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The Peter Cushing

Issue : 3 Updated : 23rd December 2011

JD Wetherspoon Black Logo

A copy free feature of the transformation of the Old Oxford Cinema, Whitstable into a new modern bar & restaurant

With perios & contempory photographs taken at the pre-launch on Saturday 20th August 2011

The Oxford as Kings Bingo January 2005

1. The Oxford pictured in its guise as Kings Bingo on 15th January 2005

Front of the building

2. The entrance with its distinctive art deco style compassionately maintained

The building is at 16 Oxford Street, Whitstable, Kent, CT5 1DD although once 16-18 Oxford Street with a post code of CT5 1DB(01227 274800)

Controversial from the day purchased by the JD Wetherspoon Group, the original building was erected in 1912 opening as the Oxford Picture House, it was rebuilt in 1936 in the Art Deco style it ran as a cinema until its demise in 1962

Since when it became a shadow of it's former glory running as a Bingo Hall until June 2010

Interior of the Oxford as Kings Bingo 1 Interior of the Oxford as Kings Bingo 2

3 & 4. Undated interior photographs of the Oxford - Kings Bingo (Martin Tapsell Archive)

Grant Thompson, chef Keith & Rob

5. General Manager Grant Thompson with Chef Keith & front of house Rob (JD Wetherspoons)

Friday May 27th 2011 - A Row brewed over pub chain JD Wetherspoon's choice of name for its new Whitstable pub The Peter Cushing. A major conversion of the onetime Oxford Cinema and Bingo Hall in Oxford Street is under way, and on target to open in July. But despite hopes that the name of the new venue would honour its history, Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin rubber-stamped the title after rejecting six other suggestions. Actor Peter Cushing retired to Whitstable in 1959 with his wife Helen

Foyer with projector

6. A period projector & the original transformers & switch gear in the foyer

Whitstable Museum houses a permanent display devoted to his career, while a bench and decking area in Keam's Yard is dedicated to the Hammer Horror movie star and known as Cushing's View. He even has a table dedicated to him at his favourite eating place, the Tudor Tea Rooms in Harbour Street

 Overview of bar

7. The bar area with it's 1930's feel

Wetherspoon employed a specialist company to research the town's history, architecture and well-known residents to help them make a title choice. The rejected names were The New Oxford, The Magic Lantern, The White Post, The Pearl of the Sea, The Oystercatcher and The Bear and Key. Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon said it was important to pick a name with long-term relevance to Whitstable and that people could relate to and Peter Cushing fitted the bill

Over bar photographs

8. Over bar photographs

 Dining areas

9. Overview of the open plan dining arrangement

Labour ward councilor John Wratten said he had reservations, adding: "If it becomes the place that some people fear it will, it would be an insult to Peter Cushing, but if it's well-converted and managed, it could be a great tribute to him and will help keep his name alive in the town. "I must admit I have mixed feelings."

Yvonne Gann, of Cromwell Road, whose husband Derek worked on several building projects for the Cushings, disagreed with the choice. She said: "With due respect, Peter was not a native of Whitstable, and most people refer to the building as the Oxford."

Source - This is Kent


Red Sands Radio 'Peter Cushing' Commercial (Saturday 23rd August 2011)

Alternative bar view

10. Alternative view of the bar

Overlooked by a large portrait of the late Peter Cushing famed film star & long term resident of the town & after whom the building was named

Building entrance

11. The Oxford Street, Entrance

The major rebuilding programme was hampered by the discovery of copious amounts of asbestos, to many Wetherspoons have rescued an important local building from likely demolition, but at a premium cost of £1.6 million

Wetherspoon news clipping oct-nov 2011

12. Wetherspoon News Oct-Nov 2011

With gateful thanks to Martin Tapsell for the interior photographs of the Oxford - Kings Bingo & David Lloyd custodian of the interesting website Playing Bingo

Also see The Oxford Cinema for the Oxford & Kings Bingo, Behind the Scenes at the Peter Cushing

Useful Links: Peter Cushing Association : Remembering - Peter Cushing : JD Wetherspoon : JD Wetherspoon - Pub Finder

JD Wetherspoon Black Logo

JD Wetherspoon - The Peter Cushing : Review - Pubs Galore

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