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I’ve been to a few of the “live” shows at the Futurist and they have been well attended with over a thousand [but not 2,000] in attendance [e.g. Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat – Derek Acora] Barrie Stead has had the vision to put money into resources into the theatre and a passion to give it life. The live shows seem to be keeping the cinema going and it’s still a great joy to see a movie in this huge auditorium with excellent digital sound – just like being in the 70mm days but with even greater clarity. It would really be good to see the old facade reinstated and cleaned up – come on, Scarborough Council, give the exterior a good make-over.
Great ideas. But a single-screen of the SIZE of the Lounge couldn’t work with art-house movies. It was just TOO big for that. If it had been a twin then that would have had a reasonable chance – but the Hyde Park Picture House is only just over a mile away and it’s doing just that. It was a great place to see a movie, but just not practicable with the size and location. I think Charles Morris of Northern Morris cinemas would have seen this and reasoned that it would need a LOT of money to turn it into a twin and make it viable. Charles has done great things for cinemas in the north and it’s just gratifying that he saw the Cottage Road cinema, half a mile away,as being one which could survive.
Screen curtains [tabs] seem to have disappeared in Screen 1 now that it has digital as well as 35mm projection. Jeremy Powell who has run the cinema for the past few years has worked really hard to make the cinema profitable. Now the “twinning” means that the former auditorium [circle area of the original Palace] is halved.
The Castle Cinema looks as though it is now closed for good. No notice of film programmes in the press, or internet. The lesees tried hard to make it work over the years so must be congratulated on giving it a try at least with the children’s fun area and cinema using the rear stalls. The closure will benefit the Palace in Malton [only 5 miles away] which has been a “twin screen” cinema with digital projection in one auditorium for the past year.
I remember the City Screen in Museum Gardens very well. Nicely raked auditorium, large screen and well presented. I played for several of their special silent film programmes to audiences of 200; sadly the new City Screen doesn’t seem interested in programming similar silent films excepting those which come with Arts Council support, etc. Too much hassle to hire an instrument, etc., etc. Sad.
Just received the BOROUGH NEWS from Scarborough where it states…. “Contrary to what you may have heard, no final decision on the Futurist has been made and the Borough Council is still keeping a very open mind. The council has NOT sold the site, but it is important to understand that any development that takes place is unlikely to happen without the assistance of the private sector in some shape or form” etc.
I fondly remember going there several times when I lived near Bedford in the 1970s. The main auditorium was impressive in it’s size and decor – one of my favourite memories was seeing 70mm presentations there – really satisfying!
It’s continuing successfully as the Bucaneer pub upstairs with the stalls area being used by Smarts Wholesale fruit and veg. traders. I went to one of the last performances – “reverse” rake seating I assume is where the seating seems to go down then goes up? Well we’ve got that at the new Forum Cinema in Bridlington in No.1 auditorium – the nearest neighbour to the old Grand cinema in Filey.
It’s one of my 2 local cinemas “the other being the 2,200 seat Futurist Cinema” run by Barrie Stead for the past few years. Barrie took out the aging projectors and mirror-reflectors used to project films and installed new equipment with Dolby stereo and made a nice job of it! I don’t think the organ has been played more than a couple of times since he took the cinema over – but everything seems “intact”. The new “young” audience wouldn’t relate to the half hour organ recital Arthur Turner used to give before his evening performance, which was mainly 2nd or 3rd run mainstream films – so maybe this is the reason for the organ being mothballed.
Boy, do I wish I was over there! I play for silent film presentations in the UK [next one the Scarborough Film Festival up in North Yorkshire]. But silent shows are becoming rarer with fewer programmes around. I wish you all the very best and loads of support for this great venture!! Terry Ladlow [
The cinema was built by the Bamforth company [who produced not only postcards but were the Hollywood of England during the early part of the 20th century – they used the cinema to show their own films which were sold all over the world]. The last time I was there they had a wonderful display of Bamforth cards. Terry Ladlow
I filmed this in one of my cinema heritage videos in 2000. Nice venue with a committed staff. Had Dolby stereo even in the early days. The projectionist travels quite a distance to run the show – open usually Thursday, Friday and Saturday each week with a diverse programme of films – arthouse and mainstream. – Terry Ladlow
I filmed this cinema shortly after the multimillion pound refit. It looked great and there seemed to be optimism around – but a single screen cinema of that size [one of 3 suburban cinemas in Leeds within 2 miles of each other] just wasn’t a viable investment I guess. very sad.
It’s been a successful few years since the cinema opened. The programme is very wide and appealing with mainstream and arthouse filmfare. The cinema has tried regular 70mm screenings [usually once a month] and even replicated Sensurround and screened “Earthquake” with this attraction. Screens are large in all three auditoria with excellent sound. THX in Screen One is superb. I go as often as I can – wished I lived in York!
Futurist is continuing with more live shows than ever before – Barrie Stead seems a real enthusiastic leasee and it shows. Digital sound in the 2,200+ cinema [though only stalls are used] and a super large screen makes it a really enjoyable experience seeing a movie here. Scarborough Council have decided to sell the site so it will be in the hands of a property developer – but the cinema/theatre may remain, though whether intact is being very optimistic.