Jesmond Picture House
Lyndhurst Avenue, West Jesmond,
Newcastle upon Tyne,
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The Jesmond Picture House opened on 2nd May 1921 with “At the Mercy of Tiberius”. It was designed by the Newcastle based architectural firm, White & Stephenson, and Newcastle artist Gerald Dorman was responsible for the scenic effects in the auditorium. Seating was 998 (486 stalls, 269 pit, 243 circle). It had a 26 feet wide proscenium. The Pit seating (front stalls-cheap seats!) were on a reverse rake, upwards towards the screen. The area of West Jesmond was always a middle class area and the programming at the Jesmond Picture House generally consisted of ‘better class’ films. Saying this though, the Jesmond Picture House was one of the last cinemas in Newcastle to convert to sound films.
With arrival of Cinemascope, a new wider proscenium was built, this was the only alteration made during its lifetime. Part time bingo use came in 1974 but it went back to full time cinema use from 1978, and with a large population of students living in the area by then, average attendances were 400 to 500 each evening.
In its later years from around 1980, it was sometimes refered to as the Jesmond Cinema. The Jesmond Picture House closed on 1st October 1993 after a new Warner multiplex opened nearby. It has stood empty and unused since then and the building is in poor condition. In 2008, plans were proposed to convert the building to office space, however, it was demolished in Autumn 2009.
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