The main challenge for the conservation works to the fabric was the mix of different materials used in its construction and finish — Monier system reinforced concrete, steel encased in concrete, panels of rendered brick, large-scale pressed cement decorative elements, and the iron sulphate wash (copperas) originally applied to the render. The building dates from 1927 (architect: Harry E. White), when it opened as a cinema, and its sea front location is a factor in the condition of its structure and detailing — the south facade facing the sea was affected by concrete spalling.
Concrete repair and replacement was carried out using cement-based material and aggregate closely matching the original, and rust-affected steel reinforcement brushed back and treated. Reinforcement with insufficient coverage has been relocated, and missing decorative elements reinstated. A mineral silicate paint was used for the whole building, applied directly to the revealed natural rendered surface. The steel frame windows are now operable and have been re-glazed.
Inside, refurbishment works included an electrical and fire services upgrade, storm water and sewage system improvements, and new lighting for the auditorium, proscenium arch and auditorium dome detailing. The lighting scheme uses a power-efficient RGB system of LED strips, which has also been used for the re-lamping of the signage. The interior lighting and signage can now be co-ordinated.
The Palais has 30 switchboards, varying in date from possibly original to about 1990. A number have been retained and are on display behind glass panels.
The first performance in the newly refurbished Palais took place on 25th May.
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