The story of the tatty former factory that hides a secret
Tucked away down a residential road in Swindon a tatty former factory hides a secret.
The building in Jennings Street once gave people a slice of escapism as respite from the grim reality of wartime life. Opened in 1928, the Palladium kept them entertained even during air raids for as little as a shilling. It closed in 1962 and has had a varied life since as a bingo club, rubber stamp factory and as The Balcony Community arts centre.
The Gaumont in Trowbridge opened in 1937, becoming the Odeon in the 1960s. It closed in 1971 and eventually became the home of Knees department store.
Its namesake in Chippenham opened in 1936 and closed in 1974 as The Classic, but it enjoyed a second life for nearly two decades as Goldiggers - one of the most popular nightclubs in the area. It eventually shut in 2000 and was demolished.
The Regent, which screened its first film in1929 and eventually became a bingo hall before closing in 2008, is still with us as show venue Meca.