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Cinema Retro


The Reverend

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So last week I ventured to my local flea pit which has recently been renovated. The last time I was there was about 14 years ago and it really is different. It's one of those typical 2 screen jobs, which are unfortunately closing down rapidle these days, which has a certain charm about it.

 

I thought I'd start this thread to awaken the memories of my fellow UKFF'ers of a certain age who can re-call going to a run down small cinema where the folding seats were like sackcloth stretched across wood with no padding, the screen was scratched to fuck, the sound was like listening to the film underwater and the floor was sticky with years of fizzy drink, ice cream and sweet abuse. And whatever film you went to see was about 3 months later than anywhere else.

 

I spent a large part of my youth going to the cinema as every Friday the 5:30 showing was only a

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This is one of my life's ambitions is to resurrect a small 1 screen cinema locally. THere was one near where I lived called the Raymar in West Malling, which was a family run cinema and I saw many films there with my Dad. I saw my first Bond film there, my first ever film The Aristocats there, Empire Strikes Back, Jedi, Dragonslayer, Tron etc. then the children decided they didn't want to continue and it eventually shut down when the owner died.

 

Then there was one in Wrexham (The Hippodrome) I spent many a day/evening there when I was at uni. That was one of the few remaining cinemas that had a smoking section too.

 

Fond, fond memories. I came close to buying (With local investors) the Gravesend cinema, until some kids burnt it down. Still like to give it a go if I could find a venue somehwere.

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Then there was one in Wrexham (The Hippodrome) I spent many a day/evening there when I was at uni. That was one of the few remaining cinemas that had a smoking section too.

 

It burned down a couple of years ago. It was more notable than anything for the fact that Barry Flanagan who owned it fucking hated kids, and we'd all go in there with firecrackers from the small joke shop near there and let them off. It was only

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It's quite amusing to think of a film actually having an intermission. I distinctly remember Linda Lusardi advising me to buy an icecream during the intermission of some animated film. I had such a crush on Linda Lusardi when I was a kid.

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I love old cinemas, and as I mentioned in the childhood nostalgia thread, I was quite lucky in that ours wasn't a fleapit (at least not to my eyes).

 

Going to the cinema was a big deal back then. It never really dawned on me until they were about to close it in 1997, but as my local cinema was an ex-theatre, it was all deep red velvet chairs, heavy curtains and gold swirly plasterwork on the walls. Now it's a big square room with black walls and LEDs on the edge of the steps. It just doesn't feel as special anymore.

 

For some reason, Mansfield had more cinemas that remotely necessary throughout the last century. 11 in total, with about 8 running simultaneously at one point. All but 4 have been demolished, and the remaining ones are now a garage, a nightclub, a theatre, and a snooker hall. 3 of these are actually on the same street (Leeming Street, should you fancy a Google/Bing map).

As cinema had gone out of fashion, only one was still running come the mid seventies (the big ABC), so this is all I've really known. When cinema picked up again during the era of the summer blockbuster, we were fucked as we'd just knocked down the two other ones that hadn't been gutted and used for something else, so we did what was typical and split the ABC up into a three screener (Screen 1 in the stalls, Screen 2 on the balcony, and Screen 3 on the stage).

 

This is now a Riley's snooker/pool hall, but they only use downstairs, so Screen 2 still exists, but has just been neglected since it closed as a cinema in 1997.

 

2738083341_f1dc22a8a2_z.jpg

 

1978, but looked pretty much the same in 1997. This was just after re-opening after being tripled. Star Wars and Abba. What a time to be alive!

 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/oldcinemaphotos/3334701547/

The circle sometime after being converted to Screen 2. Check out those lovely art deco seat ends on the hi-res version.

 

It's possible that behind the walls the go from the front of the circle to the screen are the remains of two boxes (private seating box things).

 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/stagedoor/361615807/

This is how it looks now, which is quite sad. It gives you an idea of the colour scheme though. If you look through the ripped screen, you can still see the back of the original stage.

 

5588332723_2e8bb6e58b.jpgabc-snow by H Mansfield

 

Lovely shade of green there, Rileys. If you look toward the back of the building, you can see the simply massive fly tower over the old stage. When it was designed, it was to have the largest stage in the country. On the left, part of the front isn't covered with the trademark ABC metal cladding. The door at the bottom is from the vomitorium (a corridor for getting people out of the auditorium without coming back through the lobby. It's so people could "spew out" onto the street afterwards).

 

Under that cladding, it looks something like this. This isn't the original front though. This front was built onto it in 1928.

 

5496429141_bca56c07d1.jpgabc cinema mansfield - 1928 exterior - webb by H Mansfield

 

The building is over 100 years old now. The roof isn't in the best shape, and Mansfield is becoming a ghost town anyway. I'll be massively gutted when this gets pulled down, as it's such an iconic place for me, with lots and lots of great memories.

 

one about a crippled lad who had racing pigeons

He favoured the manky looking one, didn't he? And called it Pidge.

 

The Ice Cream lady with the tray of King Cones (remember those?)

King Cones, choc ices, or little tubs that you ate with a small wooden panel (that would split and cut your tongue).

 

"It's here! It's ......m-m-m-m-mega!! Mega King Cone. Can you handle one?"

 

No trip would be complete without the title screen for Pearl & Dean Screen Advertising though.

 

There's at least one cinema in Nottingham that's still in a pre-multiplex building that I keep saying I'll pay a visit to one day. The only problem is that while I've been past it in a car (when someone else was driving), I've no idea where abouts in Nottingham it is.

 

[EDIT] Got a date wrong. Only 50 years out! Mhurrrr!!!

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It's quite amusing to think of a film actually having an intermission. I distinctly remember Linda Lusardi advising me to buy an icecream during the intermission of some animated film. I had such a crush on Linda Lusardi when I was a kid.

linda-450a.jpg

 

"Go buy an ice cream now!"

 

Works for me. :thumbsup:

 

 

Editted for spelling. Got spazzy hands today.

 

Spelt "Edited" wrong. This is probably down to only having two hours sleep.

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I was lucky enough to go to the UK's first multiplex in Milton Keynes (The Point IIRC) in 1985 not long after it opened as my brother was working in Milton Keynes at the time. Completely blew me away - but compared to multiplexes these days it was probably a bit shite.

 

I also remember the free film magazine 'Flicks' they used to give away. Sure I've got a ton of these from the lates 80's / early 90's in the loft.

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Used to have quite a few cinemas in North Wales (one of the few benefits of being in a holiday area.) The Apollo in Rhyl was the main one and was great. In through the side firedoor, passed the little lady on the stairs that stood between the screens taking ticket stubbs.

 

Thats the original that is now a bingo hall

 

4938615701_2655fc7788.jpg

 

Used to be the easiest cinema to buy a ticket for a Disney film (or whatever was on) and then just walk into the other screen and watch a higher certificate film, remember watching Licence to Kill which i think was a 15, when I was 7

There was also cinemas in Kinmel Bay and Bagillt but you didnt want to go to those because they were run by Peter Moore who turned out to be a Serial Killer Crazy Old Peter Moore

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Seems to be alot of Welsh in here.

Our local 1 screen cinema was Brynmawr. Absolute shit hole of a place, Every film showing seemed to be months behind the times. I remember the cleaners making us pick up all the sweets wrappers and empty cans we left after we all piled in to watch X-Files the movie one Saturday.

 

Then over the the chippy across the street for a Buttered roll.

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