Showing 1 - 25 of 173 comments
Slideshow devoted to the Eden Theatre from ‘The History of Bishop Auckland’ website (adjust to full screen) :–
A preview of a fine watercolour by Bishop Auckland artist, Gaz Miller has been uploaded to the photos section…..
Article re the Majestic (Odeon) Bishop Auckland :–
Auditorium photo uploaded to the relevant section.
The 1200 seat screen 1 consisted of 737 seats in the former circle with the remainder of the capacity occupying the front stalls which was only very occasionally opened as an overflow area. I thought I would mention this just in case anyone imagined that it had a 1200 seat circle…….
Very nice it looks too! Even red screen tabs to complement the lovely decor and seating. Everyman did the people of Esher a great favour by rescuing this theatre from Odeon………..
My friend, Bill Mather, former CEO of Fairworld, will know quite a lot about this cinema’s history and I shall ask him about it the next time we speak.
I do recall that the Carlton was on bingo for a few years whilst Thompson’s Empire cinema was still open. In the early 1970’s the Empire, I believe,was made a compulsory purchase by the Local Authority and the Middlesbrough based Thompson’s Enterprises purchased the nearby Carlton and reopened it as a cinema. It was the last cinema operated by that once large independent circuit prior to its acquisition by Fairworld.
Photo uploaded to relevant section.
Photo of Bob Spurs uploaded to relevant section…..
‘Call Me Madam’ 1960’s
Photos uploaded to relevant section.
I always thought it strange that Brennans gave priority over the purpose built and more modern Princes to the Court Cinema, King Street which was a partial reconstruction of a Victorian legitimate theatre. One theory is the larger capacity of the Court but we are speaking of only 136 seats.
In the above photo taken after closure of the Princes can just be discerned the title of the last feature presentation ‘The Mad Room’ (Shelley Winters)……
What on Earth has happened here? Stage boxed in at the wings, tabs gone, apron stage gone…..
I hope that it has been returned to its appearance in the earlier colour photograph.
Six years ago I pointed out (on Flickr.com) that this is the ABC Regal and NOT the Majestic. I see that it is still captioned ‘Majestic Darlington’, which it most certainly is not.
The above theatre was the first ABC I ever visited back in 1967 and,16 years after starting work with ABC/EMI, found myself managing it, albeit, by this time, with a different name on the front of house. I cannot stand the name to this very day but let it suffice that it began with the letter ‘C’………
I was there for just over five years. This was not my longest stay at a theatre, for I was Manager in Newcastle upon Tyne for 8 years prior to this and , believe me, I would not have gone to Darlington had it not been for the Company whose name began with ‘C’ pulling out of that city – something which ABC most certainly never would have done…..
A very well meaning contributor to the site queried one of the photos in the relevant section and I have given a definitive, but respectful, reply.
Two more photos uploaded.
Another photo of the historic theatre uploaded to the photos section…..
I have uploaded a 1950 Pantomime Box Office Card to the photos section.
1950 Box Office Card
Hi Ken. I have the book but it is many years since I actually read it and you are quite right; on page 63 it says :–
“ABC came unstuck when it acquired the Coronet Hartlepool in February 1942 which had nearly been completed. The company began work to finish its construction and started booking the films it would show in a few weeks' time. Existing cinema owners who were being deprived of these films protested to the Northern Branch of the Cinematograph Exhibitors Association that, unlike West Hartlepool (where ABC had its Forum), Hartlepool was badly depressed by the War and had enough cinemas already. Work was halted (it is not clear whether this was done voluntarily by ABC) and the building was requisitioned by the Ministry of Food for the duration of hostilities and named the Comet.”
How I overlooked this I am not sure but I can only ever recollect the Manager & Chief at the Forum refer to the place as the ‘Comet’ and that it was an “albatross around their necks” being key holders. The envelope in the top drawer of the Manager’s desk containing the keys also said ‘Comet’.
I do not suppose that all these decades later the mystery of why the Ministry of Food saw fit to rename the place ‘Comet’ and why, in turn, it was never actually completed will ever be solved……
The Manager I used to relieve had, in the early 1960’s, transferred from the Royalty Hull to take over the Forum from a very well respected ABC man called Vic Moss who transferred to the Savoy Birkenhead. I had to laugh when he told me the story about how he learned about the Comet/Coronet. Apparently, when the District Manager paid his first visit to see the new Manager at the Forum he asked “Have you seen our OTHER ABC Theatre yet, Mr Gillan?” and upon receiving a reply in the negative from the perplexed Albert Gillan, he said “Well, I’ll take you to see it!”
When they arrived at the Comet/Coronet they went inside and he said “Well, Mr Gillan, you’ll be pleased to learn that you will also be responsible for this as well as the Forum!”
I was tempted on occasions to go along to the abandoned building and have a look inside but I had been warned by Albert that the place smelt vile inside and, knowing my luck, I would probably have fallen through the floor or met some other grisly fate, so I did not bother……