JD Wetherspoon Appoints CBRE and Savills to Sell the State Cinema

Pub operator JD Wetherspoon has confirmed the appointment of CBRE and Savills to sell the historic State Cinema in Grays, Essex.

Constructed in 1938 by the famous architect F G M Chancellor, The State was one of the largest single screen cinemas within Essex, boasting over 2,200 seats. The cinema eventually closed in 1988 after 50 years owing to nearby multiplex competition. It has been through a variety of uses since, including Charleston’s wine bar and nightclub which operated there throughout the 1990’s.

The site was then acquired by Morrison’s in June 2000 the year the property was listed, and planning was granted for a modern store on the site of the former car park. The premises was then sold in 2006 to a local investor who obtained planning for a Pentecostal Church before subsequently being sold again.

The property was then acquired by JD Wetherspoon in 2015 with proposals to convert into a pub in the heart of the town. Having achieved the necessary planning in 2018, work commenced in 2019 but halted due to the appointed contractor’s insolvency. Before a new contractor could be appointed, the global pandemic began, and the conversion works were halted. JD Wetherspoon has reluctantly concluded they no longer wish to continue with the project and have appointed CBRE and Savills to market the Freehold Grade II* listed property.

Paul Breen, Director at Savills added: “The premises are superbly located in the heart of the town centre, and their size and scale offers the opportunity for a wide variety of uses in such a prominent location while also benefitting from being immediately adjacent to the thriving Morrisons Supermarket.”

Full details of the properties are available at  

Toby Hall, Senior Director, Operational Real Estate at CBRE

Whilst the building does require some investment to restore it back to its former glory, the State provides a unique opportunity for an owner /occupier to secure a historic landmark within Grays town centre.

Toby Hall, Senior Director, Operational Real Estate at CBRE