Picture House

12 Station Road,
Castleford, WF10 1DL

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The Picture House Castleford in August 2005

A large free standing cinema with attached ballroom and with limited stage facilities still survives in Castleford, Yorkshire. The exterior is magnificent but the foyer area (possibly into the lower part of the auditorium is unrecogniseable as a cinema. There was also a very popular café in the building. It had a 24 feet wide proscenium, and was equipped with a Western Electric(WE) sound system. It was independently operated until 1962, when the Leeds based Star Cinemas chain took over, and then converted it into a bingo club.

Now a bar named the Picture House – but the murals and stonework of the exterior are still well worth a visit.

Contributed by Ian Grundy

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

dgcarter on January 8, 2005 at 9:43 am

The company which owned this cinema was Rowley Townsend and Atkinson (RTA pictures) until 1962 when it was taken over by the Star group and promptly closed for Bingo. It was the only cinema in Castleford with 4 channel magnetic sound. (Super Simplex projectors, Westrex sound, Peerless magnarcs).

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on January 8, 2005 at 10:19 am

Star Cinemas held a monopoly of the cinemas in Castleford. They took over the 700 seat Star Cinema which opened in 1912, was re-modelled and re-named Majestic, later becoming the New Star Cinema-the first in the Star Cinemas circuit.

Other Castleford cinemas operated by Star Cinemas were the Albion Picture Palace taken over from ABC Cinemas in 1957, which later became Studio 1-2-3 and then the Cannon Cinema. Also, the Queens Cinema which was taken over about 1948.

dgcarter on January 8, 2005 at 12:20 pm

I remeber the Queens closing, it’s last show was The Lone Ranger and the lost city of Gold doubled with The Flame barier, in I think, 1959. The building became the Queens Supermarket, later taken over by Associated Dairies to become the first ever Asda supermarket. I was a projectionist at the New Star from 1965 to 1967 when I moved to the ABC Wakefield. My mother worked first at the Albion (1954 to 1956), then the Picture House (1956 to 1962) then the New Star until 1965 when my brother was born. You missed out the Empire Airedale and the Cosy Glasshoughton.

Ian on February 5, 2006 at 3:22 am

Recent photo of the Picture House as a pub (exterior) here:–

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dicko on February 5, 2014 at 12:32 pm

My father, Tony Dickinson, was the manager of this cinema around 1961. He was working at the Alexandra in Pontefract previously but had a fall out with Star Group just after bingo opened and went to work for, I believe, Harvey Coole (?) at the Picture House. I was only 11 at the time ( ‘Telstar’ was at number 1 ) but remember going into the projection box and learning the job ! I’m amazed the building is still there and will be making a pilgrimage shortly to relive memories. If anyone remembers my father (he was manager of the Crescent throughout the fifties) please post or email…

Mike Dickinson.

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