Cinemagoers Memories

Peter Spilsbury adds some stories about the cinemas in the town.

The Pavilion – my dad used to tell me how they used to be admitted by giving in a jam jar.
The Regent – as a theatre it was known as the “Blood Tub” on account of the murder plays they presented there.
The Queens – the 4d seats were wooden with no backrest.
The Cameo – same priced seats were orange boxes with a plank across (only one row).

From the age of seven we used to go to the Saturday morning matinee for 6d (2½p). Usually the Odeon. We only had a shilling (5p) pocket money and it was 6d in each cinema, so in the summer we would often walk to town from Penketh, see the Saturday film, walk home, have dinner, and then walk back to either the Palace or Cameo and walk home again. We did not seem to have much use for money during the week then. (Peter)

Do you remember watching these films in the cinema?

Photo © Peter Spilsbury

On THE PREMIER in Latchford, D. Williams writes:

My parents used to run this picture house for as long as I can remember. My dad was the projectionist and my mum was the cashier. I, of course, got in for free. It was a sad day when it shut down.

Regarding Lymm’s DRILL HALL CINEMA, Kathy writes: 

The list of cinemas reminded me of when I was first married in 1965 and lived in Lymm for a couple of years. I got a job in the “potato works” …… formerly the DRILL HALL CINEMA. The job was to take out the eyes on peeled potatoes which came along a conveyor belt with water constantly running over them. They were then packed up and sent off to chip shops, cafes etc. It was a horrible job which meant you were constantly standing in water, suffered chapped hands and always felt wet and cold. Don’t need to tell you that I didn’t stay there for very long. The potato works in the old Lymm cinema was affectionately called THE EYE HOSPITAL ….. get it?

Gordon adds: That last bit reminds me of a Pompous Speech Contest I helped to judge in 1986 when one contender called his speech ‘Life Through The Eyes of a Potato!’ He didn’t win! Someone said my introduction to the event should have won. Perhaps I’ll publish the transcript one day.

Ken Lowe (Jake) writes:About 1943 we used to walk from Latchford to the STAR KINEMA, where we paid two pence for the front rows and three pence for the “superior” rear rows. On Saturday morning we impatiently queued up outside the front. There was a shop attached on the right which used to take jam jars and give you a halfpenny for each. On one occasion boys were going further round the back and taking jam jars previously brought in and stacked there, then going in the front and claiming their halfpennies. In the cinema it was like a riot, and the bottles (and pee) would roll down the steep slope to the front of the hall. A frightening figure called Billy would parade up and down the rows, threatening the audience. He had short hair, a uniform from which his red, bull neck burst out and his constant threats to the unruly mob were preceded by “Be quiet you little so and so’s.” Later on, as we became more “sophisticated” we went to the Grand and on occasion laughed at the unfortunates who leaned back too far in the “double” seats and the whole row would collapse.

On THE PAVILION on Lovely Lane, Tony Hackett writes: I think this was a Trident electrical store at one time, in the 1970’s at least. In 1973, I bought my first hi-fi from there, which was also my first major purchase after starting work. It was a Wharfedale Linton turntable/receiver/speakers set. I eventually sold it when I upgraded.