. If no repairs are planned we want to know what action they intend to take against TSP Properties.

Wednesday 26/03/08

There will now be an additional day to sign the ongoing save the State petition. The petition will be available to sign from 1.30 to 5.00PM on the Saturday 29th March at the Thameside theatre in Grays.

Wednesday 19/03/08

This evening the petition so far has been presented to Thurrock Council, this is due to tonight being the last full Council meeting to be held before the May local elections. We are still going to continue gaining signatures as we can resubmit the petition so please encourage friends and family who haven't signed the petition to do so.

Saturday 15/03/08

Today several campaigners met outside the main doors of the State to gain further signatures for the "Save the State" campaign. We received an amazing 1376 signatures in just 6 hours and were made to feel very welcome by the residents of Grays and were surprised at the amount of interest shown in saving this building.

We were joined by members of the 1940's re-enactment group and members of diving through time. All campaigners worked extremely hard and took time to speak with members of the public lots of whom had many interesting stories about time spent at the State.

Thurrock council must now see how passionate the people of Thurrock are about the State and that we are not going to let this building go without a fight.

The current combined petition count is an amazing 3276 signatures; I think each and every campaigner that took part in Saturdays event should be extremely proud of this achievement.

Campaigners outside the main door of the State Cinema, taken 15th March 2008

Tuesday 11/03/08

Following some fantastic coverage by the Thurrock Gazette and general word of mouth the online petition has now received over 1700 signatures and is continuing to receive a large number of signatures each day. We will also be looking to have a paper petition available for written signatures at the awareness day on Saturday 15th March.

Photo Gallery Updated

The gallery has been updated and now includes some press clippings, promotional flyers and a copy of the original opening night newspaper advert and programme.

 Downloadable Campaign Posters

Below are some campaign posters that detail our campaign and the State's current plight. These can be printed and displayed in shops and homes to help raise further awareness.

To download any of these posters, please right click on the relevant poster and select "save target as"





Thursday 27/02/08

On Tuesday night the petition to save the State cinema received it 1000th signature. Also the website has received over 2000 visits in the last week alone.

The campaign is now gaining momentum and we are starting to make slow but steady progress. I am going to write to some senior figures in Thurrock Council requesting a date when I will be able to hand in the petition and a copy of all the comments from the comments page.  I will also see if the Thurrock Gazette will send a photographer and print another article detailing the progress so far.

I am also now looking at getting a few thousand leaflets printed with details of the State, its condition and the campaign. A few members of a home front re-enactment group have offered to get dressed up in their uniforms and hand out the leaflets in Grays town centre. The date for this is yet to be confirmed.

For anyone that would like to make donations towards the printing of leaflets and banners I have now added a paypal donations button below.



You do not need to have a PayPal account to donate, PayPal are used to process the transaction securely.


Tuesday 26/02/08







Saturday 23/02/08

The new website is now live and as you can see has received a much needed browser friendly facelift. There will be some new pictures and documents uploaded over the next couple of days so please check back.

I have also uploaded a campaign poster that can be printed and displayed in your window or passed to interested parties.

Please right click on the poster below and select "Save Target As" to save a copy.

Thursday 21/02/08

The BBC Essex interview from Monday 11th Feb is now online and can be listened too by using the player below. At the end of the interview is the Statement from TSP properties claiming that the building is now clean and water tight.



If you cannot view the player above, please click here to download file


Wednesday 20/02/08

With the huge number of comments and emails we have received in the last few days I have added a discussion forum to the website. The forum is now live and will enable visitors and enthusiasts to discuss their experiences of the the State, what they would like to see the building used for in the future and will contain details of any campaign events that will be taking place.

Wednesday 13/02/08

Following Monday mornings BBC Essex interview and statement released by TSP properties I have decided to investigate what work has been undertaken. I have been lucky enough to recieve a copy of a structural survey that was conducted in 2003 on behalf of Morrisons. Below I have pasted some of the relevant sections from the document outlining urgent works that should be undertaken.


I have emailed Thurrock council this morning asking whether the building has been inspected since the repairs have supposedly taken place. Below is a section copied from Thurrock Councils listed building page.

How do I report a building at risk?

If you are aware of a historic building which is either derelict or not being properly preserved you can contact the Council who will inspect the building and advise you what action is possible.

I have also emailed English heritage to ask what can be done to ensure the appropriate repairs have taken place.

I will post the replies as soon as I receive them.

Tuesday 12/02/08

Yesterday morning I was interviewed live on the Ian Wyatt show on BBC Radio Essex. I was invited on the show to talk about the State building and the website. I explained the reasons for setting up the website and what most people would like to see happen to the building.

At the end of the interview, as statement from the current owners (TSP Properties) was read out. The owners "CLAIM" that they have undertaken a huge amount of work to the building over the last 2 years and that the building is now water tight, dry and clean inside! They also claim to have restored the Compton organ back to it's former glory.

The full interview will be available to listen to on this website in the next 24hrs.

Thursday 07/02/08

Pete Hammond of HWS Associates has kindly let me upload his proposal for the State to used as a performance venue, this document was presented recently to Thurrock Council and the TGDC. The Document contains some really interesting information about the State and considers many different uses for the building.

The document is in Adobe PDF format, and can either be viewed through the website of can be downloaded by right clicking on the link below and selecting "save as".

State Grays as a performance venue.pdf

Wednesday 06/02/08

Thurrock Council are currently having a strategic planning consultation regarding the future of Thurrock and are inviting residents to give feedback and make comments. This is a perfect opportunity for us to put across our case for the restoration and reopening of the State building and show the council that this building should be part of this plan for the future.

 It would be fantastic if as many of you as possible would take 5 minutes to fill out their online consultation form and put across your views with regards to the State and what you think should be done with the building.

 On the form you are asked “which part of the Site Specific Allocations & Policies DPD does your response relate?”

You need to fill in the appropriate boxes:

 Chapter: 8     Section: CSTP12     Page 190

 A link to the online form is below:

 Alternatively you can print the consultation form and send it to the address below.

 The printable form (PDF Format)

Strategic Planning Department,

Thurrock Council

Civic Offices,

New Road,Grays,


RM17 6SL

Saturday 02/02/08

I received a reply to my email sent the 17/01/08 as below


Received 18/01/08

Dear ****************,

Thank you for your email. It has been sent to strategic planning for their information. The department will respond to you shortly.


Thurrock Council Contact Centre


Having still not heard from anyone since I sent my original email (over two weeks ago now) I decided to send another email.


Dear Sir/Madam,

Please can you ensure that my email has been passed onto the Strategic planning dept as I have not received a reply to my email sent two weeks ago.


I received yet another extremely unhelpful reply!


Dear ****************,

You email has been sent to the strategic planning department.

You can contact them direct in the following ways:

Address: Strategic Planning Team
Regulatory Services
Thurrock Council
Civic Offices
New Road
RM17 6SL
Telephone: 01375 ****** (General Enquiries)
Fax: 01375 ******

Yours sincerely,

Customer Services

Contact Centre


Friday 18/01/08

There is now an online petition on the save the state page. Please sign and encourage any friends or family who would like to see the State reopened for the people of Thurrock to sign.

Thursday 17/01/08

This morning I found a website with the plans for the “new Grays”. The website shows on the main overview of the plans “refurbished/adapted State Cinema”.

The website is here

 I decided to send an email asking what the current plans are:-


 Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing to you in response to the invitation for feedback
regarding current plans for the new Grays town centre.
Please can you tell me what the proposed plans for the State cinema
building will be?
I understand plans were submitted to build property on top of the current
building and convert the building into some sort of Health club/Gym.
Why do we need another Gym with Blackshots approximately 1 mile
from the town centre and Balantynes approximately 2 miles? Surely focus
should be on preserving this listed building and finding a use for it as
an entertainment venue (as has been suggested to both the council and TGDC
on many occasions).
Grays and even Thurrock currently has no entertainment venues other than
the Thameside theatre, and although the Thameside theatre is a fairly
successful venue it hardly attracts "big name" acts. The State in Grays
would be perfect a a multi entertainment venue that could easily stage
comedy, rock/pop concerts and show classic films. And due to it's large
capacity auditorium could easily attract the big names acts as similar
sized venues such as the Cliffs Pavilion does.
I fail to see how the Thames Gateway Development Corporation and Thurrock
council consider a marina more important to the "new Grays" rather than
providing the residents with entertainment. How would the tax paying
residents of Grays benefit from a marina? It's seems as though the council
and TDGC have absolutely no idea of what the residents want.
If it is to be argued that the marina will bring money and people into the
area, how will this benefit the ordinary public?
On the other hand if for example a sell out comedy show with a popular
comedian was staged in a venue like the State this would bring people into
the town centre spending money. People would want to eat and drink after a
show and local businesses would benefit. I can't exactly see yacht owners
wanting to walk into Grays town centre for a Curry or a Chinese buffet!
I think it would be good idea for Thurrock council and Thames Gateway
Development Corporation to at least conduct some sort of survey with
regards to the future of the State and what the residents would like to
see in their town centre.
I will post the response here as soon as it arrives (if ever).

Wednesday 16/01/08

Today members of the Cinema Theatre Association and Twentieth Century met with various members of Thurrock council and Thames Development Gateway Corporation regarding the future of the State Building. A proposal was put forward that the building should be used as an entertainment venue. Although not a concrete plan the idea was to bring the State back into the spotlight and demonstrate that it could be successfully operated as an entertainment venue.

The outcome of the meeting is yet to be known but I understand that the Council showed a small amount of interest. Sadly they didn't think the State as an entertainment venue would be sustainable. I find this a very bold statement to make without any sort of study or public poll being conducted.

Perhaps the TDGC and Thurrock Council should consider finding out what the "Joe Public" of Grays want rather than ramming pie in the sky ideas of marina's and "waterside entertainment" down the throats of everybody.

Saturday 12/01/08

The Gallery has now been updated and has some new and exciting shots of the inside of the building.