Sort file:- Dover, September, 2021.

Page Updated:- Wednesday, 29 September, 2021.



Lloyds Number One


Castle Street



Open as the "Granada" on 8th January 1930, the building was advertised as "The New Dover Luxury Theatre."

Granada Theatre

Above photo taken from the Dover Express, 10 January 1930.


From the Dover Express, 5 December 2002. By Terry Sutton.

Snoops nightclub

Pros and cons of opening longer.

MOVES to brighten up Dover's night time economy will be detailed to district councillors next Wednesday.

They will also hear about fears of early morning disturbances in the town centre.

The pub chain Wetherspoons will be revealing plans to convert the former Snoops nightclub in Castle Street with later hours while Ray Gilham of "Bar Elle" - formerly the "Elephant and Hind" - in the Market Square seeks to remain open three hours longer, until 2am, on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

At the same time Jimmy Gleeson will be requesting a renewal of his licence for the Nu-Age nightclub off York Street, not far from the Market Square. Inspection reports show he frequently has 400 people on the premises.

All this activity is worrying people living in the Market Square. Ten residents of Dolphin House there have written objecting to the later hours. Madeleine Millar reckons she and her neighbours 'already suffer enough' noise from two local pubs.

"If the "Bar Elle" application is successful, it appears we can expect crowds outside their building until two o'clock in the morning on some nights. It will mean more noise, more drunks and more litter," she said.

The Snoops nightclub licence is currently issued to David Chalk, but the centre is being taken over by Wetherspoons, which is expected to rename the premises Lloyds Number One and to convert it into a cafe and bar.

Wetherspoons' area manager Marie Pinson seeks a full justices licence for music and dancing from 10am to 2am next day, from Monday to Saturday, the same hours on Sunday before Bank Holidays and on a normal Sunday from 10am to 12.30am the next day. The company already runs the "Eight Bells" public house not far away, in the old Metropole Hotel opposite St Mary's Church in Cannon Street.

The issue will be debated in public by the district council's licensing sub-committee on Wednesday.



From the Dover Express 19 December 2002.

WORK is scheduled to start next month on converting the former Granada Cinema and night club in Dover into the town's new entertainment centre.

David Chalk's Snoops nightclub has been bought by national chain Wetherspoon, which spent 650,000 creating the Eight Bells in Cannon Street.

Wetherspoon expects the new venture to be open in May. Renamed "Lloyds Number One", the Castle Street centre, once called Images, will be partially demolished to make way for a beer garden at the back.

Wetherspoon representatives detailed the planned changes to Dover district councillors who were sitting as the licensing subcommittee, chaired by Keith Sansum.

Marie Pinson, Wetherspoon's senior personnel manager for the area, said the company had 41 similar Lloyds Number One operations in the UK.

Several had beer gardens, she said. Unlike in the "Eight Bells" there would be piped music that would reflect the mood and the time of the day.

There would be a small dedicated wooden dance floor and many of the features of the original cinema would be retained.

During the daytime centre would be a cafe-bar with restaurant and there would be dancing in the evenings.

A meeting had been held with neighbourings, said Mrs Pinson, about how sound-proofing would be carried out. Managers, she said, would be able to decrease the volume of the piped music but not increase it, and the music strength could be zoned for different areas.

Food would be available from 10am to one hour before closing time.

Hours granted by the committee were: Mondays to Saturdays 10.30am to 1.45am the next day; Sundays 10.30am to 10.30pm; Sundays before a bank holiday noon to 12.30 am the next day. The beer garden is to be cleared by 11pm.


From the Dover Mercury 17 July 2003.

Pub plans shelved.

THE former nightclub in Castle Street is not now expected to open as a Wetherspoon’s pub.

The company had drawn up plans and made a licensing application to turn the former Snoops nightclub into a traditional ale, wine and food house with tea garden.

It was to have been known as Lloyds Number One, and the plans included demolishing part of the rear of the building to form a beer garden.

The building used to be called Images and before that was the ABC cinema.

Some work has taken place at the building in recent weeks, but that has now stopped.

A spokesman for JD Wetherspoon said that “enabling work” had been carried out, but he was unable to comment on the future plans for the building.

However, the Mercury understands that the company is likely to sell it on to another operator.


From the Dover Express 4 January 2007. Report by Laura Smith

Wetherspoons plans to raze derelict club


A DERELICT nightclub in Castle Street could be completely demolished this summer to make way for a new multi-million pound drinking spot, the Express can reveal.

The former Snoops building was bought by pub giant J D Wetherspoons in early 2003, which said it wanted to modernise and refurbish the building.

But in February 2005 with no sign of the work starting, the chain admitted the plans had collapsed and put the site up for sale.

But in a final twist last September the Express reported that it had been taken off the market, with the redevelopment plans back on track.

The company is now going through the planning process to get permission to knock the building down.

If granted, it is hoped work will start in June, with the new venue opening late this year or early next.

A spokesman for Wetherspoons said: "It's nothing against the existing building, but we felt we would get a better end product working from a new site rather than the existing one.

It is expected the project will cost around 1.5 million to complete and, when finished, has the potential to create more than 50 jobs.

The chain, which has venues nationwide, had previously attracted criticism over its upkeep of the building, which ran first as a Granada and then an ABC cinema until 1982.

Dover District Council even threatened enforcement action after members branded the site an "abominable eyesore" and raised concerns about the integrity of the structure.

Castle ward member Nigel Collor had toured the site with company representatives to assess its condition.

He said: "The building was splendid in its day, but through years of decay and lack of maintenance it is now in a dreadful state. Any development of the site by Wetherspoons is most welcome."

The new venue will eventually back on to the Dover Town Investment Zone, the St James' retail development.


From the Dover Mercury 4 January 2007.

DEMOLITION: Pub chain plans to replace derelict nightclub

Wetherspoon calls time on town eyesore

By Mary Graham

A NATIONAL pub chain has announced plans to pull down the derelict building that used to be Snoops nightclub.

Described by many people as the eyesore of Castle Street, pub chain J D Wetherspoon, which owns the building, wants to build a new pub.

The company has owned the building for five years and has submitted formal plans for the demolition.

Company spokesman Eddie Gershon said the new pub would have a modern design and would be built in keeping with the nearby Dover Town Investment Zone development (DTIZ), which would back on to the land surrounding the pub.

Mr Gershon added: "The company is mindful of the fact that the site nearby is going to be developed into a supermarket and row of shops, so the pub is going to be designed to fit in with that.

"Part of the pub will overlook the new development, so it will be sympathetic to the area."

If J D Wetherspoon get permission for the demolition, it expects work to start on the new pub in June and hopes it will be open by the end of the year. The development will be worth about 1.3m.

Kent County Council has issued a traffic order closing Dolphin Passage, which runs alongside the building, from February 6 for 14 weeks. The notice states it is due to a demolition.

Wetherspoon has announced several plans for the former nightclub, none of which came to fruition.

In 2002 it announced it would be reopening as a family pub under the name Lloyds No 1, but building work was suddenly stopped.

Last year a plan to sell the site was announced but this has now been dropped in favour of the demolition and rebuilding.



THE former Snoops nightclub building was built on the site of a former brewery barrel storage area.

It later became the ABC cinema, specialising in variety shows with many big names, performing there, including Cliff Richard, Helen Shapiro, Tommy Trinder and Mike and Bernie Winters.

As television and radio took over from cinemas, the building became a nightclub, with the name changing from Images to Snoops.

As building work ground to a halt, residents initiated a campaign, involving e-mailing J D Wetherspoon asking it to do something about the site.

The district council also arranged several meetings with surveyors, concerned about falling masonry.


From the Dover Express, 17 May 2007. By Laura Smith.

New plans submitted to transform 'eyesore'

ONE of Dover's biggest eyesores could be transformed into a new pub and 13 flats under new plans submitted to the district council. The proposals for the former Snoops nightclub building in Castle Street form the latest part in a four-year saga over the site.

Pub giant J D Wetherspoons, which also owns the "Eight Bells" in Cannon Street, bought the building in early 2003 with the intention of refurbishing it.

But in February 2005 with no sign of the work starting, the chain admitted the plans had collapsed and put the site up for sale.

Then in September last year the firm unexpectedly took the site off the market, with its redevelopment plans back on track.

It is expected the project will cost around 1.5 million to complete and, when finished, has the potential to create more than 50 jobs.

The original plans called for the building to be demolished in its entirety. This idea has now been scrapped and the facade fronting onto Castle Street retained and used as the base for the pub.

It would be joined by a new four-storey extension, which would have six flats on the second and third floors and a 119sq-m penthouse on the fourth.

Wetherspoons, which has venues nationwide, had previously attracted criticism over its upkeep of the building, which was run first as a Granada and then an ABC cinema until 1982.

Dover District Council even threatened enforcement action after members branded the site an "abominable eyesore" and raised concerns about the integrity of the structure.

Castle ward member Nigel Collor toured the site with company representatives to assess its condition.

He said: "The building was splendid in its day but through years of decay and lack of maintenance it is now in a dreadful state."

The new venue would eventually back onto the Dover Town Investment Zone, the 50 million scheme which will contain a giant Asda supermarket, six other shops, a 100-bed hotel and 53 flats.


From the Dover Mercury, 17 May 2007.

Snoops 2007

The formers Snoops nightclub in Dover. Picture: Terry Scott pd1205476

Pub chain has plans for Snoops.

FIVE years after it closed, plans have been submitted to the district council for the re-development of the former Snoops nightclub in Castle Street.

J D Wetherspoon want to turn it into a new pub on the ground floor with 13 apartments on the top three floors.

Much of the rear part of the building, which formed the auditorium, is to be demolished, although the facade will be kept. The pub would open up onto a new landscaped area alongside the River Dour.

"The new outlet will introduce some much needed life and vitality into the area which is characterised by the redundant and decaying buildings of the St James's site," said design consultant John Shemming.

"The existing building is in very poor condition and demolition of the complete building has been considered.


"The historic facade on Castle Street is an established part of the existing street scene and whilst major refurbishment is required, including reinstatement of some of the original features, there would be merit in retaining this landmark building.

"The entrance foyer retains the original marble floor, marble-clad grand staircase and some decorative balustrading.

"This double height space would have been the most impressive part of the original building and, if funds allow, consideration should be given to refurbishment."

The original auditorium is now said to be little more than a shell, stripped of nearly all the original features, and will be demolished, if permission is given.

The new pub building will be four storeys high, with a double-height pub, six one and two-bedroom flats on each of the second and third floors, and a penthouse apartment on the fourth floor.



Keith Parfitt says the site is important for the study of the Roman haven, but that any Roman remains could be buried more than four metres deep.

Mr Parfitt, who discovered the bronze-age boat at nearby Bench Street some 15 years ago, has carried out an investigation into the site of the former cinema and says the redevelopment would allow access to a significant part of the lower town.

Samples taken from boreholes could provide more information about the history of the area.

He is recommending that archaeologists be involved in the programme of demolition and engineering investigations.


From the Dover Express, 23 August 2007.

Workmen on derelict site.

WORKMEN have finally moved onto the site of a .derelict nightclub in Dover that has been branded an "abominable eyesore".

The former Snoops building in Castle Street was bought by pub giant J D Wetherspoon in early 2003. The firm said it wanted to demolish the building and construct a new 1.5 million Lloyds bar on the site.

It is understood the company has withdrawn a planning application to have it torn down, and on Monday scaffolders moved onto the site.

As the Express went to press, Wetherspoon was unavailable to comment on the nature of the work being carried out at the site.

The chain, which has venues nationwide, had previously attracted criticism over its upkeep of the building, which ran first as a Granada and then as an ABC cinema until 1982.

Dover District Council even threatened enforcement action after members branded the site an "abominable eyesore" and raised concerns about the integrity of the structure.

Castle ward member Nigel Collor said the company had not discussed its latest plans with the council.

He said: "I understand this is work on the front facade, and my, does it need it.

"They've removed some of the greenery but have not told the council what their intentions are."

The building backs on to the site of the Dover Town Investment Zone, the St James' development containing an Asda and other retail units.


From the Dover Express, Thursday, 22 May, 2008.

Snoops/Lloyds Number 1

Eyesore: Will the former cinema finally be developed?

When are they going to open?

Report by Rhys Griffiths.

A YEAR after plans to transform the former Snoops nightclub in Dover were submitted, owner JD Wetherspoon has been urged to get to work or put the landmark up for sale.

The Castle Street building has become one of Dover's biggest eyesores but it looked like that was about to change when the pub giant's plans for the site were made public in May 2007.

The firm's vision for the derelict building, which was formerly the Granada cinema, included a pub and 13 flats. But the plans submitted to Dover District Council were later withdrawn.

No visible progress in the Iong-running saga has been made since.

Now, a year on from the plans being submitted, Castle ward representative Cllr Nigel Collor has called on the pub firm, which also owns the Eight Bells in Cannon Street, to act.

He said: "It is an eyesore. I would like to see something done to the building very soon.

"I am disappointed a company with the reputation of JD Wetherspoon have not proceeded quicker, I would urge them to do so.

"If they are not going to do something with it why don't they put it on the market so someone else can come in and redevelop it?"

The company told the Express it is still keen to carry out the plans for the former cinema, but there are still negotiations continuing.

A JD Wethcrspoon spokesman said: "We are still keen to build a new pub on the site of the existing nightclub, with residential flats above.

"Before building work can start, the existing site would need to be demolished and Wetherspoon is in discussion with the council on this matter."


2003: The site was bought by the pub giant with a view to refurbishing it

February 2005: Plans had fallen through and the site was up for sale

September 2006: Property off the market, plans back on track

April 2007: Planning application lodged with to Dover District Council

July 2007: Application withdrawn.


From the Dover Express, 15 May, 2014. Exclusive by Phil Hayes.

After 11 years empty, Snoops site is sold.

Old Grenada now Wetherspoon building

JD Wetherspoon gives up on property it never used.

JD WETHERSPOON has finally sold the former "Snoops" nightclub building in Castle Street, the Express can reveal.

A company called Dover Heritage and Regeneration, based in Hertfordshire, has purchased the empty lot. It is unknown what the firm intends to do with the largest building in central Dover, which was on the market for around 150,000.

But Dover District Council leader Paul Watkins said: “It’s encouraging to see the building being purchased by a new owner.

“One hopes that they will do a major repair on the building and bring it back into use.”


Wetherspoon, which bought the property 11 years ago, had been criticised for letting it fall into a state of disrepair.

In January, the pub chain was issued with a legal demand from DDC, under section 215 of the Town and Country Planning Act, to smarten up the building.

Now Dovorians will hope the site can be returned to its former glory. The building was home to the UK’s first “super cinema” in 1931, before being converted into a nightclub in 1982 - first called "Images" and then "Snoops."

A spokesman for the Dover Society, which has campaigned for the building to be renovated, said the sale gives some hope for “this once grand property”.

He added: “We wait and see what happens next. There are various opportunities. Demolition could leave an ugly scar but, properly landscaped, the site could become an attractive feature. A costly upgrade could provide a useful centre for the community.”


Dover Heritage and Regeneration (DHR) is based 105 miles away at a Ipcation called The Studio in Elstree, according to Companies House.

But around 200 other firms -including Cristiano Ronaldo Ltd, Pet Adventure Land Ltd and Hulk Ltd - are also based at this address.

The business was incorporated in June 2012 and was called “Star Park Management (Hinckley) Ltd” up until March 25, when it changed its name to DHR.

On the Companies House website, the business is described as "other business support service activities not elsewhere classified”.

The Express contacted DHR several times last week but the firm was unavailable for comment.


From the Dover Express, 16 January, 2014.

Pubco is ordered to smarten building.

WETHERSPOON’S has been told to smarten up the former Granada cinema in Castle Street, which it owns, or action will be taken.

The legal demand has come from Dover District Council under section 215 of the Town and Country Planning Act.

The firm has until January 23 to respond.

The former cinema now has vegetation growing on its roof and peeling paint.

Wetherspoons building

HANGING GARDENS OF DOLPHIN PASSAGE: The building’s dirty rear.




Never opened.


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