a quiz question, Seat 2, Row 2 of the circle
at the Paignton Picture House was the favourite seat of which author?
answer: Agatha Christie. The cinemas and theatres in her books were
all reportedly based on the Paignton Picture House, known to have
been open since at least 1914.
cinema closed in 1999 - but now plans are in place to take the deserted
building back in time to become a living film museum.
It's being described as a 'living' museum because the group plan
to resurrect the cinema to show movies from the very first days
of silent cinema through to the 1950's.
experience will be further enhanced by staff wearing period costume,
giving the full experience of classic cinema.
of the classic features of the Paignton Picture House.
Photo: Clive Polden
cinema had been earmarked as a passenger waiting area by its current
owners the Dart Valley Railway.
But those plans have now been dropped and the company has said it's
ready to sell the building.
Rowe is the man behind the museum scheme. He says it's down to giving
the historic art deco building a reason to be again.
all about giving the building back to Devon and getting it back
into use," said Ken. "Get it doing what it was built to
admits that it wasn't a bolt from the blue inspiration, more a slow
trickle becoming a flood.
fermented over several years. I walked past it every day and I've
always been interested in old buildings," said Ken.
a beautiful building gone to waste and I kept thinking why won't
someone do anything. Then I realised I was the someone.
says something ought to be done, but one day you sit back and realise
it's got to be you."
insides and roof are listed
the moment the plan is at a stand-off while Dart Valley Railway
considers its decision.
waiting for the owners to come back to us with a valuation,"
spoken to English Heritage and the Devon Historic Buildings Trust
among others and all are interested - but nothing can be done until
one public meeting has been held and attracted 50 people despite
little notice beforehand.
Ken hopes the next, on the 4th March at 7.30pm in Gerston Christian
Centre will be even bigger.
going to be a tremendous amount of work," said Ken. "We're
going to rely heavily on voluntary contributions to get the job
first published: 3rd March 2005