The cinema where the Bee Gees first performed could be saved from demolition

The Stayin Alive Campaign have been working hard to save The Gaumont in Chorlton.

First opened as a cinema in 1920, The Picture House went on to become the Savoy, then ABC and finally The Gaumont in 1946.

In 1955 the Gibb brothers and family moved to Chorlton, which was the hometown of their father, Hugh Gibb. They lived on Keppel Road and attended Oswald Road Primary School and The Gaumont was their closest cinema venue.

After forming their first band The Rattlesnakes, they went on to perform at The Gaumont in 1957 – the first time the 3 brothers had performed in front of a crowd before. The rest, as they say, is history.

A much more recent development has seen The Gaumont potentially being saved from demolition, after the local community group ‘The Stayin Alive Campaign’ announced that The Co-op has offered the Community Land Trust more time to deliver the proposed community-based redevelopment of the Funeralcare building in Chorlton.

What does that mean? Well, this means that the Co-op have accepted the CLT’s published offer of £2.2m on the basis that the final proposal delivers the key community elements that the CLT have stated.

The Co-op will work with the CLT during this period as they develop their proposal which involves retaining the former Gaumont Cinema building where the Bee Gees first performed in public. If a sale to the CLT does not proceed, The Co-op will go ahead with alternative development plans for the property.

Steve Goslyn, Chorlton CLT Chair said, “We are delighted with this outcome, and look forward to working with the Co-op and the Chorlton community to bring together a wide range of entrepreneurial and creative talents to fully realise our vision for the old Gaumont Cinema to be transformed as the heart of our community.”

To find out more about the campaign and/or to make a pledge, please visit the Stayin’ Alive website: www.stayinalive.org.uk

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