Grays of Worcester is situated in the beautifully restored, Grade II listed Northwick Cinema, a fine example of 1930s Art Deco architecture.
Designed by Charles E. Wilford and operated by an independent exhibitor, the Northwick began its life in 1938 as a theatre but was soon converted for use as a 1000+ capacity cinema.
The exterior of the building features the original brick front façade, the central feature of which is the stylish vertical name sign, the distinctive ‘NORTHWICK’ fin; but this scarcely gives a hint to the remarkable original interior which followed plans by the Art Deco interior designer John Alexander. The only surviving complete and unaltered example of his work, the interior features stunning relief plasterwork, 1930s light fittings and many other original decorative features.
On 10th September 1966, after nearly 25 years as a picture house, the Northwick closed as a cinema with Dean Martin in The Silencers and Audie Murphy in Arizona Raiders. The building changed hands and reopened a fortnight later as a bingo hall. It was used in this way until 1982, when it was abandoned.
Standing empty and unused for the nearly a decade, the building reopened in 1991 as an entertainment centre, hosting live music and sometimes showing films. This venture lasted for only 5 years. The building was boarded up, awaiting its new life as a home furnishings centre.
David and Helen Gray purchased the Northwick in 2004 and immediately extensive restoration works began to return the building to its original glory. After 18 months of collaboration with local and national heritage conservation departments, the Northwick reopened as Grays of Worcester.
Today, the building flourishes as a destination for high quality furniture, interior design and bespoke pieces. Set against Alexander’s striking interior is the impressive showroom, hosting a large and diverse range of furniture, lighting, mirrors and gifts. Upstairs is one of the most extensive fabric and wallpaper libraries in the Three Counties. The considerable industry knowledge and experience of its proprietors ensures their continued success as home furnishings specialists.