Princess Cinema

168-170 North Promenade,
Blackpool, FY1 1RE

Unfavorite 4 people favorited this theater

Showing 1 - 25 of 33 comments

LoveCinema
LoveCinema on March 3, 2018 at 11:11 am

Hello Terry,

Thank you for leaving your email address.
I’ve written to you.

best regards
LoveCinema

terry
terry on February 19, 2018 at 1:15 pm

Hello Christina

My e-mail address if you wish to keep in touch:–

Best regards

Terry

LoveCinema
LoveCinema on February 11, 2018 at 1:20 am

Hello Terry,

Thanks a lot for your recent informations.

It’s been some very interesting, fascinating weeks of “conversation” on this site, even so not exactly staying topic. I guess this happens with people who have dedicated their life and profession to CINEMA.

And still… nobody seems to be able to post interior photos from “Princess Cinema”.

Best regards
Christina

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on February 8, 2018 at 4:00 am

Terry & Christina: Though very interesting your 23 comments are way off topic for the Princes Cinema, Blackpool. Please keep them to yourselves via private e-mails or post on the relevent theatre pages. Thanks. Ken Roe, Volunteer Theatre Editor.

terry
terry on February 8, 2018 at 3:27 am

Saturday morning at the Grand was very interesting and it was very uplifting to hear all the big plans for the cinema when it is finally up and running at Beamish. It is expected that it will take two years to dismantle, transfer and rebuild.

Re the ceiling. When I heard that the false one had been removed ( a feature of its Bingo days) I imagined that, given the ornate style of the place,the original ceiling would be arched or barrelled – but such is not the case as it basically follows the contours of the main roof.

I did ask Bill if this had always been the case with the roof trusses visible and he replied that it had indeed been the case and that , in his opinion, it always appeared not to have been properly finished .

I have to say that the ornamental plaster-work is far more elaborate than would usually be found in a cinema of its type – in particular that on the front of the circle balustrade. Perhaps there was an ‘overspend’ there and economies were made with the ceiling! Interestingly, the original houselights are still up there albeit thickly coated in decades of nicotine and dust. These, like the splay wall stained glass features, are to be carefully lowered and restored.

We did not have access to all parts of the building. The circle was ‘out of bounds’ as there are some loose stairs and steppings. The projection box was also not accessible as it is currently used as a storage area for seats….. The projection room is unusual being in the rear stalls and there were no complete rows of seats in this part of the house. The ‘box’ is in the centre with part rows at each side. Bill tells me that the projection room was transferred from the rear circle in the 1930’s and I do not know why this was done; it would seem to me that perhaps when ‘talking pictures'were introduced a general ‘makeover’ took place.

I had my photo taken whilst sitting in one of two cinema seats which have been reupholstered . These, plus all those to be installed, are from the former Durham Palladium which was one of my favourite childhood cinemas. It was recently demolished to make way for new student accommodation, Durham having one of the country’s top Universities (after Oxford, Cambridge and St Andrews). The Kalee 19’s from the Palladium, I am informed, have also been rescued although Beamish advise me not by them ….

One day, Christina, we shall be admonished for using the Princess Blackpool’s page for these communications but, in the absence of anyone providing any further information about the place (in particular some interior photos), I don’t think that they can say very much.

Suffice to say, however, that a former friend and Manager of mine (from the huge ABC Wigan) passed away recently at the age of 81. Whilst the ABC (Ritz) was being subdivided in 1977 ( 2 cinemas in the circle , one in the restaurant and – guess what – Bingo in the stalls), he was based at the ABC Theatre, Blackpool and during this period he was deployed at the Princess for two days a week. The Summer Season Show at the ABC was Les Dawson and Kenneth McKellar while the Princess was doing an ‘alternate week’ film policy starting on Thursdays. I cannot recall the films showing there for that season, sadly.

Best regards

Terry

LoveCinema
LoveCinema on February 3, 2018 at 2:11 pm

Hello Terry,

Sorry, for that “excurse in time” that I commentend in detail yesterday, as I seem to be literally “taken away” by this experience.

Watching the clip about the visit to the beautiful “Grand” – Cinema of your friend Billy Mathers, I of course still realized that the false ceiling had already been removed. And what has come back visible again. So interesting. I hope everything goes well with desmantling the building brick by brick – which will be a highly delicate process.

I hope you have spend an interesting time with your friend at the “Grand” and your visit has been an enjoyable one.

I would very much be interested about your impressions at the “Grand” Ryhope – visit, so if you have time – please tell me about the “brief encounter” of the “Grand”.

Thank you very much in advance.

Best regards
Christina

LoveCinema
LoveCinema on February 2, 2018 at 9:58 am

Hello Terry,

Thank you very much for your response and those interesting links. I found very interesting photos from inside the “Globe” Theatre Stockton plus a little Clip. What a beautiful place this is and it’s only right that it’s been given the chance for restoration. Isn’t it lovely to read and hear about restoring those remarkable places like the one mentioned for a change? Also very interesting what has come back visible inside the former “Kings” Cinema/Bishop Auckland.

I was so touched by the little clip of Billy Mather’s visit at the Grand Cinema/Ryhope. Commenting this visit in his own words and his emotions clearly visible in his face whilst at the “Grand”….I can only say I can truly comprehend it. Two years ago I had the chance to visit “Schwefelbad”– Cinema again, which I had last seen inside as a school- girl at the time of closure (1968/due to TV). Although this Cinema (built by my Great-Grandfather) was not really my favorite place to see movies ( “BALI” was more favorited)I was really looking forward to this permission visit, which was arranged by a journalist who made an interview with me about the Cinemas History.

The Auditorium had to face some alteration through the last decades because of it’s use as a dancing-school, but through the suspended false ceilings I looked up to the original auditorium – lights and had a look at the original circle again and insisted to visit the front row up there, where we always sat. Standing on the former huge stage (the Cinema was also in use for theatre-plays and concerts/ a venue), I could make out the orchestra-pit, which the council of Balingen destroyed by filling it up with cement(!!) – a pitty really. Not only could I clearly make out the big Screen behind me (which isn’t there anymore)but also the two sets of dark-blue velvet curtains/Tabs (which were always in use in times of screening movies :) ). And specially on the stage I could make out that familiar smell…..I think I had been taken back in time somehow. I must have taken dozens of photographs and thinking back to this very cold afternoon in February 2016: An unforgetable experience.

Have a wonderful visit at the beautiful “Grand Cinema” tomorrow.

Best regards
Christina

terry
terry on February 1, 2018 at 5:11 pm

The middle link, unfortunately, overlaps the margin and cannot be copied but if you simply do a search for ‘Globe Theatre Stockton’ it should be in top position.

terry
terry on February 1, 2018 at 5:11 pm

https://www.facebook.com/BeamishLivingMuseum/videos/1625193314182363/

https://www.gazettelive.co.uk/news/teesside-news/how-globe-look-reopens-2019-13317212

http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/15814636.PICTURESSee_inside_Bishop_Auckland

terry
terry on February 1, 2018 at 5:10 pm

Hello again Christina

Well, if I did have any notion to see the recent ‘Ben-Hur’, I now know, after what you have said, not to bother!

In the space below I have added some links ( I tried pasting them here but they were impinging upon page layout).

The media were at Ryhope Grand today and my old friend, Bill Mather was interviewed by no less than seven journalists from TV, Radio and the Press.

Also of interest, I hope, is the current restoration of the ABC Stockton which is quite close by. One of its many claims to fame was the fact that The Beatles played here on the day that President Kennedy was assassinated in 1963.

Part of the second video shows the ABC (Globe) back in the 1960’s with the heavy house tabs opening onto a stage musical extravaganza. If they are going to fit replica curtains they will now cost tens of thousands of GBP as they were heavy bullion carrying maroon velvet.

A deceased friend of mine, George Skelton was Manager for many years. He, incidentally , took over from Gordon Chadwick who became General Manager of the ABC Blackpool. What a pity that, in contrast to Stockton, it was not saved. Sadly, however, Fylde (Blackpool) Council allowed the nightclub owners to totally rip out the interior of the building, the ‘tripling’ of which was totally reversible.

Finally, some fragments of the Kings, Bishop Auckland (my Home Town) have been discovered. They have not been seen since the 1960’s

Best regards

Terry

LoveCinema
LoveCinema on January 28, 2018 at 9:10 am

Hello again Terry,

Thank you for responding and what interesting reports you left. Sorry to say, that I’ve never had the chance to see the silent “BEN HUR”– Movie and that includes an orchestra accompaniment too. That really must have been an experience.

Once I had the oppurtunity to see Charlie Chaplins “Modern Times” with a small orchestra accompaniment at a 75th Jubilee-Celebration of a Cinema located nearby many years ago. That was a great evening I’ve spent there.

By the way I’ve seen the “BEN HUR” – Remake. When it’s release was announced, I couldn’t believe this – I must admit – “brave” project. But – with what result: Filled with CGI’s, location mostly created on the computer and actors who had to fight their acting-qualifications against the “CGIs” (just may impression). I knew I would be dissapointed seeing this and really I felt like leaving the screening before the end of the movie. Patrons acceptance at the box-office was very “low” too and the few patrons who attended the Screenings were also most dissapointed. Well, there we are again: Nothing can beat the “Original” – well , mostly.

I’ve done intensive research about the “Grand Cinema” Ryhope and found not only interior photos but a little movie-clip, too. Isn’t it a gem! What a beautiful interior-layout with all the flower ornaments and the painted windows. This is a very special Cinema and I am so glad it will be looking forward to a much brighter future.

Wishing you a very interesting “last look around” at this beautiful building next Saturday. Hope to “read” from you again.

Best regards

Christina

terry
terry on January 26, 2018 at 4:00 pm

Correction: It was Carl Davis and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra who accompanied ‘Ben-Hur’ all those years ago:–

https://www.allmusic.com/album/ben-hur-mgm-1925-mw0000861913

We did show a number of silent classics at the Haymarket, Newcastle with The Northern Sinfonia Orchestra, one being Abel Gance’s ‘Napoleon’ on two occasions.

terry
terry on January 26, 2018 at 3:01 pm

Hello Christina

Sorry I have been a little tardy in responding but I have been looking after my sister’s house (and cat).

I was fascinated to hear about your visit to the Astra Cinema when you saw the English speaking ‘Ben-Hur’; things must have been difficult in Germany during that period.

My Dad was a Chief Projectionist decades ago and when he joined the RAF at the outbreak of hostilities in WW2 he showed films whilst off duty (and for extra pay) in their Astra Cinemas in Egypt and the Middle East.

I have not seen the remake of ‘Ben-Hur’ and reports I have received are variable. Everyone says that notwithstanding all the CGI effects (or perhaps because of them ?) it does not compare particularly favourably with the 1959 film.

I shall tell you which other version I have seen on the big screen, namely M-G-M’s original adaptation of the General Lew Wallace novel ie the 1925 silent epic (with Ramon Navarro).

I saw this at the Sunderland Empire Theatre where it was accompanied by The Northern Sinfonia Orchestra and what an awesome experience it was . A very good former Rank Organisation friend was there at the time and I was his guest. Many Rank Managers (and indeed quite a few ABC ones) were like ‘Little Tin Gods’ but he was a very genuine, kind hearted person whose memory I shall cherish always.

Beamish Museum have invited me for a last look around the Grand Cinema, Ryhope next Saturday and I shall be visiting with a retired cinema CEO friend ( the one who worked there in the early 1950’s).

After this the painstaking process of dismantling the building brick by brick will be carried out prior to its reconstruction and restoration at Beamish.

I am told that the false ceiling from its Bingo/Car Warehouse days has been removed and that the elaborate plaster-work can again be seen – albeit coated in many layers of dark paint. On the splay walls at each side of the pros are stained glass nautical scenes which in cinema days were back-lit. Indeed they will be once more when the building is finally up and running. Crews have been warned to take extra care with these!

You will be pleased to know that there will be two sets of tabs. This will be two sets more that a commercial cinema in York which has recently been restored by ‘Everyman’. According to reports upon their acquisition of the venue, it was to have “opulent stage drapes”. Instead, however, they have floated a huge screen forward of the proscenium arch. What a let down……

Best regards

Terry

LoveCinema
LoveCinema on January 21, 2018 at 9:36 am

Hello Terry,

Thank you for your interesting comments on January 16.

I’ve been on the website of the Beamish Open Air Museum and I must admit it is a great idea of installing this historic Cinema (I had also a look at it) in there.

I wish our coucil would come up to a better idea for the use of my Great-Grandfathers first Cinema, as there are plans of demolishing it. A small group of people want to safe it, but they seem to have no “lobby”. “Hugging” the site doesn’t really help nor does signing petitions. Seems people are not interested in a former use of this building. Architectually-wise it was build in a rather unusual style, which should be reason enough for it’s safe future. And here’s the link (I hope it works):

http://filmtheater.square7.ch/wiki/index.php?title=Balingen_Lichtspiele_Schwefelbad

Re to “BEN HUR”: So this is your favorite Movie, too? It is still my “No.1” favorite Movie in a long list of favorite movies, too. My Grandfather would always see to this movie being scheduled at least once in a year in the mid – or late 60’s: Best business this movie would make at Christmas – Time and Easter, specially on “God-Friday”, with an unbroken customer-acceptance at that time. I personally must have seen it for about 40 times, even when we moved to North-Rhine-Westfalia in the 70’s my twin-sister and I never let out a chance to see it at the local Cinemas.

To see it in the interestingly built “ASTRA” – Cinema at JHQ/Rheindahlen gave the oppurtunity in experiencing it in the Original Language for the first time.

A little anecdote connected with the BAOR – Cinemas and “BEN HUR”: My Stepfather – a Civil Member of the NATO – booked tickets at the “ASTRA” and reminded us “English speaking only”, as German citizens were not allowed on British premises. Looking forward to our favorite Movie in the Original Version for the first time ever and being on our own at the Cinema, whilst my Stepfather and my mother attended another Movie at the nearby “GLOBE”-Cinema, we felt really far away from hitting trouble. But complications arised, when we were asked about “ID” by a very charming Member of the MP. Only a long phone-call with my Stepfather at the “GLOBE”-Cinema filled with discussions about the “case” between the Manager and him at last cleared the situation: “Okay – Jesus Christ`s just born – so GET INSIDE!” were the Manager’s angry words and with sighs of relief we entered the Auditorium right at the “Star of Bethlehem settles over the stable” – scene. Having missed out the “Overture” and “Tabs opening” I still have to give credit to the Manager, as he only acted by the rules.

From this time on attending a Movie at “GLOBE”-Cinema or “ASTRA” was never a problem anymore, as the managers families and my Stepfather`s got close friends.

The using of Tabs when they are installed in Cinemas: Well, we would always use them. After parts of the original Cinema (“Bali”/Balingen) had to be demolished for economic reasons (again), the new building holds seven screens – but – only the biggest auditorium is fitted with Tabs. Being a close friend with the new owner and his family for so many decades, we (his wife and myself)managed to change the bosses mind – otherwise there would have been no Tabs at all. A decision he does’t regret up to this time, because people still come up to him making positive remarks about the use of tabs. Now, he is thinking about installing some more in the other cinemas.

So, if Tabs are there – why not use them? It creates such a great atmosphere which a lot of cinema-goers still appreciate – today.

Thank you for the link showing this interesting little film about a female projectionist. That must have been a rare oppurtunity for a womans job in the 50’s.

I personally loved to do a projectionists work. Specially the “change over” from one projector to the other. Absolutely thrilling – esspcially when the marks on the film were missing!!!! My Grandmother was so amused about my interests in cinema-technics. Many years ago, I was given lessons by our long-time projectionist. Which was a good thing – only months later he was taken ill for quite some time and my twin-sister and I did his job. Happy memories!

Please excuse my false pronunciation, as connection with the “english -speaking world” is not so intense, as it used to be.

Best regards
Christina

terry
terry on January 16, 2018 at 8:23 am

Hello Christina

I imagine that you are right about today’s cinema-goers and perhaps the cinema styles and presentational formats of yesteryear would not always be appreciated by our instant gratification society.

Having said that, I am told that in the few instances where old cinemas have been restored (eg Rex Berkhamsted, Odyssey St Albans, Plaza Stockport etc), the reaction from young people is overwhelmingly favourable and the resounding sound of “Wow!” from first time visitors is palpable.

Re ‘Ben-Hur’, one of my favourite films , if not indeed my very favourite:

Your Grandfather was perfectly correct by asserting that the overture and entr'acte must not be detached from the feature; these were essential to its presentation and the audience’s anticipation of what was to follow!

I remember my parents taking my younger sister and me as infants to the nearby Essoldo (Hippodrome) Bishop Auckland to see it in early 1962. By then it had finished its Roadshow engagements and was early into its General Release.

The Essoldo was an Edwardian Variety Theatre and,I would point out, was nothing like those ABC venues as seen via the links I forwarded.

It had a great deal of atmosphere though and I often think back to that time when the small market town still had this outlet in addition to 2 other Essoldos (the Eden and Kings) plus a much more modern Odeon. They are all now long gone although the Essoldo/Hippodrome survives as a Bingo Hall and could easily be restored to theatrical use by all accounts. I did not realise, as a young lad all those years ago, that this particular theatre had a female Chief Projectionist as per the clip below which is from a 1966 ‘Mining Review’. We used to play this as a ‘programme filler’ as it was free and counted toward British Quota! :–

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=essoldo+bishop+auckland

To conclude re ‘Ben-Hur’. It did have a couple of re- releases in 1971 and 1977 and it was whilst I was carrying out a fortnight’s holiday relief at the ABC Bradford that it played there for a couple of weeks. Unfortunately, it was in the middle of a red hot summer and the returns were not exactly brilliant. This was a pity for whilst Bradford did not have 70mm , the CinemasScope screen was quite impressive and it was a shame to see that masterpiece of a film being viewed by a 100 or so patrons in the evening. My base theatre was ABC Huddersfield and ‘Ben-Hur’ was ‘pencilled in’ to play a few weeks later. I was rather looking forward to this as I thought that , by then, with the weather having cooled down , we would do good business with the film. However, on the basis of Bradford’s poor attendances, it was cancelled at ABC Huddersfield and one of our opposition theatres, the independently owned Princess (yes, another with that name!)played it for 3 weeks and enjoyed excellent business. The proprietor of the Princess told me to thank ABC’s Booking Department for the favour!

The ABC Westgate Road, Newcastle had at one time been the ‘flagship’ of the circuit (Essoldo) of which the Bishop Auckland cinema was part. Older staff used to talk about the prestigious venue being the only Roadshow venue for ‘Ben-Hur’ between Leeds and Edinburgh and that it played there for 6 months. It had been expected to play for a whole year , apparently, but after a huge row with M-G-M regarding terms, off it came!

I looked at the photos of the Atrium – how wonderful and what a great pity that it is no more…………..

I have to refer, before ‘signing off’, to the use of tabs in the UK. Hardly any cinemas have them nowadays, and where they are fitted, with the exception of some noteworthy independents, they are not used.

However, not far from where I live is the World-famous Beamish Open Air Museum where a cinema is about to be reconsructed in a ‘new’ 1950’s town. It is the Grand Ryhope, Sunderland and a good friend of mine, a retired CEO of a small cinema circuit, worked as a projectionist there in the early 1950’s and was there when CinemaScope was installed in 1954. Well, it will have not one but two sets of tabs and , as an example of a medium sized small town or suburban cinema, will seat 850 in stalls and circle. Beamish are expecting it to be a huge attraction and I am sure that it will be:–

http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/inside-1950s-cinema-set-rebuilt-11153689

Best regards

Terry

LoveCinema
LoveCinema on January 15, 2018 at 10:38 am

Hello Terry,

Thank you for the link about the Beatles playing in Blackpool (in Colour).

Yes, Terry you’re so right: Cinema-goers of today do not have that atmosphere anymore. But by having said that, I don’t think they would appreciate it. Well, not all of them.

Todays digital-projection makes it very difficult to create a more “festive” atmosphere inside the auditorium right before the main-movie starts.

I’m going to be very nostalgic now: Today you won’t find a movie aquipped with “Overture” or “Intermission"anymore.

The Auditorium-lights dimmed whilst the main-theme of “BEN-HUR” (or “Dr. Schiwago”)filled the air,above packed aisles. The lights would gently fade away, only the stage-lights above the closed curtains being on power, until these lights would also dim off and the curtains opened right at the “MGM”-Logo…the audience was taken into the movie. What an atmosphere.

I was to little to see “BEN HUR” /1959 presented that way as the cinema-owners/ their projectionists, had to do so by order of the contributors.

Many years later I witnessed an arquement between my grand-father and our old projectionist, who deliberately wanted to cut out the “Overture” and the “Intermission”. My Grandfather said: “There might have been some changes over the years, but this movie hasn’t changed. It’s still the "Epic” and the Movie-Master-Piece it has always been. It just deserves to be presented that way – whether you like it or not!!!“. So I was given the chance to see "BEN HUR” in that very presentation and I will never forget the atmosphere that was created. Same thing applied with “Dr.Schiwago”, the movie that would run for nearly two months in our cinema in the mid-60’s. I must admit, I miss these moments in Cinema nowadays, but …when the curtains open and the digital-masking reveals the size of the Screen, I can still sense a glimbse of “Atmosphere”.

By the way I found some interesting interior-photos of the “ATRIUM”/ Stuttgart, taken in the 50’s and the 70’s:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/atriumstgt/

Best regards
Christina

terry
terry on January 14, 2018 at 11:59 am

Hello again Christina

Glad you liked and , like me, find it all very nostalgic. Today’s cinema – goers do not have that atmosphere any more, do they?

Just by chance, by the way, I stumbled on the following which is The Beatles number ‘Help’ at ABC Blackpool, in colour:–

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTsB-llTzyc&list=PLYrLpJg8gRARpNWWb5DWis0tLUwJXuK2X

Best regards

Terry

LoveCinema
LoveCinema on January 12, 2018 at 12:51 pm

Hello Terry,

Sorry for not getting back to you until now. Had to lend helping hands at the Cinema.

Thanks again for the links. Meanwhile I watched those interesting movies from British Pathe and not only once. Wasn`t it hilarios to see the young audience being in the hysterics about “The Beatles” life on stage at the (late) ABC Blackpool.

Richard Todd at the Opening of the ABC Preston/Query.

What a way to watch a Cinerama-Movie at the “Coliseum” Cinerama in Glasgow.

Very impressive to watch “Curtains open” to reveal the big Screen of the ABC Sheffield.

Tabs open at the ABC Bristol to be able to adjust to any Screen- Formats available at that time. I’ve never seen it performed like in this scene. That was very impressive.

Yes, those were the days when “going to the movies” was not just “spending some time” away from home – but a real occasion.

Thank you for that interesting “walk back in time” when audiences were eagerly looking forward to the movie they are about to see – already by the opening of the curtains.

“Curtains open” – a moment that still gives me goose-bumps when I’m “at the movies”.

Best regards
Christina

LoveCinema
LoveCinema on January 10, 2018 at 9:03 am

Hello Terry, Thank you so much for the links – I am going to look them all up. Bye the way – “next stop” for “70mm – Screenings” (hopefully to be the “real” thing) over here in Germany: “Schauburg”/Karlsruhe. This Cinema is also listed in this site. I am not sure about interior- photos. And therefore you could try “Google”/70mm Screenings Germany or the website of “Schauburg”/Karlsruhe. I remember they`ve put up Interior-photos.

No, I’ve never attended a 70mm-Screening there, it is quite a way to travel there from where I live.

Thanks again.

Best regards
Christina

terry
terry on January 10, 2018 at 8:42 am

Hello again Christina

I am pleased that you took the time and trouble to look for my old places on this site and I am delighted that you found them interesting.

Below are some links to surviving footage of many other ABC Theatres including The Beatles live at the ABC’s Manchester and Blackpool. There is also an item re the latter’s opening in 1963.

ABC Sheffield:–

http://www.britishpathe.com/video/welcome-new-cinema/query/aBC+SHEFFIELD

Coliseum Cinerama Glasgow:–

http://www.britishpathe.com/video/welcome-to-cinerama/query/coliseum+glasgow

ABC New Centre Bristol:–

http://www.britishpathe.com/video/cinema-of-tomorrow-today/query/abc+bristol

ABC Blackpool (at 05:24):–

http://www.britishpathe.com/video/holiday-season-begins/query/abc+blackpool

ABC Blackpool (First ever public performance of ‘Yesterday’ – watch out for star line up at the very end):–

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qxit-xPfkJI

ABC Hull:–

https://www.britishpathe.com/video/rolling-stones-gather-moss/query/abc+hull

ABC Apollo Manchester:–

https://www.britishpathe.com/video/the-beatles-come-to-town-two-stories-technicolor/query/abc+ardwick

ABC Preston:–

https://www.britishpathe.com/video/candid-camera-visits-abc-preston/query/abc+preston

ABC Edinburgh (Europe’s first triple conversion 1969):–

https://www.britishpathe.com/video/new-abc-cinema/query/abc+edinburgh

Best regards

Terry

LoveCinema
LoveCinema on January 9, 2018 at 1:54 pm

Hello Terry, just dropped back in from our Cinema (“The Greatest Showman”). Thank you for your “helpline” about the Cinemas you mentioned. I found them all on sunday-evening with a bit of time and a great deal of interest (South Shields, Darlington, Chester and the two in Newcastle upon Tyne). What impressive buildings, lots of interesting style and design, specially an the interior – section. British Theatre-Architects were absolut geniuses in “composing” such lovely lobbys, auditoriums and of course the “Heart” of it all, those fascinating beautiful Prosceniums. You see, this was and is a complete different architecture in comparing with our german Cinemas in former times and of course of today. I looked at all the amazing photos and read your interesting comments. I didn’t know about the “ABC” Church Street Blackpool showing movies for the majority of the year. Thank you for that interesting information.

Because of us staying in Blackpool for the summer, we knew it as a live venue only. Happy memories.

What a shame I never saw a movie there in the original auditorium.

Best regards
Christina

terry
terry on January 8, 2018 at 4:00 pm

Hello Christina

Sorry for not getting back to you until now.

I looked up the Atrium, Stuttgart and the description is of a very impressive theatre; what a pity there are no photos.

The locations I referred to may not be particularly easy to find owing to the policy of this site to list a venue under its last name even though it may have been one not sported for very long. I have never been able to fathom the rationale behind this but the following are what you will have to look for:–

Newcastle (Westgate Road): ‘Cannon’ Newcastle (Haymarket): ‘ABC Haymarket’ South Shields:‘Savoy’ Darlington:‘Odeon’ Chester: ‘Cannon’

Best regards

Terry

PS: the ABC Theatre , Church Street always showed films for the majority of the year and really only served as a live show venue during the Summer Season. Stage shows during the remainder of the year were typically ‘one night stands’ apart from an annual Pantomime.

LoveCinema
LoveCinema on January 7, 2018 at 11:35 am

Hello Terry,

Thank you for letting me take part of your cinematic background. Must have been a very interesting job and time for you working in so many different places and be witness in changing situations inside the cinema-branch. I was fractionally “taken away” walking into the big and spacy Auditoriums of some of the old Blackpool Cinemas, like the “Princess” and for the time being the “Odeon”, not to mention the difference in architectical structure. So different to all of our Cinemas over here. Fascinating.

You would have to travel to Berlin to visit a big cinema like the ones over in Great Britain. Our Cinemas in Balingen would just hold 600 and 485 visitors :), so maybe you can imagine the difference in movie-experience.

Yes, you are so right, nothing can “beat the Original” movie-feeling back in the times of analog projection. Mind you, I still miss the sound of the projector passing our projection-booths….not the same any more :(.

Telling about 70mm and 6 track magnetic stereo, which our (Family) Cinemas were not equipped with: Many years ago I travelled to Stuttgart to visit the 70mm Presentation of “Lawrence of Arabia” at the “Atrium”. Went again for “BEN HUR” and again for “Dr. Schiwago”. It was “Cinema – Heaven” and a never to forget experience. And it was about time to do so – shortly after these 70mm reruns sadly they demolished the “Atrium” (pictured on this site /Germany). Must “go” now and see the venues you were working in.

Best regards
Christina

terry
terry on January 7, 2018 at 10:18 am

Hello ‘Love Cinema’.

It is good to see someone extolling the virtues of ABC Theatres for a change…….

They were really underrated, having ‘missed the boat’ in certain larger cities where the Paramounts were acquired by Odeon although ABC did have ‘first refusal’ on those properties back in the early 1940’s.

I started in the industry as a Trainee Manager in the early 1970’s and became an Assistant Manager of various grades (ABC had four grades below that of ‘House Manager’ which was the ‘launching post’ to becoming a Manager – or General Manager – in key locations). During this period I carried out relief duties all over the north of England and Scotland and there were too many places to list here…..

ABC’s where I was Manager & Licensee were South Shields, Darlington, Chester and the two large venues in Newcastle upon Tyne.

The two in Newcastle (Westgate Road and Haymarket) had at one time seated 2200 and 2002 respectively whilst the smallest (Darlington) was a ‘mere’ 1620.

I saw the very end of the ‘proper cinema’ era when presentation with the use of house and screen tabs was the norm whilst you actually could experience a ‘sense of occasion’ that is now sadly lacking, notwithstanding the comfort and state of the art digital projection and sound of today. As far as I am concerned nothing can match the 70mm and 6 track magnetic stereo we had in many of our ‘key’ theatres back then.

The venues I have mentioned are included together with photos on this site.

Best regards

Terry

LoveCinema
LoveCinema on January 7, 2018 at 6:43 am

That’s the word I was looking for “so atmospheric” – the Princess Theatre. Thanks Terry.

The ABC/Church Street: Used to see wonderful Summer Shows whilst staying in Blackpool with my british stepfather and family in the 70’s. I experienced it being converted into Cinema and saw “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” back in 1984 in “Screen 1” of ABC.

Personelly I was so shocked reading about “The ABC” to be demolished (Blackpool Gazette) to make way for another…. car park! So, the iconic and historical ABC- Building is “History” by now and I wonder if the council will regret their foolish decision. It’s a disgrace, really.

You worked for the ABC? What was your profession at ABC, may I ask? I’ve grown up in a family with Cinematic Background here and the cinematic history dates back to 1928, when my Great-Grandfather opened the first Cinema in our small town of Balingen. Well it doesn’t date me, :), but I grew up with Cinema, I’ve always loved it and always will love it.

It was a new and lovely experience to visit one or two of Blackpools cinematic “Crown-Jewels”, which I will never forget.