The Granada

Westgate, Mansfield

By Geoff Liptrot

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'The Granada' page

The Granada (Plaza), Mansfield’s first luxury cinema, opened in 1930, to over 5000 visitors. In 1936 a Wurlitzer was installed and in 1942 the name changed to Granada. 1954 saw it re-open after a modernisation, which included the installation of a wide screen and surround sound – one of the first provincial cinemas to be so fitted.   The Granada was also home to the award winning Harvey Smith Dance Orchestra.   The 60s saw many cinemas nationwide being used to stage rock’n’roll concerts: the early bands required little in the way of staging so the shallowness of the stage was of no consequence.   The Granada played host to many major stars, mostly on hastily-convened package tours, with each act given only two or three songs to make their mark. A typical bill was 1961’s All-Stars Show, featuring Gene Vincent and Screaming Lord Sutch. February 1962 saw the Beatles share the billing with Helen Shapiro. Within a year they were conquering the world.   But by 1973 the Granada had reached the end of its useful life: demolition began in May.

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'The Granada' page
Photo: Illustrative image for the 'The Granada' page
Photo: Illustrative image for the 'The Granada' page
Photo: Illustrative image for the 'The Granada' page
Photo: Illustrative image for the 'The Granada' page
Photo: Illustrative image for the 'The Granada' page
Photo: Illustrative image for the 'The Granada' page
This page was added on 18/08/2009.
Comments about this page

I attended the Helen Shapiro concert in 1962 but unfortunately The Beatles didn't! They had just hit the big time and went off to London to make recordings, but it was an excellent show even without them.

By Shirley Cox
On 17/08/2011

I remember having to make a choice between seeing the Beatles or going to a film, I chose the film as it was cheaper, and have kicked myself ever since for not going to see the Beatles when I had a chance, but now I have just discovered they were not on !!!!

By anthony holmes
On 28/12/2011

Saw the Beatles at the Granada they were 3rd on the bill but they upstaged the show...never forgot it since.

By barry ancill
On 16/09/2012

Who was Harvey Smith? Did he make any records? I thought he was a show jumper.

By Ken Harrington
On 26/11/2012

Was he the local Band Leader and had a music shop on Clumber Street? also his son Eric later on was the resident Band at the Palais. I do not recall him having made any recordings but Art Lester who followed him when Adele Roscoe and Freddie Fitzgerald went into the Palais did.

By Malcolm Raynor
On 06/12/2012

Hardy Smith, was the local Band Leader , who's Band played at all the venues in and around Mansfield in the early 50's... Probably the best of his time around the town, that is apart from The Blue Ramblers Band who were also a great Band at the time.. ( Sutton Baths)...If either of these Bands were playing at a local dance hall, the place would be full to bursting... Hardy Smith's Music Shop was on Stockwell Gate. alan

By alan curtis
On 06/12/2012

I seem to remember the Blue Ramblers played at a venue on Downing Street in Sutton. They split up and The New Blue Ramblers appeared on the scene.  Regarding Sutton Baths I have memories of attending a dance which started at one minute past midnight when the swimming pool was covered with a dance floor with The Blue Ramblers providing the music. The Sunday observent act deemed no public entertaintment was allowed and it applied to Xmas Day as well. Crafty Sutton Council and also the promoters! There was NO BAR but we took our own and used cups courtesy of the tea bar staff. It was always packed out and a good time was had by ALL

By Malcolm Raynor
On 19/12/2012

Hi I'm from Mansfield 103.2 We are holding a special 50th anniversary concert on Feb 23rd looking for people with memories of the gig. If you could phone me on 01623 666020 that would be FAB Best Wishes Ian

By Ian Watkins
On 29/01/2013

I [met] Carl Denver, Billy Fury and many others, the mother of my friend Pat Hunt was manageress there so we used to help out in the restaurant clearing tables, our reward seeing the stars that were performing there, a half eaten chip and a ciggy stub of Billy Fury's were my prize possession till my mum found them.

By Margaret egan
On 11/06/2015

My mum Emily worked at the Granada cinema in the early to middle 60s. She worked both as an usherette and as a waitress in the restaurant. I can remember eating in there a few times as youngster and always having the chefs ' home made ' fish fingers. They seemed to taste much better than the shop bought ones. Mum also used to get me the autographs of the many stars who appeared in the shows,unfortunately the autograph book went missing in my later teens.Probably would have been worth a fortune now. Sadly mum passed away in 1967, but the letters about the Granada bring back so many happy memories for me.

 

By Pete Higgins
On 13/06/2015

Hi Pete Higgins. Did you have a sister Margaret/Elaine? I seem to remember her telling me her mum worked at the Granada as well. At that time, they lived on Linden Street, but I'm sure her mother was alive after 1967. Just wondered.

 

By Allan Ward
On 22/07/2015

Hi Alan I had a step sister who I didn't find out about until about 1986.She lives in Australia. We lived on Arthur St from 1951 to 1953 when we moved to Rainworth and have been there ever since. My step sisters name is Carolyn, so unfortunately it's not the same person.

By Pete Higgins
On 22/07/2015

If you saw the Beatles at the Granada in the sixties or are interested in it there is a book out called ....The Beatles I was there by Richard Hougton....400 memories of the Beatles.

By barry ancill
On 23/12/2017

Demolished in '73? I think the last film I actually saw there was 'Von Ryans Express'', a '65 released film although it was much, much later that I saw it at the Granada - 'What was the last film screened there before the cinema was finally demolished'? Does anyone know for sure?

By Steeve. C.
On 23/12/2017

Hi Steeve. C.  There is a photograph of the front of the Granada on another page on this excellent site that was taken two days before it closed in 1973. The Young Winston starring Simon Ward is the name on the billboard. So it looks like there's an good chance it may have been the last film shown. I recall going to see it but can't remember if it was at that time or before.

By Pete Higgins
On 31/12/2017

Thanks for that Pete, you're probably correct, 'Young Winston' was released in 1972 so sounds near enough. I was in the far east then so knew nought of the pending demolition job. Am due a Notts visit soon. Will have a look at some more of the old haunts!

By Steeve. C.
On 02/01/2018

Sounds about right Pete, the Winston film was released in 1972. I wasn't in Mansfield then but memories of childhood visits to the Granada live on of course. Thanks for the info, and yes a great site!

By Steeve. C.
On 03/01/2018

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