Picture House

Ocean Road,
South Shields, NE33

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Originally built as a Baptist Church, it later became the People’s Palace Art Gallery and was also used as a drill hall. On 21st April 1880 it opened as a skating rink to the plans of architectural firm Penning & Budge. It was also used as a shooting gallery.

It screened its first films on 7th January 1907 when Downey’s Living Photographs were screened and variety acts were on the stage. It was closed on 9th November 1907, and re-opened as the Cosy Cinema on 24th December 1910 following a redecoration and alterations to the plans of architect Jos W. Wardle. All seating was on a single level.

It was equipped with a British Thomson Houston(BTH) sound system around 1930 and was re-named Picture House. It was taken over by the Newcastle based Essoldo chain in 1947. The Picture House was closed on 27th February 1960 with Frankie Vaughan in “The Lady is a Square”. It was demolished in November 1962.

Contributed by Ken Roe
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