Police set up cordon in Grays over fears for loose metal on State cinema

Thurrock Gazette: The police cordon around the State cinema on Saturday The police cordon around the State cinema on Saturday

A POLICE cordon was set up in Grays town centre over fears a piece of metal made loose by strong winds battering the State cinema could come crashing down on pedestrians.

The authorities acted quickly to close off George Street as a sheet of corrugated metal near the top of the old building's iconic tower flapped loose during Friday night's strongest winds.

Gusts of up to 65mph were reported in Grays on Friday night.

The cordon was put up early on Saturday to ensure no one could walk near the building before it was repaired.

Metal panels above the building's front door were also loose, according to eyewitnesses.

A spokesperson for Thurrok Council said on Twitter: "We're working with our partners Essex Police on wind damaged State Cinema."

The Grays landmark, built in 1937, is in a state of disrepair after derelict for years.

Damage caused to the State by the strong winds led to residents calling once again for something to be done about the building, sooner rather than later.

Terrijayne Butler ‏said on Twitter: "Something needs to be done with that building now, its just falling apart."

Various campaigns in recent years have fought for the former cinema to be brought back into use.

The latest calls were for the O2 to take on the George Street building and turn into an entertainment centre, similar to the venues it runs in Brixton and Islington.

Thurrock Gazette: damage at the state cinema

Damage to the State cinema's tower. [Pic: Rob Lay]

On hearing about the latest fears over the building's structure as the winds hit the borough, campaigner Jackie Roles told the Gazette: "I did have a petition, which collected hundreds of signatures then I submitted to the council regarding getting this place open, as so many people talk about it and I know the council say it would be so expensive to get up and running.

"I keep hoping it will open its doors. We all need local entertainment and a venue to be used, on a bigger scale for live entertainment, plus everything else that entertainment can bring."

Polly Billington, Labour's parliamentary candidate for the 2015 election said: "The state of the state cinema shames us all. I know the council are working hard to find a solution that will result in it being brought back into use for the whole community. That is what we desperately need. It now risks becoming a safety hazard.

"The cinema should be the pride of our town and the neglect that has resulted in the damage over the weekend must end."

Thurrock Gazette: damage to the state cinema

Damage to the silver panels - which were also reported to be loose

Comments (9)

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6:37pm Sat 15 Feb 14

Indred Cold says...

Another nail in the coffin of the State at last TBC can deliver the car park that they promised to Their chums at Morrisons
Another nail in the coffin of the State at last TBC can deliver the car park that they promised to Their chums at Morrisons Indred Cold

11:25pm Sat 15 Feb 14

ThurrockResident says...

Hight time this wonderful Art Deco building was restored and put to good leisure use for locals and to attract visitors to the town. Why can we have a multiplex cinema and or a conference centre etc? Space also for e.g. offices and shops.
Hight time this wonderful Art Deco building was restored and put to good leisure use for locals and to attract visitors to the town. Why can we have a multiplex cinema and or a conference centre etc? Space also for e.g. offices and shops. ThurrockResident

12:02am Sun 16 Feb 14

livesingrays says...

Something needs to be done about The State, it is run down and is now dangerous to the public, there are pigeons which live in their and it is an eyesore to the people of Grays and the visitors, spend some money put it too good use & something that the town of Grays needs a cinema, ice rink & bowling alley maybe.
Something needs to be done about The State, it is run down and is now dangerous to the public, there are pigeons which live in their and it is an eyesore to the people of Grays and the visitors, spend some money put it too good use & something that the town of Grays needs a cinema, ice rink & bowling alley maybe. livesingrays

8:49am Sun 16 Feb 14

RoverP6B says...

ThurrockResident wrote:
Hight time this wonderful Art Deco building was restored and put to good leisure use for locals and to attract visitors to the town. Why can we have a multiplex cinema and or a conference centre etc? Space also for e.g. offices and shops.
As long as the auditorium and other crucial architectural features are not subdivided...
[quote][p][bold]ThurrockResident[/bold] wrote: Hight time this wonderful Art Deco building was restored and put to good leisure use for locals and to attract visitors to the town. Why can we have a multiplex cinema and or a conference centre etc? Space also for e.g. offices and shops.[/p][/quote]As long as the auditorium and other crucial architectural features are not subdivided... RoverP6B

11:34am Sun 16 Feb 14

Mattster says...

RoverP6B wrote:
ThurrockResident wrote: Hight time this wonderful Art Deco building was restored and put to good leisure use for locals and to attract visitors to the town. Why can we have a multiplex cinema and or a conference centre etc? Space also for e.g. offices and shops.
As long as the auditorium and other crucial architectural features are not subdivided...
I think you need to be careful with such restrictions, there are many listed buildings that have been neglected to the point of dereliction due to restrictions placed on refurbishing them. I would rather see a building refurbished and open than a derelict shell - even if it means a few features are changed or lost. The State really is the last chance saloon, it wont be long before the Grays firebugs torch it and once that happens it will be demolished and turned into a car park or more flats.
[quote][p][bold]RoverP6B[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ThurrockResident[/bold] wrote: Hight time this wonderful Art Deco building was restored and put to good leisure use for locals and to attract visitors to the town. Why can we have a multiplex cinema and or a conference centre etc? Space also for e.g. offices and shops.[/p][/quote]As long as the auditorium and other crucial architectural features are not subdivided...[/p][/quote]I think you need to be careful with such restrictions, there are many listed buildings that have been neglected to the point of dereliction due to restrictions placed on refurbishing them. I would rather see a building refurbished and open than a derelict shell - even if it means a few features are changed or lost. The State really is the last chance saloon, it wont be long before the Grays firebugs torch it and once that happens it will be demolished and turned into a car park or more flats. Mattster

2:19pm Sun 16 Feb 14

rocket1 says...

knock it down before it falls down,its a white elephant.
knock it down before it falls down,its a white elephant. rocket1

6:04pm Sun 16 Feb 14

westham44 says...

knock the eyesore down its a health hazzard
knock the eyesore down its a health hazzard westham44

12:02pm Tue 18 Feb 14

joegardner says...

No mention that the building is privately owned, and no details of what the owner is doing to ensure the building is safe?

Thurrock council have allowed the owner to let the building decay to such a point that it is now becoming a risk to public safety.

Surely if the owner had intended on doing anything with the building other than let it rot we would have seen something happen in the last 7 years. If this continues it will be only a matter of time before somebody gets seriously hurt.
No mention that the building is privately owned, and no details of what the owner is doing to ensure the building is safe? Thurrock council have allowed the owner to let the building decay to such a point that it is now becoming a risk to public safety. Surely if the owner had intended on doing anything with the building other than let it rot we would have seen something happen in the last 7 years. If this continues it will be only a matter of time before somebody gets seriously hurt. joegardner

12:14pm Tue 18 Feb 14

Indred Cold says...

Should be used as a concert Venue and Cinema / Theatre
Should be used as a concert Venue and Cinema / Theatre Indred Cold

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