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Posted by Mac Cummings on March 25, 2023, 10:19:51
Thanks to the Chronicle archives for this one. It took me back to 1962/3. I used to get the bus from Bill Quay. Hop off at the Essoldo then round the corner to the bus stop just beyond the phone box for the bus to Birtley. That was a horrendous and long winter but the buses never failed me. I don't remember schools closing either although sport was off for ages. The local bookie in Birtley took bets on USA races and he always seemed to do well....I never saw him without a huge cigar!!
Posted by Brian on March 25, 2023, 18:45:11, in reply to "Essoldo"
The Essoldo opened as the Kings in 1905 and became the Empire in 1918 and used to show short films during the variety performances It was taken over by the Essoldo Cinema chain in 1946 but continues as a variety theatre til 1950 and following a refurbishmant was renamed the Essoldo Theatre with a reduced capacity of just under 1100. It had cinemascope was installed in 1954 making the first Gateshead cinema to do so ahead of the Odeon the premier cinema in the town. It still put on occasional live shows and its last professional show was the the 1965 Pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk starring Sandy Powell although a few local am dram shows followed. The Essoldo closed its doors on 30th December 1967 with the gangster double bill of 'Al Capone and 'Dillinger' and was demolished on early 1968.