Victory in battle to get South Yorkshire's movie history marked

The former frieze from the Gaumont cinema in the grounds of Rosehill Crematorium. Picture: Ron Curry.
The former frieze from the Gaumont cinema in the grounds of Rosehill Crematorium. Picture: Ron Curry.

Campaigners are celebrating after a huge frieze which used to front a Doncaster cinema was recovered from a graveyard and will be displayed in a museum.

More than 1,100 people signed the Cinema Heritage of Doncaster's group petition to save the 33 ft long sculpture, which used to don the front of the former Gaumont Palace, on Hall Gate, Doncaster.

The former Gaumont cinema.

The former Gaumont cinema.

The sculptured wall panels depicted the story of film - from its conception by the author, to the writing of the scenario, the building of the set, through to the shooting of the film.

It was removed from the building before it was demolished in 2008 but campaigner Ron Curry, who worked as a projectionist at the cinema, said it had been left in a pile at Rosehill Crematorium.

Mr Curry, who set up the Cinema Heritage of Doncaster group, said: "The Trent sculptured Frieze stonework panels were removed from Rose Hill Cemetery, but being too heavy and large to go inside the Museum, the plan is now to locate it within the Museum grounds. Where it can be seen by the public and will also be secure.

"It's the work of Newbury Abbot Trent, the famous sculptor, and depicted the story of film, from its conception, the writing of the scenario, the building of the set and the shooting of the film."

The cinema, which was also ran by national chain Odeon, was demolished in 2008 and was due to be turned into a casino after developer Lazarus Properties was granted planning permission.

But it is currently just a car park.

For more information visit www.tinyurl.com/cinemapetition.