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29 October 2014
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History in pictures

You are in: Tyne > History > History in pictures > Tyneside Cinema heritage

Tyneside Cinema heritage

Have Your Say

Tell us your memories of the old Newcastle News Theatre and the Tyneside Cinema over the years.

The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

Richard Dunn
I remember being sent to the News Theatre by my school, to be entertained by a bunch of educational films on aspects of science. Strange to relate, I can still remember some of the material they were teaching. So the cinema wasn't just entertainment, but education too!

Norma C
My earliest memories as a child include going every Saturday morning with my grandmother into Newcastle for her weekly shopping trip to the Greenmarket and Grainger market, after which our treat was to see what was on at one of the two film theatres (as already mentioned by others, there was a choice between the Tyneside and the Tatler). It cost a shilling to get in. Seats were not allocated, so usherettes shone their torches in the darkened cinema to show where there were spaces. Often it was very crowded and without their help it would have been difficult to find available seats. We would settle down, bags at our feet, to watch that week's selection of short films. There was always Movietone News in black and white and crazy cartoons, as well as short informative documentaries. The programme, which ran continuosly, generally lasted about an hour and we usually got up to leave at the point where we had come in, but if there was something we had especially enjoyed we would stay to see it the second time round before setting off to catch the bus home, chatting about what we had just seen.

EJ
Life began in 1941 in Northwest County Durham. Having childhood asthma and eczema, I made many trips by Northen bus with my mother to specialists in the Royal Victoria infirmary. The standard treat to keep me sweet during the hospital treatment and after was a visit to the 'Little Pictures', the family name for the News Theatre on Pilgrim Street, or (less memorably) the Tatler Cinema on Northumberland Street. My strongest memories - from 60 years ago, I guess - are of Movietone News, short films of American slapstick and the floor-standing globe in a wood frame on the first landing of the stairwell. If I tried very hard I could make the globe rotate sedately. Britain was at eye-level - or would have been before countless exploratory fingers had worn through the paper and exposed its pink base.

Michael M
As a child going to the cinema with parents in the 1950s, if you couldn't get in to the Odeon opposite, or if the queue was too long, you'd go to the News Theatre or to the Tatler (a similar establishment at the top of Northumberland Street). Invariably when you sat down it would be in the middle of a film, whether it was a cartoon, short or newsreel, but you'd just stay until you'd seen the whole programme through as cinema programmes were continuous in those days, no breaks, you could just go in anytime during the show.Some people would be in the News Theatre for hours, especially if they dozed off, and wake up to find half the afternoon gone. Happy days!

james
My first Saturday job was in the coffee rooms when i was 14 years of age in 1979. It was fantastic and so much fun. I look forward to seeing the cinema and coffee rooms restored back to its original.

michael
as a child whose first experiences of cinema were the saturday morning matinees i grewup with the sense of cinema embedded in my heart.the tyneside not only introduced me to world cinema but it smelled and tasted like a real cinema should.although i now live in italy on the occasions i return home the tyneside is top on my things to do list.

Mike Kirkup
I first visited the Tyneside Cinema in the about 1977 so see a late night triple bill of HELP, HARD DAYS NIGHT & LET IT BE - after countless visits, experiencing a wealth of world cinema & guest speakers, I eventually ended up working there for 14 years, going from voluntary festival placement to programmer. The people I worked with over the years (through the peaks AND the troughs!!)have given me some great memories and I look forward to its re-birth. My highlights include interviewing Terry Jones from Monty Python onstage, getting a letter from Hollywood legend Olvia De Havilland and watching CINEMA PARADISO for the first time in 1990 blubbing my eyes out...

Mary Dixon
I have lots of happy memories having spent lots of my younger years in Tyneside. I now Reside in Canada , but, on every visit to Tyneside I make a point of dropping in. I look forward to the new changes with much anticipation. Thank you for many happy memories.

Paul Ramsay
The Tyneside Cinema is, and always will be, looked on with great fondness by my family and I. This is mainly because my mother worked there for over 20 years and was fundamental to its success in the 70's, 80's and 90's especially in her work on the legendary annual film festivals. From a personal point of view though my highlight has to be spending every saturday morning there watching the childrens double bills although as I recall it seemed to be Laurel and Hardy follwed by Asterix every week !!!

pauline gallagh
i have very fond memorries of the cinema as my uncle used to work there in the late 60's early 70's. me and my sister used to go to whatch films most saturday, getting free entry ofcause and after the film we where allowed to go to the staff room and dress up as the ushers and then on to the tea room for a bite to eat, on one occation i was allowed to take the tea try to my uncles boss and was made to feel very special

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