Chicago Rock Cafe

History of Balestra nightclub building in Northampton in pictures

Much excitement has been generated by the news of plans to convert the former Balestra nightclub on the Market Square into a Cosmo Restaurant.

Here we look back at the history of the imposing building from it's beginnings as a corn exchange / music hall to the latest architects' plans.

Constructed originally as a building where farmers could sell corn, the hall was built at a cost of 8,000 and was 59ft high. It was envisaged that concerts would be held in the hall.

1. Corn Exchange - 1850

Constructed originally as a building where farmers could sell corn, the hall was built at a cost of 8,000 and was 59ft high. It was envisaged that concerts would be held in the hall.
London Gazette
Buy a Photo
Already given over full-time to the showing of films in 1920, it was first renamed the Exchange Cinema and in 1950 became The Gaumont. This photograph of a projectionist was taken in July 1962.

2. Gaumont Cinema - 1950

Already given over full-time to the showing of films in 1920, it was first renamed the Exchange Cinema and in 1950 became The Gaumont. This photograph of a projectionist was taken in July 1962.
Buy a Photo
Bought by the Rank organisation, the cinema became the Odeon in 1964. This photo was taken in the foyer on August 13, 1966 before Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines.

3. The Odeon - 1964

Bought by the Rank organisation, the cinema became the Odeon in 1964. This photo was taken in the foyer on August 13, 1966 before Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines.
Buy a Photo
It's October 26, 1967 and the Northampton Mayoress, possibly Mrs T H Dockrell, receives toys on behalf of charities in the Odeon Cinema foyer

4. The Odeon - 1967

It's October 26, 1967 and the Northampton Mayoress, possibly Mrs T H Dockrell, receives toys on behalf of charities in the Odeon Cinema foyer
Buy a Photo
View more