History of Three Towns Picture Houses

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down south
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History of Three Towns Picture Houses

Post by down south » Thu Aug 04, 2011 3:14 pm

The La Scala when it opened in 1913 was the first purpose-built cinema in the Three Towns; it survived as a cinema all the way till 1991, and the building still stands today in the guise of the Salt Cot pub-restaurant.

But how many of us knew that in the Thirties it only narrowly escaped being replaced by a bigger and better super-cinema called the Queen's; a plan only scuppered by the outbreak of World War Two ? Or that at the time it opened, it was just one of a whole plethora of early picture houses locally, now vanished and virtually forgotten .

In this article from about 1974, the Ardrossan & Saltcoats Herald ( http://www.ardrossanherald.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; ) set out to uncover the complete cinema history up till then of the Three Towns, and you'll find it all here; though even then , as you'll see from the postscript, it took the memories of some elderly Stevenstonians to complete the story. They sound like they would have made ideal Threetowners members !

Their efforts took the tally of local cinemas that had existed up till then to a surprising fifteen ( though that it seems included ones that had merely changed their name ); and as every current three towns residents probably knows ( though finding out recently came as a surprise to this exile ) that's now up to sixteen with the arrival in the past decade of the Apollo on the seafront.

Susan

WHERE WE WENT TO "THE PICTURES "

CINEMA FANS must number thousands in the North Ayrshire area — and it might provide some head-scratching efforts of memory for the older generation to ask if they could remember the names of even 12 out of the 13 cinemas which operated over the years in Ardros­san, Saltcoats and Stevenston.

For the 15 years after the invention of moving pictures about 1895, all the films produced were short ones, lasting from 10 to 20 minutes, and they were shown as part of the programme among variety acts in established music halls.

The first "story" film the name of which is generally known, was "The Great Train Robbery," made in 1903 and which ran for 11 minutes.

Soon, travelling show­men started to provide film shows in booths at fair­grounds; and although the "pictures," as film shows came to be known, were still restricted to short subjects, permanent "kinemas" began to be established from about 1905 onwards, in most cases existing halls being hastily adapted for the purpose.

In the United States, the first cinema, as such, was opened in Pittsburgh in 1905. Called the "Nickel­odeon" — because entry cost a nickel — the first programme shown in­cluded "The Great Train Robbery." Whether it was shown at the first film programme in this area cannot now be established, but it is probable.

The first picture-house in this district was called Saltcoats Picture Palace, and it was set up in the Masonic Hall in Bradshaw Street. It proved success­ful, and to accommodate all the spectators who desired admission the much larger hall hitherto used as a skating-rink in Glencaim Street was reopened as Saltcoats Picturedrome in June of 1911. It was renamed The Pavilion six months later, and continued as a cinema until 1919 when it became a garage.
In this hall there was screened in 1913 the first full-length film made: the Pathe production, "Les Miserables," which had been made in 1910 and which ran for about three and a half hours .

The next cinema to open in Saltcoats was La Scala in Hamilton Street. It was one of the first brick-built cinemas in Scotland — and one of the few purpose-built picture houses in the country which still continues in its original function.

The first film to be shown at La Scala was the original version of "Quo Vadis?" This was an Italian production — and in the publicity of the time, as for that of "Les Miserables," there was no mention, of who the actors were; the "star" system had not yet begun to function.

Meanwhile, in Ardros­san, the Premier Picture Theatre was opened in March 1912, and the Crown Picture Palace opened in the same town in September 1913. It is known that one or-other of these cinemas operated in the Assembly Hall in Bute Place, but as the contem­porary advertisements give no evidence of the location of the picture houses, there is now doubt as to the whereabouts of the other cinema, and perhaps an older reader could throw light on the matter.

The first permanent cinema in Ardrossan was opened as "The Princes" in 1921, and was renamed "The Lyric" in 1932, under which latter name it still functions as a bingo hall.

Back in Saltcoats, even the town council had decided to cash in on the now-booming cinema industry and they con­verted the town hall in Countess Street to a picture house, naming it the Countess. The hall was opened as a cinema in 1915 and continued to function in that capacity until two years ago. The town council had found difficulty controlling the cinema as a corporate body, and after a couple of years they leased the hall to Mr J. B. Thomson, whose family continued as lessees for 51 years.

The next cinema to open in Saltcoats was the Casino, opposite La Scala. The Casino functioned from 1919 until 1930 when it was demolished, and the Regal Cinema was built on the same site. The first full-length "talking" pic­ture, "The Singing Fool," had been shown in La Scala in 1929.

In Stevenston, the De Luxe Cinema in New Street had opened in 1916 and it remained the only picture house in the town until the Grange was built in 1939.

In this locality the cinema industry was most successfully operated by the Kemp family, who owned the Regal, La Scala, De Luxe and Grange. The business was started by Mr George Kemp who had had a travelling show originally, and his son, Mr Harry Kemp, expanded his operations in Saltcoats and Stevenston.

Mr Kemp intended before the second war to replace La Scala with a new cinema to be called The Queen's, but the war, and the later decline of the cinema, precluded the idea being carried through.

Apart from films most cinemas in the locality have also housed stage shows: La Scala for many years had summer variety shows in which Dave Willis and the Houston Sisters appeared with other well-known artistes.

Nobody knows how many films have been shown in Saltcoats, but what is a little bit sur­prising is that some of the classics have never been publicly shown in the town. The film chosen by an international jury in 1958 as the best picture ever made — "Battleship Potemkin," made in 1925 — was screened only by the North Ayrshire Film Society to an audience of about 20, in the Orlington Restaurant some 20 years ago.

Nevertheless, thanks to the Kemp family, the Regal and La Scala remain in operation: the former after its recent conversion as one of the best-equipped and most comfortable cinemas in the country, and the latter proudly maintaining its 60-year-old popularity.

This postscript to the article appeared in a following week's paper:
Mr Archie Dale of 19 Wheatley Road comments in connection with our recent article on the history of cinemas in the district, that there were four cinemas in Stevenston at one point. It would appear that a number of old people in the town have been arguing about this. Mr Dale says that one was " the wee electric " which stood in Portland Place, where there is now a garage, and another was in Ardeer Halls, now the community centre.

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Re: History of Three Towns Picture Houses

Post by George Ardrossan » Thu Aug 04, 2011 3:39 pm

The first photo below was taken on 15 February 2009. From 1914 to 1932, the building was part of the Princes Picture House. From 7 July 1932 to 1961 it was the Lyric Cinema. It then became the Lyric Bingo Club which closed on 9 May 2004. On 11 December 2010, it opened as Garfield's Wine Bar and Bistro.
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In July 1932, the Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald carried two reports on the opening of the Lyric Cinema. These are given below.


THE LYRIC, ARDROSSAN'S NEW CINE-THEATRE OPENING NEXT WEEK - Herald 1 July 1932

The Lyric, Ardrossan's new "talkie" theatre, will become an established fact next Thursday. The building, which was formerly occupied as the Princes Picture House, is being transformed externally and internally and, when it opens its doors next Thursday it will, to all appearances, be practically a new theatre. With the completion of the extensive alterations and renovations the Lyric will be thoroughly up-to-date in every respect and a valuable acquisition to the town.

The outside alterations will immensely improve the appearance of the building as well as of Princes Street generally. The stone superstructure has been cement-washed stone colour in order to retain its character, and the under part has been painted grey-green with borders of black. Its new dress is decidedly pleasing to the eye. At the main entrance an artistic cast-iron, steel and glass canopy is being erected, on the front of which the name of the feature film will be displayed by means of interchangeable letters. Surmounting the canopy will be a neon sign displaying the word Lyric in orange colour with blue border, and both in daylight and when illuminated at night this will nave a most effective appearance. The entrance is also being considerably improved. The outer gates will be in bronze and the doors of pillar-box red, while the windows at each side of the entrance will be fitted with gold display frames.

The entrance hall will have a comfortable and enticing atmosphere. The floor is laid with korkoid a quarter of an inch thick, in a bright and artistic colour and bearing a specially designed representation of the rising sun, incorporating the name "Lyric" in scroll form. The walls are of a warm tone of orange and brown. Above the pay-box is an up-to-date feature, a category board with the names and categories of the pictures showing and at each side of the entrance hail will be handsome gold easels, on which will be exhibited photographs of scenes from the films. Another feature in the entrance hall is a couple of handsome pendants with rose-tinted shades. The stairing is also laid with korkoid, and each step is rubber-nosed.

The interior of the theatre gives a highly pleasing impression with its bright and warm tones. Based on a restful orange shade, the colour scheme of the walls also includes gold, black, .white, blue and purple harmoniously blended, and the ceiling of the area is in orange relieved with black and gold. The scheme is continued on the curtain, which is specially made to reflect the colour changing in the lighting. The balcony wails are in green, violet, gold and brown, and the ceiling is also in green.

The improvements in the seating constitute an important feature of the new theatre. In the area 120 new seats have replaced old ones, and the remainder have been thoroughly cleaned and reappointed. In the front balcony five rows of new fauteuils have been installed. These seats are highly sprung (16 springs in each), and are most luxurious and comfortable. Carpets and floor coverings of a shade to tone with the scheme are being laid in the main passages and between the rows of seats. Altogether the building will seat about 650.

Particular attention has been paid to the lighting. This has been very artistically arranged, the scheme including wall brackets with fan-shaped, orange-tinted shades. The glass of the pendants has been tinted to suit the general design.

The curtain is operated by a special motor controlled from the operating box, and the footlights are on dimmers, also controlled by the operator. The proscenium curtain is fire-proofed. Pleasing re-decoration has been carried out on the stage front.

The technical equipment of the theatre is of the most modern character. The sound production system is the British Thomson-Houston installation, with two Kalee projectors of the latest type. A, Westone rubber perforated screen will be used, calculated to give the maximum effect. Extension of the operating box is another alteration which makes for improvement. An emergency exit for the operator is made, and accommodation is provided for the "non-sync" which amplifies gramophone records. The heating and ventilating systems have been overhauled, and a high-power motor generator has been installed for generating power for the arc lamps.

The names of the contractors will be published next week.

The Lyric is owned by the Ardrossan Picture House Company, Ltd, the directors of which are Mr William A Hunter and Mr James T Woodburn, and the secretaries are Messrs J and T K Cook, solicitors, Ardrossan.

The opening ceremony will take place next Thursday afternoon at three o'clock, under the patronage of the Provost, Magistrates and Councillors of the burgh. Provost G McKellar, OBE will perform the ceremony, and a special programme of pictures supplied by PDG Ltd will follow. An invitation is extended to the public to attend.

The first regular programme will be given in the evening, when the principal picture will be a highly successful comedy, "My Wife's Family" with Gene Gerrard and Muriel Angelus in the leading parts. Continuous performances will be given each evening from 6.30 o'clock, except Saturday, when there will be three performances at 2.30, 6.30 and 8.45. The prices are 6d, 9d and 1/- and seats can be booked at 3d extra. A telephone has been installed at the theatre (number 77).



THE LYRIC, ARDROSSAN'S NEW "TALKIE" THEATRE OPENING CEREMONY - 8 July 1932

Ardrossan's new "talkie" theatre, the Lyric, was opened yesterday afternoon, A special programme of pictures was shown, and the invitation to the public to attend was well responded to, the accommodation of the house being fully occupied. The equipment, the artistic lighting, and the colourful scheme of decoration were much admired, and the whole proceedings passed off in a way that was a happy augury for the success of the venture. Among the ^invited guests in the balcony were members of the Town Council and officials.

Mr William A Hunter, director, presided at the opening ceremony, and extended a welcome to the members of the Town Council and all present. The promoters had done their best, he said, to give the people of Ardrossan an attractive picture house and good pictures. Of course, good pictures cost money, and the better the people supported the Lyric the better the pictures they would be able to show. They believed that in opening up the picture house again they were meeting a felt want and they hoped the people of Ardrossan would support them in their efforts. They had installed the very best sound production system, the British Thomson-Houston installation. This was an all-British system and, indeed, they prided themselves on the fact that the Lyric was an all-British; house. He publicly thanked the firms who had done the work, in connection with the picture house and also the individual workers. They worked like niggers to get the place ready in time. In conclusion, he said "The Lyric is being run by 'your ain folk' and it is up to you to support 'your ain picture house'." Provost George McKellar, OBE, in performing the opening ceremony, expressed his pleasure at being present that day, as he was always pleased to do anything for the benefit of the town. He was delighted with the lay out and the appearance of the house, and he heartily congratulated the tradesmen on their craftmanship. He also congratulated the artist who designed the scheme of decoration; it was beautiful and would certainly attract many people from both inside and outside the town. He noted from the programme that some specially good pictures had been booked, and he hoped the people of the town and district would rally to the support of the Lyric. He did not see why a picture house in a town of over 7000 inhabitants should not be a success. It was up to the people to see that the venture was supported because he was sure the directors would do everything on their part to make it a success and to ensure the comfort and entertainment of patrons. "I have very much pleasure", he said, "in declaring this beautiful picture house open, and I wish the management and all concerned every success. I name it The Lyric.".

Mr James T Woodburn, director, associated himself with ex-Bailie Hunter in his welcome. A few higher critics of Ardrossan, he said, had been shaking their heads and saying that this, like all other local ventures, was doomed to failure. If they (the directors) believed that, they would not be standing on that platform. They believed there was an opening for a well conducted picture house in a town of 8000 inhabitants. A picture house, however, or a place of entertainment or business of any kind, could not succeed on sentiment alone. The promoters were not entitled to expect support unless they delivered the goods; and they were making a very praiseworthy attempt to deliver the goods. Regarding the conduct of the house, they had made up their mind very firmly that no disorder would be tolerated. The attendants had very strict orders as to the treatment to be meted out to anyone who by their misconduct spoiled the pleasure of the remainder of the audience. Mr Woodburn then enumerated the outstanding attractions booked ahead mentioning, among others, "Suicide Fleet", George Arliss in "The Millionaire" and his latest and greatest picture "The Silent Voice," Douglas Fairbanks travel picture "Round the World in Eighty Minutes", "The Lady of the Lake" in the Scott Centenary Week, "One Heavenly Night" with Evelyn Laye and John Boles, Pola Negri's first "talkie" newly issued, "The Woman Commands" and the series of twelve pictures, "How I Play Golf" showing the great Bobby Jones play his different strokes. He thanked Provost McKellar for performing the opening ceremony and, on behalf of the management, presented him with a walking-stick as a memento of the occasion, and expressed the hope that he would soon be restored to his normal health.

The programme of music and pictures was thereafter carried through successfully, the sound production and the projection passing their test admirably.

The atmosphere of the crowded building latterly became rather close, but this was due to the fact that, owing to the non-arrival of the motor, the electric fans could not be operated. This defect, of course, will be remedied with the putting into operation of the excellent ventilating system.

The contractors, who have to be complimented on their work, included:- painting, decoration, and proscenium tabs - Guthrie and Wells, Glasgow; electricians - Charles Price, Ardrossan; joiners J and D Fullarton, Ardrossan; plasterers - McCallum, Saltcoats; projectors, seating, curtain, carpets, etc. - E A Langish and Company, London; mason work - John Inglis, Ardrossan; korkoid - Korkoid Limited, Glasgow; decorative easels, frames, etc - Cinema Signs, Limited, Glasgow; cleaning - Vac Clean, Glasgow.

A very happy comedy, "My Wife's Family" and a strong supporting programme, is being shown this weekend. Next week "Night Nurse" with the well-known stars, Barbara Stanwick, Ben Lyon, and Clark Gable in the cast, provides strong dramatic fare from Monday to Wednesday, and during the remaining evenings an outstanding attraction will be shown in "Waterloo Bridge" which has been characterised as "the biggest dramatic sensation since 'All Quiet on the Western Front'".


George

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Re: History of Three Towns Picture Houses

Post by Penny Tray » Thu Aug 04, 2011 8:16 pm

Susan/George (apologies if that unwittingly reminds some of you of an attractive 60s cinema star),

Thanks very much for these excellent observations on our local cinemas. There is a certain age group, of which I am sadly a member, whose upbringing would never have been the same without the La Scala, Regal, Countess and The Lyric. Apologies to Stevenstonians but I never made it to the De Luxe or the Grange although I'm sure they would be held in the same high esteem locally.

I was also interested in the reference in Susan's post to a roller skating rink at Glencairn Street, Saltcoats. I can't ever remember anyone talking about it as I grew up but it's described in some detail in the following link.

http://ardrossanships.com/articles/read?id=54" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Nothing is ever really lost to us as long as we remember it.

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Re: History of Three Towns Picture Houses

Post by unicornheart » Thu Aug 04, 2011 9:24 pm

i used to visit the lyric? not a lot but some one mentioned the other day about a place called Garfield,s opening up , thanks for letting me see that it was the old lyric.

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Re: History of Three Towns Picture Houses

Post by down south » Fri Aug 05, 2011 1:11 pm

Thanks so much , George and Penny, for contributing those terrific articles ; they make a great enhancement to the detail of the history.

Sounds like the Lyric got a considerable makeover when it upgraded from being the Princes; I see the local McCallum clan was represented among the contractors...But whatever was KORKOID, I wonder ? !

And the story of the rink is fascinating; gives more of a picture of the beginnings of cinema in the town than the other article. We've got a picture here of the rink in operation:

http://www.threetowners.com/number20/

and there's also one one of how the exterior of it looked in those days, which is from Jimmym's site:
Roller skating rink.jpg
I think the rink was so much better known in its later identity as Pringle's Garage by our day, particularly after it famously burned out in the 1950s and took the original Kyleshill school with it, that nobody really thought about its interesting original history. Don't suppose the building is there now though.

PS Unfortunately, also not there now, in the sad absence of the Ardrossan Ships website, is the article on Saltcoats Rink. But luckily it was one of which I already had a copy, so I'm now appending it below, once again with full acknowledgements to the A&S Herald.

Susan


THE RINK WENT ROLLING ALONG...

Over the years Saltcoats and Ardrossan have been quick to provide utilities for the changing fashions in public entertainment or amusement —there have been numerous cinemas; dance halls, a variety theatre, a swimming, pool, ten-pin bowling, bingo — and a roller skating rink.

Like many other forms of entertainment, roller-skating first became popular in America and the craze spread rapidly elsewhere in the Edwardian era. A private syndicate decided it would do well in North Ayrshire and they acquired a site at Saltcoats — opposite the railway station and alongside Kyleshill School in Glencairn Street. The building has been a garage for many years.

Here a pavilion for roller-skating was built and opened with flourishes of trumpets and enthusiastic speeches, in March, 1910.

The main hall was 217 feet long by 54 feet wide and at the south end there was a large gallery for spectators with a tearoom underneath it. About the middle of the east wall was a special gallery for the band. The floor was laid in maple. The building, it was stated, had been constructed with the best materials and was "of a quite permanent character" (as has proved true). It was lighted at night by electricity and to enable that to be done in those days necessitated power being supplied by the building's private dynamo — there was no public electricity supply.

Provost Millar, Saltcoats, invited to open the rink, said he was sure the pavilion would fill a felt want in the locality for "in our variable climate it had been found in the past that there was too little accommodation for visitors in wet weather, and the rink would be a boon to visitors and excursionists" — and a decided incentive to choose Saltcoats as a holiday resort in preference to other places which could not offer such an attraction.

Approval of the project also came from a slightly unexpected source: Ardrossan United Free Presbytery meeting the previous afternoon had heard a disparaging report from their Life and Work Committee referring to the large amounts of money spent in the skating rinks which were being opened all over the country.

The Rev Morris Moodie, Stevenston, said however that these rinks were doing a great deal of good in certain directions — especially in keeping young men out of public houses. He did not think that the church and temperance societies faced the question of proper amusement for the people as they ought to do, and they should not denounce legitimate and healthful recreations such as roller skating. The Rev W. Husband, Kilwinning, agreed and said that the church even ought to go out of its way to express hearty approbation of any kind of influence that delivered people from the bondage of evil habits. He considered it a mistake to pillory the amusement of roller skating and moved that such reference should be. deleted from the committee report. The Presbytery agreed unanimously (and went on to discuss the laxity of visitors to Arran in the observance of Sabbath Day).

With this approval from church and state as it were, the roller skating rink got off to a good start. Forenoon sessions were free. Admissions in the afternoons and evenings cost 6d , and hire of skates cost 1s. Despite a falling attendance in May due to the mourning over the death of King Edward VII, the rink quickly became popular under the management of Mr Coulson Robertson who was said to be the champion trick skater in the country. The conductor of the military band, which seemingly earned much praise, was a Saltcoats man, Mr Hugh Caldwell, who had been a founder member of the Burgh Band.

Three months after the opening, such attractions as "masked carnivals" and races between skaters
and cyclists were attracting attendances of seven or eight hundred people to the rink.

This was despite the counter-attraction of the annual fair on the Braes where one of the shows which was proving to have particulardrawing-power was MacIndoe's Cinematograph. The tent was packed out at every performance, and when the fair moved on Mr Maclndoe continued his show in Saltcoats town hall for another five nights.

The skating rink continued cheerfully enough with exhibitions, competitions, and holiday dances, but by the beginning of November the management were announcing that there would be a Bioscope (moving pictures) entertainment in the rink every evening with a change of pictures every Monday and Thursday.

That innovation enabled the skating rink by the skin of its teeth to be recalled by older people as the first cinema in Saltcoats, because it was facing stiff competition a month later, when Saltcoats Picture Palace opened in the Masonic Hall, Bradshaw Street in the first week of December. Prices for the Picture Palace were 3d, 4d and 6d, and there was "Free storage for bicycles at owners' risk."

By a year after its opening the rink was being advertised as Saltcoats Roller Rink and Picturedrome, and rather more space was being given to the moving pictures than to the attractions for skaters. Some attempts, which from the vantage point of sixty years later seemed tinged with desperation were made to introduce novelties — such as a grand sports night "with the expensive engagement of the Royal Scots Fusiliers from the Barracks, Ayr, in a grand gymnastic display of Swedish drill, vaulting horse and parallel bars" . . . but presumably not on skates.

In June 1911 the announcement was made that the roller rink would close for a few days for alterations, and the building reopened in the first week of July as Saltcoats Picturedrome, with Mr Frank Vallance as general manager; offering programmes of "high class animated pictures and select variety turns." An extensive stage had been constructed and the area had been installed with comfortable seating

Apparently the seating was removable since skating was continued twice daily in the mornings and afternoons ‑
but only for a couple weeks; and in November the name of the hall was changed to Saltcoats Pavilion, and there was no further reference to roller skating.

The building was converted from a cinema to become Pringle's Garage in March of 1919 and has been utilised as a garage ever since, having survived being gutted by fire in 1955. It is now Saltcoats Burgh Garage.

Whether the syndicate who built it made a small fortune or lost their shirts in the venture is not known, but it is curious to reflect that in 1910 it was believed roller skating was an amusement which would endure, while moving pictures were regarded as an ephemeral novelty with little future — and it noteworthy that if the cinema killed roller skating, the rink was easily adaptable for the new craze; and later when other cinemas were built and motor cars were coming into their own, the pavilion was again easily adapted — as a garage. It suggests shrewd foresight on the part of the architect.
Last edited by down south on Tue Oct 31, 2017 4:09 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: History of Three Towns Picture Houses

Post by down south » Sun Aug 07, 2011 3:24 pm

There are quite a few pictures and other details for our local cinemas collected together on an excellent website called Scottish Cinemas. The main entry for Stevenston:

http://www.scottishcinemas.org.uk/scotl ... nston.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

includes a detailed piece on the Grange. And there are a number of picture of the Regal as it looked when it closed in 1985, as well as more modern ones of it, the La Scala , and the new Apollo, under the Saltcoats entry :

http://www.scottishcinemas.org.uk/scotl ... coats.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I'm sure the Apollo is a fine venue for the modern era, but there's really no comparison, is there, with the Picture Palaces of old ...

That was built of course on the site of the old seafront entertainment venue the Pavilion Bowl; not to be confused with the early Saltcoats cinema also named the Pavilion, which we've been discussing above and which was in Glencairn Street. But I wonder if someone at Scottish Cinemas has, because in their Database ( a different subsection of their website ), where some , though not all, of the earlier vanished cinemas are listed, they have a " Pavilion Cinema; location Seafront " . Or am I wrong and did it ever show films in the course of its long and varied career ; maybe in its last days, after the Regal and LaScala had closed down ?

Susan

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Re: History of Three Towns Picture Houses

Post by oilers » Mon Aug 08, 2011 3:45 am

I laughed aloud when I read Mr Hunters speech on opening the Lyric in 1932. Congratulating the workers for a job well done saying they worked like n.....s. Can you imagine the uproar if said today.

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Re: History of Three Towns Picture Houses

Post by morag » Mon Aug 08, 2011 4:40 am

Well,if you remember, oilers, you'd get a a little black sambo badge if you saved up enough jelly jar tokens..Robinsons? I think that was what it was called but that may be my years here, but it may have been Golliwog?
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Re: History of Three Towns Picture Houses

Post by morag » Mon Aug 08, 2011 4:44 am

When I first moved to where I am now there was a pancake / breakfast shop and the theme was little black Sambo, it wasn't meant to be demeaning and I don't think anybody took it to be until we were enlightened...he story was just a wee black boy who outwitted a tiger to get pancakes..go figure.
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Re: History of Three Towns Picture Houses

Post by ellenyoung31 » Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:59 am

Hi Morag.
Just seen the photo of the Ice Rink.
When Robert and I were first married we
stayed in Curletts next to Pringles that was
the Ice Rink. we parked the Messerschmitt
bubble car. in there 1960's.
Ellen.
Last edited by ellenyoung31 on Mon Aug 08, 2011 5:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: History of Three Towns Picture Houses

Post by morag » Mon Aug 08, 2011 4:05 pm

The Grange was a lovely big building, I'm sorry it's gone. Though we didn't go often, it being a bit of a luxury, I think the first film I saw there was the Student Prince, with Mario Lanza, according to my mum I cried my eyes out at the end, and I saw Snow White where every time the witch appeared I'd cover my eyes and she'd tell me when I could look again! :lol:
Then it was across to Reid's (best in the business!) for fish and chips and orangeade. Ah me...
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killiejok
Settling In
Settling In
Posts: 34
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 1:20 pm
Location: Kilwinning

Re: History of Three Towns Picture Houses

Post by killiejok » Fri Aug 12, 2011 9:50 pm

Discovered this picture of the La Scala in a book featuring local postcards. No details of date.

Lascala.jpg

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