Comments from HJHill

Showing 1 - 25 of 86 comments

HJHill commented about Majestic Picture Theatre on Apr 1, 2014 at 3:11 pm

Oddly, the Kinematograph Year Book for 1914 has no mention of this cinema (nor any in Burnham on Sea).

KYB 1932 lists it but with no specifics about the building. KYB 1942 and KYB 1947 list 650 seats and 400 seats, respectively.

W Trueman Dicken had the monopoly in the town, being the owners of the Ritz, too.

HJHill commented about Western Talkie Theatre on Mar 29, 2014 at 10:22 am

“Leeds Cinemas Remembered” by Robert E. Preedy lists this cinema as opening under the name of ‘Pictureland’.

As KYB 1914 lists it as ‘Armley Picture Hall’, could it be that ‘Pictureland’ was the operating name whilst owned by American Bioscope Co Ltd from April to July 1910?

HJHill commented about The Savoy site in 1951 on Mar 22, 2014 at 4:13 pm

It’s probably the nearest we’ll ever get to seeing what the interior of the Savoy was like.

HJHill commented about Classic Royal Cinema on Jan 16, 2014 at 2:40 pm

The large white building across Manningham Lane from the Theatre Royal is Busby’s department store. In the foyer of the (1950s) Theatre Royal was a sign announcing that records played in this theatre may be obtained from the record department of Busby’s!

HJHill commented about Rex Cinema on Jan 16, 2014 at 12:26 pm

The map pointer is way out. Rex House is on Hampton Road West, very near to its junction with Uxbridge Road. Look for the KFC, Ladbrokes, and Subway.

HJHill commented about Regal Cinema on Jan 4, 2014 at 11:35 am

The old small midget next to the new huge Regal was the Popular Cinema (previously White Cinema; and Electric Theatre prior to that). It’s all reminiscent of “The Smallest Show On Earth”!

HJHill commented about Capitol Cinema on Jan 3, 2014 at 2:25 pm

According to the Kinematograph Year Book 1931, the Capitol was using sound-on-disk; and the proprietor and manager was Chris Evans.

In KYB 1942 the sound is RCA and Jack Evans has joined Chris; the capacity is 650; the proscenium is 22ft wide, the stage 14ft deep with 6 dressing rooms. KYB 1947 information is the same.

In KYB 1954 the proprietors are The Capitol Cinema (Cross Hands) Ltd; and the seating has fallen drastically to 400. The screen is 20ft by 14ft. Bizarrely, the proscenium has shrunk by 2ft to 20ft and the stage is still 14ft deep (14ft again?). I think some of the numerical data is garbled in KYB 1954!

In the London Gazette of 16 September 1966 (pp 10086/7), The Capitol Cinema (Cross Hands) Ltd was in a list of companies to be deleted from the Register at Companies House, as no longer trading.

HJHill commented about Market Theatre on Jan 3, 2014 at 1:33 pm


The Kinematograph Year Book for 1914 has a “Supplementary List of Provincial Picture Theatres” which lists only the Market Theatre under Aylesbury. There were 600 seats and the proprietors were Aylesbury Electric Theatre Company.

HJHill commented about Cecil Theatre on Dec 29, 2013 at 8:32 am

The hospital’s railings on Anlaby Road would have gone for munitions during WW2 (see the 1952/53 ground view of the bombed Cecil).

On the corner across from the Cecil’s (yet to be built) entrance is a shop topped with a spire/turret. It’s still there as a café/bar.

HJHill commented about Cannon Cecil Cinemas on Dec 23, 2013 at 10:38 am

The large white-façaded building was The Mariners' Hospital. The post-war Cecil sits on its grounds.

HJHill commented about Odeon Bradford on Dec 21, 2013 at 2:26 pm

The framework for the Odeon’s roof is (mostly) in place. This is almost the same angle as the other aerial view of the Odeon before the wrecker’s ball set to work on it 30+ years later.

Also in this shot are: the New Victoria (as it would have been at the time) showing very clearly the Thornton Road element which had the restaurant at ground level and the ballroom above; the white domes of the Alhambra are beyond the New Vic; and the white façade of the principal entrance to the Prince’s Theatre is beyond the domes (the theatre auditorium is the large building practically at Manchester Road.

The screen end of the Morley Street Picture House’s auditorium is visible, backing against the rear of the Alhambra’s stage.

HJHill commented about Market Theatre on Dec 16, 2013 at 3:37 pm

The cinema closed early in WW2 and was used for storage. When it reopened on 19 September 1947 it was as a repertory theatre. Martin Tapsell in “Memories of Buckinghamshire’s Picture Palaces” reports it traded as the County Theatre from May 1948 to March 1954.

HJHill commented about Granada Aylesbury on Dec 14, 2013 at 4:10 pm

The aerial view also shows (to the left) the Robert Cromie 1936 extension to C H Wright’s 1925 auditorium, with splayed walls and a new stage house. The stage was 23ft deep and 51ft wide with a number of dressing rooms. The tunnel-like feature on the roof of the extension, leading away to the heating/ventilation plant, starts above where a large ventilation grille is incorporated into the sloping ceiling, above the proscenium, between the splay walls.

Up to 1971, the stage was used for occasional amateur and professional live shows.

Cromie was also remodelled the (faux-windowed) street façade. Wright’s original was lower (about the height of the gutters on the building to the left) and in a ‘Greek’ style with two columns in the stepped recess.

HJHill commented about Forum Cinema on Dec 5, 2013 at 2:12 am

This gets more puzzling. Google Streetview on The Esplanade clearly shows the mock-Tudor gable of the cafe and entrance to the Lounge. It has been built out to the pavement at ground and first-floor levels and is called the “Loop” bar and grill; the address of which is 15 The Esplanade, YO15 2PB. The Forum amusement centre (exactly as in the photo in this listing) is the next property but one, further along The Esplanade to the north.

HJHill commented about Forum Cinema on Dec 4, 2013 at 4:32 pm

The photo is from August 1928. “Pennies By The Sea” indicates that the auditorium/concert hall was a cinema showing talkies in 1932. The Lounge is not listed in the KYB for 1931. “Pennies By The Sea” also says that the hall received its first cinematograph license in 1912 and was mentioned in the Bioscope Magazine of 7th November 1912; but there seems to be no mention of this hall in KYB for 1914. Further research is needed on this one.

HJHill commented about Forum Cinema on Dec 4, 2013 at 4:11 pm

The Forum development apparently contains the building that was the auditorium of the Lounge cinema which had entrances both on The Esplanade and at 22 The Promenade. The latter is now Liberty’s at postcode YO15 2QD. The 1954 Kinematograph Year Book listed the Lounge as an 870 seat house with a screen measuring 14ft by 12.5ft in a proscenium 32 ft wide. It had a cafe on The Esplanade side where the façade was mock-Tudor.

Google “Pennies By The Sea”.

HJHill commented about Electra Cinema on Nov 30, 2013 at 12:33 pm

The map indicator should point to the north side of Aldwarke Road, quite close to the junction with the A633 where there are houses at a right angle to Aldwarke Road.

HJHill commented about Electra Cinema on Nov 30, 2013 at 12:27 pm

This really is an enigmatic cinema.

The Kinematograph Year Book (KYB) 1914 lists it as the Electric Palace in Rotherham with 1000 seats and operated by Parkgate & Denaby Electric Theatres Ltd.

KYB 1931 lists it as the Electra Palace in Parkgate operated by Heeley & Amalgamated Cinemas Ltd and wired for sound.

KYB 1942 and 1947 call it the Electra in Rotherham, indicating Parkgate area, and (in 1947) still run by Heeley & Amalgamated Cinemas with 714 seats.

KYB 1954 calls it the Electra, but now listed under Rawmarsh with the Aldwarke Road address; ownership and seating are the same as before.

HJHill commented about Cinema House on Nov 28, 2013 at 9:51 am

Straight cross the street from the Cinema House, property is being demolished in preparation for building the Regent (later Gaumont) on that site.

HJHill commented about Pavilion Cinema on Nov 27, 2013 at 10:07 am

The “Picture Pavilion” is a rare listing in the Kinematograph Year Book 1931. Sound was installed but it was still a “disc” system. Perhaps the works in April/June 1933 involved installing equipment for sound-on-film. “Western Electric” is indicated in KYB 1942, 1947 and 1954.

HJHill commented about Albion Cinema on Nov 26, 2013 at 6:58 am

The “thought” is wrong. See the overview page.

HJHill commented about Albion Cinema on Nov 26, 2013 at 6:57 am

The Albion Assembly Rooms were on Norfolk Street. The hall was in “an addition to the Albion Hotel” built in the form of three ground-floor shops (with basements) over all of which was a hall 84ft6 long, 36ft wide and ~30ft high. (The last figure seems large, but is probably quoted for a beamed ceiling rising to an apex.)

It means that the Albion Assembly Rooms are another venue for film exhibition in North Shields and, from the KYB entries, was in business in 1914 but closed by 1931.

HJHill commented about Picture House on Nov 23, 2013 at 12:07 pm

Ramsden Street was Huddersfield’s cinema alley, with the Theatre Royal, Picture House (shown above) and the Hippodrome (later to be Cannon; and further down the street to the right in the photo). In October 1957 the latter two were acquired by the Essoldo circuit. The Picture House retained its name, but the other cinema (called the Tudor at that time) was renamed Essoldo.

HJHill commented about Ritz/ABC Bradford 1960 on Nov 18, 2013 at 11:39 am

ODEONesque, you omitted trolley-bus wires!

HJHill commented about Theatre Royal Bradford being demolished on Nov 18, 2013 at 11:37 am

From conversion to a cinema in the 1920s to closure and demolition, the projection room was located at the rear of the stalls. During the 1960s fitting out for 70 mm screenings, a section of architectural trim under the front of the balcony was removed to eke out an extra bit of height on the picture.