Save the last piece of Doncaster's Cinema Heritage dumped in a Cemetery.

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The Doncaster Odeon originally The Gaumont Palace was demolished ten years ago and the site is now used as a car park. The seven sculptured panel pieces which hung over the entrance measure 53w x 51h x 5ins each, the wall panels or Frieze was the work of Mr Newbury Abbot Trent the famous sculptor (his provenance can be found on this petition) depicted the story of film, from its conception the writing of the scenario, the building of the set, and lastly the shooting of the film.

In 1968, after major modernisation to the Gaumont Theatre a new look happened, the outside of the cinema façade was dramatically changed with fluted aluminium cladding hiding the sculptured frieze.

During the 2008 demolition of the cinema the now painted blue aluminium façade was removed, allowing the frieze to be seen again, before it was removed and supposably put into storage for re-use in the new property redevelopment on the same site, which never happened.

Making enquiries in late 2016 of its whereabouts, I found the panels in a farm yard, unprotected from the weather or damage, having laid there since 2008, the owner wanting rid of them at no cost.

The Cinema Theatre Association learning of my research and findings asked me about their condition and location, a meeting was arranged at the owners farm with Doncaster Council who said the intention at the time was to have the frieze on display and have the panels removed to a supposedly safe Council storage area.

Instead this 84 year old piece of South Yorkshire film history and Doncaster's 120 year cinema heritage had been dumped outside (again) in a local council run cemetery unprotected from the weather and possible damage laying near to a public footpath, if it is not rescued soon it could go to landfill.

In asking for your support to sign this petition, I attach an email (see below) which the Cinema Theatre Association wrote to Doncaster Council on reading my report in Doncaster Free Press.    

Sir,  Your email of 14 August last year says the frieze is protected under a material called Tyvek but from the illustration included in this press report (dated 15-03-18) it does not appear to be under any kind of protection. Can you ensure please that it is covered up in some way to protect it from the elements. Can you also let me know what will be happening to the frieze in the long term as it has now been in your jurisdiction for over six months and it is felt that plans should now have been made for its restoration and permanent display.

From the Doncaster Free Press report,  Nick Stopforth, head of libraries and culture for Doncaster Council, said: “We are delighted that we have the historic Gaumont Frieze and this is currently being protected against the elements in a secure location. No action has been taken by Doncaster Council toward any restoration or to cover the panels in Tyvek.  Removal action only from the cemetery is not restoration, so please support this petition and help save the sculptured frieze

Thanks to all the supporters who have signed the petition I am sure through your support the Frieze will be removed shortly, to be dumped in another council decided location, but before it happens? could the panels not be put on show in the front grounds of the Museum for the summer, giving it some dignity while also being a great tourist attraction or will it be a lost opportunity which Doncaster will miss.

Thank You all for your support.

This petition can also be found on my web site.

Photo image courtesy of Mr Graham Warrender.



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Ron Curry needs your help with “The Cinema Heritage of Doncaster 'Let's go to the Pictures': Save this National Treasure piece of sculpture by Mr Newbury A Trent dumped in a Doncaster Cemetery.”. Join Ron and 678 supporters today.