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Cinemas #183898
9th Nov 2007 2:26pm
9th Nov 2007 2:26pm
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 4,868
shropshire
chriskay Offline OP
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A couple of days ago I came up & did a little project. One of the jobs I had after I left school in 1952 was as a cinema projectionist. The two cinemas I worked at were the Ritz which was on Conway St., where there's a car park now, next to Argos, & the Plaza in Borough Rd. I didn't go to the site of the Ritz, but visited several others & took pics.
The Ritz was opened by Gracie Fields in 1937, the year I was born. It closed in 1969.
These weren't the only cinemas in town, but they were the main ones. The Ritz & Plaza had Wurlitzer organs, which rose from a pit & were played during the interval.
At that time, the programme would consist of the main feature, a second short feature (what we in the trade called a 2 reeler) & a newsreel & trailers for forthcoming films. The programme always finished with playing of "God Save the King" & it was very rude not to stand for this, or to leave before it finished.
While I was at the Plaza, we were converted for Cinemascope, with a wide screen & extra lenses, called Anamorphics, to expand the film, which was standard 35mm. but had been compressed during filming. These lenses were swung in front of the standard lens when a Cinemascope film was shown. Surround sound too!!
There was quite a skill in maintaining correct illumination on the screen. The light source was carbon arc & you had to keep the carbons correcty adjusted, or the screen would go brown on one side & blue on the other.

Attached Files
rialto.jpg (855 downloads)
This Aldi is where the Rialto was. Just up the road from Bebington station, towards New Ferry.
regal.jpg (853 downloads)
regent.jpg (852 downloads)
The Regent, on Church Rd., Tranmere,to the left of the Black Horse. The top of Well Lane is 50 yards to the right.
plaza.jpg (871 downloads)
The Plaza was next to the Kingsland dance hall, where the builder's yard is. I'm standing in Harrowby Rd.
plaza wall.jpg (841 downloads)
A close-up of the only remaining bit of the Plaza. The pink wall with stacks of bricks next to it. There's a 5 foot gap between that wall & the Kingsland; used to keep my bike there. Projection room was on this wall & the screen was to the right.
savoy.jpg (847 downloads)
This was the Savoy in Argyle St.
gaumont.jpg (856 downloads)
The Gaumont, bottom of Park Rd. East. You can see the main park entrance in the pic.

Carpe diem.
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Re: Cinemas [Re: chriskay] #183899
9th Nov 2007 3:12pm
9th Nov 2007 3:12pm
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 12,369
Birkenhead
BMW Joe Offline
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I didn't know what is now a furniture shop, which used to be roller world on Park Rd. East used to be a cinema.

And I've only just noticed that it is similar in style to what is now rileys in Argyle St.

Thanks for sharing happy

what sort of films were showing?


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Re: Cinemas [Re: BMW Joe] #183907
9th Nov 2007 4:00pm
9th Nov 2007 4:00pm
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 22,315
Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
MattLFC Offline
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Some excellent information there Chris!

thumbsup

Re: Cinemas [Re: MattLFC] #183911
9th Nov 2007 4:30pm
9th Nov 2007 4:30pm
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 5,253
Wirral
Pomp Offline

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Pomp  Offline

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When did u them pics?
Is Rileys offering free memberships?

Re: Cinemas [Re: Pomp] #183913
9th Nov 2007 4:36pm
9th Nov 2007 4:36pm
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 22,315
Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
MattLFC Offline
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MattLFC  Offline
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Very first line Pomp:

Originally Posted by chriskay
A couple of days ago I came up & did a little project.

smile

Re: Cinemas [Re: MattLFC] #183921
9th Nov 2007 4:59pm
9th Nov 2007 4:59pm
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 4,006
New Ferry
Waddi Offline

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New Ferry
What about the wallasey based picture houses Chris?

good work. didnt know about the bebington ones.


[Linked Image]
Re: Cinemas [Re: Waddi] #183924
9th Nov 2007 5:21pm
9th Nov 2007 5:21pm
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 21,231
Wirral
Mark Offline

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WOW you have just save a chunk of History there Chris,
I wouldn't have known any of them.

Love the little snippet
Originally Posted by chriskay
The programme always finished with playing of "God Save the King" & it was very rude not to stand for this, or to leave before it finished.
I didn't know that either.

Where there is buildings left you can see that they "Could" have been cinema's, obvious when you know.

How things have changed no



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Re: Cinemas [Re: Waddi] #183973
9th Nov 2007 8:55pm
9th Nov 2007 8:55pm
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 4,868
shropshire
chriskay Offline OP
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chriskay  Offline OP
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Originally Posted by The_WadFather
What about the wallasey based picture houses Chris?



Never went to Wallasey much. The only one I remember was the Continental, which showed esoteric stuff, like opera. You used to be able to order coffee & they would bring it to you during the interval.


Carpe diem.
Re: Cinemas [Re: BMW Joe] #183974
9th Nov 2007 9:00pm
9th Nov 2007 9:00pm
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 4,868
shropshire
chriskay Offline OP
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chriskay  Offline OP
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Originally Posted by BMW Joe


what sort of films were showing?


Everything. all the latest Hollywood offerings & British 'stiff upper lip' films. I remember the first Cinemascope film I showed at the Plaza was "The Robe". Frank Sinatra was making a lot of films at the time; I remember "Young at Heart" with him & Doris Day.
As far as style is concerned, it was all of its time; late Art Deco mostly & a common theme ran through all the chains.

(I've just been reminded, from another source entirely, that the Regal in Bebington later became part ot the Essoldo chain, but I don't suppose any of you youngsters will remember that)!!


Carpe diem.
Re: Cinemas [Re: chriskay] #183975
9th Nov 2007 9:26pm
9th Nov 2007 9:26pm
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 4,868
shropshire
chriskay Offline OP
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chriskay  Offline OP
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shropshire
Stop press. Just watching "Dr. Strangelove" on ITV3. Has one of the best lines ever; "gentlemen, gentlemen, you can't fight in here, this is the war room"


Carpe diem.
Re: Cinemas [Re: chriskay] #183981
9th Nov 2007 10:44pm
9th Nov 2007 10:44pm
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 2,989
Birkenhead, United Kingdom
S
SoundLad Offline

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Birkenhead, United Kingdom
My dads friend mally's ex girlfriends dad and mum used to be the projectionist in Argyle street (used to be called ABC Cinema when they where projectionists) i'll have to ask them if they have some photos of the inside of the cinema and out. smile Be nice to see how it use to look etc.. smile


Lee Mills

Re: Cinemas [Re: SoundLad] #183991
9th Nov 2007 11:15pm
9th Nov 2007 11:15pm
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 21,231
Wirral
Mark Offline

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Yeh that would be amazing.

lol chris quote


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Re: Cinemas [Re: Mark] #184013
10th Nov 2007 12:16am
10th Nov 2007 12:16am
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 22,315
Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
MattLFC Offline
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Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
Where the bingo hall in Moreton is, that used to be a picture house. Ill see if I can get some photos of it sometime.

My mum used to tell me when I was a kid what it was like in there, so I will see if I can get any info outta her lol.

Re: Cinemas [Re: MattLFC] #184014
10th Nov 2007 12:18am
10th Nov 2007 12:18am
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Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
MattLFC Offline
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The building that is centred:

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=moreton+wirral&rls=com.microsoft:en-gb:IE-SearchBox&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=ie7&rlz=1I7GGIH&um=1&sa=N&tab=wl

Re: Cinemas [Re: SoundLad] #184570
12th Nov 2007 11:07am
12th Nov 2007 11:07am
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 4,868
shropshire
chriskay Offline OP
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chriskay  Offline OP
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shropshire
Originally Posted by SoundLad
My dads friend mally's ex girlfriends dad and mum used to be the projectionist in Argyle street (used to be called ABC Cinema when they where projectionists) i'll have to ask them if they have some photos of the inside of the cinema and out. smile Be nice to see how it use to look etc.. smile


Yes, I remember now that it was the ABC after the Savoy.


Carpe diem.
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