Embassy Cinema, Braintree, Essex

Why Braintree?

Well: the good lady and myself used to live there when I worked as a Research Chemist. We thought we’d see how it had changed in thirty years so made it one of the last stops on our recent trip down south.

I well remembered the cinema. The Embassy as was. The building is very deco indeed but is now a Wetherspoons pub called the Picture Palace.

Former Braintree Cinema by day

Former Braintree Cinema by Night

Former Braintree Cinema Interior Panel
Former Braintree Cinema Photo Panel

Surprisingly the inside has not been mucked about with much. On either side of where the screen was situated – the screen itself appears still to be present behind the bar area – are some original panels one of which I tried to photograph (see left above) but the light level was very low so the result is grainy. Two photographs of the original interior are in a frame on the wall of the foyer (right, above.) The windows are not original but have been replaced very sympathetically. You can just about make them out here.

We astonished the waiter by saying we had actually seen films in it. (By the way, a true life incident – not to do with the film itself – from watching the first Star Trek movie there made it into my novel A Son Of The Rock in somewhat disguised form. It was too good not to use.)

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  1. David

    Good to hear Wetherspoons have been able to work a pub around the original decoration of the cinema. Too many developers see existing buildings and fixtures as problems rather than opportunities to create something unique and brilliant.

  2. jackdeighton

    Yes David,
    It shows it can be done.
    It gives the pub a lot of character even if the ceiling is rather high at the bar.

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  5. Therese Cooray

    Brings back memories of the cinema in 1962 when I lived with my parents in Victoria Street. We migrated from Sri Lanka (Ceylon) as my father was teaching in Chelmsford.

  6. jackdeighton

    Therese Cooray,
    1962 was a bit before my time in Braintree – but only just. The cinema has always been prominent in my memories of the town.
    Thanks for looking in and commenting.

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