Park Road,
Whitley Bay, NE26 1LZ

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nic1946 on August 6, 2014 at 5:20 am

I use to go to this cinema in the 50’s 60’s it was the best Essoldo in the area, the others being the Regal in Monkseaton and the Picture House in the Spanish City complex. Presentation was always superb, two sets of tabs, a big curved screen and projected lighting effects on the proscenium arch. I saw The Robe here when it played for it’s two weeks. The Picture House was a rather tatty Essoldo, it had exit doors that opened on to the Spanish City amusement park so in the summer you could here the pop music from the rides. It had a downstairs projection box, When scope was added it was built well forward in front of the proscenium, if you sat in the small balcony the sight lines were such that if you wanted to see all of the picture you had to sit with the seat up! There was no masking for wide screen and when change overs happened the image would shift side ways. I think this was a third run, one program on Monday & Tuesday, another on Wednesday & Thursday, another on Friday & Saturday and finally a Sunday only but not until 4 o'clock. The Regal was a lovely cinema, no mention of it anywhere or the Carlton in Tynemouth, gone forever.

JohnGn on February 20, 2013 at 3:24 am

This cinema had a stadium layout with the rear stalls over the entrance foyer. Although films took over from December 1931, it did still see occasional stage use after that. I recall as a child in the fifties seeing the ventriloquist Peter Brough and his dummy Archie Andrews (who then had a poular radio (!) show) here with a pathetically small audience. The Essoldo was the first Whitley Bay cinema to be equipped for Cinemascope showing The Robe from 17 May 1954 for two weeks.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on August 25, 2010 at 3:13 pm

Great picture Ian.thanks for getting it on.