Chorley Little Theatre earns place in art deco book

Chorley Little Theatre, photo by John Dickinson

Chorley Little Theatre, photo by John Dickinson

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Chorley’s historic cinema features in a new book celebrating the ‘Art Deco’ movement.

Now Chorley Little Theatre, the building in Dole Lane gets a special mention in ‘The Art Deco Traveller – A Guidebook to Britain’ by art historian Genista Davidson.

Art Deco author Genista Davidson

Art Deco author Genista Davidson

She describes the ‘wonderful little theatre’, built in 1910, as demonstrating a ‘quirky cusp of deco’ and adds: “Films are also screened at this venue, which clearly is a ‘blueprint’ with its white facade and architectural style, of the impending Art Deco movement which was to follow’.

She explains: “It was in the 1960s that the term ‘Art Deco’ was formally recognised as the defining name for the period, usually regarded as the interwar years of 1918 to 1939.

“It is often associated with white rendered concrete flat-roofed buildings, suntrap windows and sunray motifs.

“Unlike its predecessors – that of Art Nouveau and the Arts and Crafts movement – Art Deco was here to address every area of society.

“Films are also screened at this venue, which clearly is a ‘blueprint’ with its white facade and architectural style, of the impending Art Deco movement which was to follow.”

Art historian Genista Davidson speaking about Chorley Little Theatre

“It was to be functional and practical, using materials which could be mass produced and out of this grew some iconic utilitarian city hall buildings along with hotels, cinemas, dance halls, lidos and even residential properties.

“Over the years, unfortunately, many Art Deco buildings have fallen into disrepair and been demolished as the heritage of that time had been little appreciated, and they have made way for new developments and supermarkets or were revamped into bingo halls and the like.

“But it is not all doom and gloom. Over the past 10 years a steady momentum of people embracing the past – whether it be ‘good old-fashioned manners’ or the escapism nostalgia brings, with the glamour and glitz that is to as ‘jazz days’ conjures up within us – is having a revival.”

Art Deco Traveller

Art Deco Traveller