The Beginning

The building was built in 1920 for two local businessmen; Mr Voaks, a local butcher and Mr Hecks, the forerunner of the local Hecks cider farm.

The doors first opened on 15th January, 1921 as “The Playhouse Theatre.”

The Playhouse had four changing rooms, a 20ft deep stage and a 26ft wide proscenium. The original proscenium arch can still be seen today above what is now the piano deck. The arched ceiling is an original pressed tin design.

The Transition

The Playhouse Theatre gave way to the Playhouse Cinema as technology evolved and the big curtains gave way to the big screen.

The age of the cinema

The building retained the name “The Playhouse” for 25 years until July 1946, when it was renamed “Maximes Cinema”. For over 40 years, the building enjoyed life as a cinema with a variety of owners including Cornell Cinemas until the mid 50’s and then Myles Byrne Cinemas. Maximes had one screen and 561 seats. Many local Somerset people will recall watching their first film on the big screen and many we are sure will recall magical and memorable romantic interludes within the many rows!

Office Christmas parties 1

The end of the big screen

Maximes cinema played its last film on 15th September 1989. One of the last films to be screened was Batman, starring Jack Nicholson.

The start of the nightclub

After the cinema closed, the seats were removed to create large open spaces. The screen was taken down to create more depth to the building and the next phase of the buildings life was born into Maximes Nightclub. Maximes traded as a night club for many years. In 2001, the club embarked on a major refurbishment and was re-born as “Envy”. Most residents of Somerset refer to the building now as the ‘Envy building’.

Envy enjoyed being a popular destination for thousands of party-goers hosting many themed nights and live music presentations.

In June 2015, the owner Adam Fynn, announced he was to relocate and set about plans to sell the building and applied for planning permission to develop the site into residential properties.

The end of the night club era

On 11th December 2016, the then operators of Envy announced that the club would close at the end of the year and on 31st December 2016, Envy Nightclub opened and closed its doors for the very last time.

The building sat dormant, empty and cold for nearly four months before going to auction on 27th April 2017. The building failed to sell at auction and the doors at Envy remained closed.

A New Lease of Life

The building was finally purchased in June 2017 by a local businessman with an interest in both property development and hospitality. The new owner vowed to preserve the historic building and return it back to its former glory as an entertainment venue for the mid Somerset area. Throughout the reminder of 2017 and into the first half of 2018, plans were made and relevant planning permissions granted to commence the transformation of the building into “Pillars Bar & Grill”.

Pillars opened in April 2019 but was sadly forced into closure by COVID19 in March 2020, just three weeks before its first anniversary.

wedding reception in Somerset

Present Day & The Future

Throughout the COVID19 pandemic, the site remained closed with so many restrictions it would have been fruitless to try and re-open.

In April 2021, the then owner of the property decided that “Pillars Bar & Grill” would not re-open and the future of the site once again became uncertain.

With the knowledge that the property was not to re-open, the former General Manager who had developed a great love for the property and the community of Street decided to buy the business, re-launch and re-open with a new name, new passion and new drive and take it forward into the future.

Following further refurbishment and investment into the property in November 2021 “The Loft Lounge and Bar incorporating Marion’s Bar was born.

This former entertainment venue once again came back to life and this time there is every intention that the property will remain a destination of choice for the residents of Street and surrounding communities for years to come.

Come See

Our Bar

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