"MEMORIES" of Wolverhampton Childhood 2

Frontpage Forum People & Places of Wolverhampton "MEMORIES" of Wolverhampton Childhood 2

This topic contains 8 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Billy 4 years, 4 months ago.

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  • #5108


    Billy

    Participant

    PICTURES TALK

    Below the old cellar head.

  • #5110


    Billy

    Participant

    Savoy 1965 jpg

    A little “nostalgia” for all Old Wulfrunians who once said. “Will you take me in Please?.

    Nowadays the first experience of a cinema visit for a child is probably on occasion to see a new Disney release or the like, but my first visit was nothing like that.

    It was in the summer of 1943. The place the “Savoy’ in Garrick Street there was just my mother and I, dad was away on war work, at that time.

    I remember we queued at the entrance to the front stalls at the corner of Old Hall Street, and when we finally recieved our tickets and went down the stairs into the cinema I recall we had to stand for awhile just 50yds from the screen and the main feature a western, “Jesse James” was halfway through.

    I gazed up at this large screen and in full technicolour, what a sight, it was awe inspiring to me as a six year, old.

    After waiting a short while standing looking looking up at the screen we were found two seats, and as the film reached its climax , and the background music; the hymn, “Yes Jesus loves me” played at ‘Jesse’s funeral , the sorrowful tears ran down my face, and at that moment I was completely lost to films, and film music forever.

    Below the old cellar head.

  • #5165


    Billy

    Participant

    Emmie commented

    Enjoyed that. As Billy knows, my dad used to work in the cinemas, first at the Hippodrome as an electrician then at the Rex in Whitmore Reans as a projectionist and finally as manager of the Coloseum, Dudley Road that would be late 50s I guess.

    Below the old cellar head.

  • #5166


    Billy

    Participant

    the Strand

    The Rex Cinema. Colman Street. in the first instance it was known as the Strand.

    This photograph was taken during the First World War and shows the staff posing outside the new Strand cinema in Whitmore Reans, opened in 1912 by a Mr Jackson, who had converted his bakehouse into a little cinema.

    The Strand only ever showed silent Films,

    Below the old cellar head.

  • #5167


    Billy

    Participant

    In 1925. A new larger cinema was built on the site of the Strand,, with flights of steps leading up to the entrance with a canopy above, and a double set of swing doors to greet patrons at this new super – ‘West End Cinema’.

    In 1930, talkies came to the West End and two such films Hotel Imperial and Carnival. are prominently advertised here in Leicester Square in 1935.

    West End Advert

    Seven hundred patrons could be seated in the auditorium which had stalls and balcony. It prospered until in 1944 then it started to struggle, which brought on another name change and it became the ‘Park Cinema’.

    But with the opening of the big new super cinemas in town this little back street picture house began to suffer again and the “Park” closed its doors.

    Below the old cellar head.

  • #5168


    Billy

    Participant

    It still wasn’t finished yet, and it reopened again in August 1947 as the The Rex Cinema.

    Kismet starring Ronald Colman and Marlene Dietrich was the first film to be shown at the new Rex.
    And it was shown by my the new projectionist who happened to be my Uncle Dennis.
    In the couple of years he was there, I spent many a happy hour with him. up in the projection room and he gave me lots of film still taken at the time he spliced and joined the reels.
    Did anyone else have one of those little rubber film veiwers bought from woolworths,at that time?

    Rex Colman Street

    The Rex though didn’t last long and is pictured here shortly before demolition in 1960 – The Avion Centre covers this ground today. If you look carefully, you can just make out the former old West End sign above the entrance.

    Below the old cellar head.

  • #5231


    Billy

    Participant

    For most kids born before the likes of television Videos C.D.s etc Their first exprience of watching a movie at the local cinema with their parents.
    And in most cases it was a Walt Disney picture.

    In my case it was a visit to the Gaumont during the war the film in question is today still my favourite Disney film of all time “Pinocchio”.

    Pinochio 1

    What are your earliest memories of visiting the “Flicks” in Wolverhampton.

    Below the old cellar head.

  • #5235


    tonydavies

    Participant

    My local was the Penn Cinema on Warstones Road. My early memories are somewhat vague regarding the first film I saw, but the Saturday matinee was the time all the kids off the estate caused their usual weekly chaos, much to the annoyance of the usherettes! I do have memories of the westerns with Tex Ritter, Gene Autry, and of course, Roy Rogers and Trigger. There was also the gangster film serials with  “The Black Hand Gang” or something along those lines, along with the Disney classics such as Snow White, Pinocchio, etc.

    It was pennies to get in but, if you’d spent your cinema money on “suck”, there was always someone ready to open the side door for a couple of acid drops!

  • #5237


    Billy

    Participant

    A photo to remind you of the “Penn Cinema” Tony, showing Charles Bronson in a violent Michael Winner directed film, The Mechanic.

    Taken 3rd March 1973 shortly before it closed. The Penn was one of the three picture houses that opened in Wolverhampton the year I was born, 1937.

    Penn Cinema

    The demo;ition men arrived that same year and quickly knocked down the building and a new MacMarket went up on the site.

    Below the old cellar head.

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