OLD PLYMOUTH . UK
www.oldplymouth.uk
 

  Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: September 10, 2017.
Webpage updated: September 10, 2017

        

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CINEDROME

On Monday November 27th 1911, Mr & Mrs W J Linsdell opened the Cinedrome at 57 Ebrington Street, Plymouth, with its 'magnificent pictorial programmes' and 'dainty afternoon teas served free'.  Prices were 3d, 6d, 9d or one shilling.  Its licence was approved on December 20th 1911.

Apparently a large crowd had gathered before the doors were opened and they quickly filled the 'commodious and comfortable theatre'. It was decorated chiefly in crimson and, so the Western Morning News reporter noted, 'the welcome warmth supplied by the judiciously placed stoves was never allowed to become oppressive, in spite of the large crowd'.   The screen was 23ft by 30ft.  In addition to the usual facilities, the Cinedrome boasted a cloak-room and a parcel-office.  There were two performances daily, at 3 and 8pm.

The films shown at the opening performance were accompanied by music from the orchestra under the direction of Mr Sydney Graham and some with songs sung by Mr Eric Dean.  The most popular item seems to have been the illustrated vocal scene "Meet Me To-night in Dreamland".  A topical film illustrated Delhi, the scene of the Durbar and where an Imperial pageant was due to take place.  There was then 'an instructive series of pictures showing the habits of insects' followed by a striking dramatic story called "The Dead Man's Child".  The remainder of the programme comprised "Calino Tries his Hand at Surgery", "That Dare-devil", "The Marriage of Jane", "Italian Blood", "The Strike at Little Johnny Mine" and "That Beautiful Voice".

On January 1st 1916 it was reported that the Linsdells had just installed the first cinema organ in the area.  It had been specially built for them and the organist was a Mr Aubrey Adams ARCO.  The cinema's orchestra continued to be under the direction of Mr H E Linsdell.  The organ was first used on Monday January 8th 1916 during the showing of "Eternal City", an 8-reel film shot in Italy and starring Pauline Frederick and Thomas Holding.

But despite the showing of "talkies" at other cinemas in the Three Towns, the owners of the Cinedrome, namely Messrs W J Corse and Thomas Hoyle, were evidently not impressed.   In October 1929 it was advertising that 'Talkies are NOT screened here -- only the best silent films, accompanied by a human symphony orchestra under the direction of Mr Albert Hosie, late of Savoy'.   The film being shown at the time was "Does Mother Know Best".

Mr Hoyle died in 1932 and the cinema passed to his widow, with Mr Ronald Green as manager.  By now the cinema sat 900 people.  The Cinedrome was destroyed by enemy bombing during the night of March 22nd/23rd 1941.  The premises are now occupied by Goulds Surplus Stores.