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Next door where the gas station now stands was the Queens (Gaumont) Cinema.
This building has been purchased (August 2012) by the people who were running a theatre in Southend -but lost the lease, the theater in Southend on Sea was converted from a cinema. They plan to convert the savoy into a theatre.
I saw a movie and stage show at Radio City in 1970’s. I was very impressed at the time, particularly with the stage hydraulics, the orchestra movable platform and the organ. I wish cine/variety returned, maybe with digital projection a short film could be screened during a Radio City Christmas Show.
In London the Odeon in Leicester Square had a stage show, with theater organ and film for a Disney movie (The Lion King) several years ago.
Not as spectacular as Radio City but did have a “flying carpet” and some pyrotechnics.
Many posts back someone asked if anyone remembers their first “South Pacific” 4 track magnetic sound print. I remember showing this film (in UK) and whenever I got the chance during this film would leave the booth and enter the auditorium to hear some of the musical numbers. “There is Nothing Like a Dame” made very good use of the stereo sound.
I also enjoyed showing “West Side Story” in 4 track mag.
Here is an updated link to the photo mention by me above (the geocities service closed)
I was often taken to this theater as a child, and always enjoyed the shows there. Not being wealthy it was always the “Gallery” (upper circle) and many stairs.
Watched variety shows, pantomimes and even ice shows there. Pity is closed.
The Piccadilly Line passes by the site of this theater just before passing into Chiswick Park from Hammersmith. Look out the left side you will see a office block where foyer and part of the auditorium stood and a supermarket built on the space which was vacant around the back of the theater.
The projection box in this cinema was very small, being in the original “house” part of the building. Kalee 21 projectors, mono sound.
I went to this cinema once, the film was “The Millionairess”. The cinema was set well back from the road on a corner site, and for that reason has a long and large foyer area. You also entered the stalls from the side and not the back.
The only picture I took of this cinema was the stage area during demolition.
At age 21 I wanted to be a projectionist, asked at a local Gaumont cinema they had no vacancy but suggested that I tried the Odeon across the road.( much larger theater) I tried there and next morning met the Chief a Mr. John Hewlitt. Started work the next week. I enjoyed that job and have never forgotten my time there. I those days it was Carbon Arc lamps, Mercury rectifiers, changeovers, stereo magnetic sound, even a carbon arc spotlight for any stage events.
I stayed about 3 years as I thought there would be no future, (cinemas were closing weekly at that time). As it turned out that
cinema theater is still open, a rare survivor from the 1930’s.
Whenever I pass the building I have fond memories of those old days.
I remember going there to see “Mr Pastry” films and Davy Crockett".
Not to sure if I remember an organ being there. I still know a guy who worked there as a projectionist in the 1950’s.
Next time I see him I shall ask about the organ and CinemaScope being installed at the theatre.
The building was white stone outside with steps going up to the entrance doors, you can see a small picture here:
There is a building still standing (2010) left of the petrol station site of the Gaumont which was an early silent cinema.
The link I posted above in 2005 at geocities is now defunct.
Here is the new link to the same site containing pictures of Twickenham Odeon.
The main difference in converting an old movie house to a church compared to a mosque is that the church conversion normally restores the building to its former glory, even converting triple screen back to single screen auditorium. With a mosque conversion whilst they may make it one hall again the seats are all removed and cinema or theater decorating features are removed.
As the Tennessee cinema is a closed multiplex these issues are not so relevant.
Shame to it it become a mosque though.
You can see the back of this building on the trains in/out of Waterloo. I have always noticed that this cinema has no flytower. Did it have one before the 1941 bomb detroyed the stage end? As it is decribed as having a fully equiped stage.
I used to walk past this cinema everyday on the way to school. I think I also saw my first film here “Singing in the Rain"
There is a picture of the building here:
and the foyer here
I do have other pictures of this cinema.
No, it was not opossite the Apollo, (ex. Odeon ex. Gaumont) but on the corner of Queen Caroline Street and Blacks Road. With the entrance in Queen Caroline Street.
I only went to that cinema a few times, unfortunately I do not have any pictures of it, exept in my mind!.
28th.February 2007. The Dominion Cinema (Mecca Bingo) Hounslow. This building is now being demolished.
Here are some external pictures taken December 2005
When I was at a projectioist training school in London in 1963 one of the fellow students worked at the Palace Tottenham. So the teachers always had to remember to point out that the film lace up was reversed for that cinema (rear projection).
The student told me that sometimes at the Palace a person would mistakenly walk across the stage whilst the film was showing, so the audience got a large shadow ouline of them on the screen!.
Glad that the building is listed still in use and open.
Always looks impressive from the front.
A picture after closure
A picture is here http://geocities.com/johnllon/putney.htm
I was told by a projectionist who worked at Richmond Odeon in 1964 that the Odeon Epsom, which was very close to an electric railway line, had an alternative power supply from the railways supply. So in case of a “town” electricity failure, the cinema had the railway as a secondary supply.
Never went to that cinema but certainly drove past and saw it in days of old.
You can see some pictures of the Odeon Twickenham inside and ouside, plus demolition on the link below (there is also the Regal and Gaumont Twickenham on this link)
John (UK London)
Yes we had Kalee 21 machines with bell on the top spool boxes.
In fact if the cinema was not busy you could hear the bell at the back of the balcony.
I don’t think the patrons noticed it, probably just us projectionists maybe we got our ears tuned to listen for it!
I can still hear it now in my memories…….
I well remember the “continuos performance” days.you would run a B movie, then interval for ice cream sales,(with the sales girls spotlighted with their trays)-hand fed carbon arc spots. Adverts, newsreel or short, trailers then main feature, then repeat all again 3 times a day no stopping.
There were 20 minute reels with changeovers. An occasional stage presentation(rare).Hand written slide anouncments (scratched on glass slides), magnetic sound on some CinemaScope films. rewinds, house tabs.
Mercury arc rectifiers.
Quick lace up if a ‘scope trailer and WS feature.
Boxes hot in summer and cold (up on the roof) in the winter.
Carrying the film crates up all those stairs…..the smell of ozone, oil and celluloid.
They were still good days, and there was presentation.