First cinema to show ‘talkies’ in Worksop

Archive Corner
Archive Corner

This week’s archive corner shows the Picture House.

This was built in 1911 in Newcastle Avenue, at the junction of Hardy Street, when it was known as the Royal Electric Theatre .

The theatre had a seating capacity for about 1,000 people with a circular balcony to accommodate 300 people.

The stage was 33ft wide by 18ft deep with an orchestra atthe front.

The theatre had sloping floors and tip-up and upholstered chairs in the stalls.

The architect was Fred Hopkinson of Worksop.

It was closed on 25th October 1919.

The last film to be shown there was Swat the Fly, starring the Lee Kiddies.

Prices for tickets were 3d, 5d, 9d and 1.1d.

The Royal Electric Theatre was reopened as the Picture House on Monday 10th November 1919 and in 1929 it became the first cinema in Worksop to introduce soundtracked films, or ‘talkies’ as they became known.

In 1954 it was refurbished and reopened again as the Essoldo.

The Essoldo then closed on 15th January 1972.

Since then the building has been demolished and the site was then occupied by the Department of Social Security.

It was used as the Social Security office as a walk in centre but closed its doors in 2006 and all Jobcentre and Social Security services were delivered at the Jobcentre Plus office at Bridge Court in the town centre.

Film lovers can now enjoy a trip to The Savoy Cinema in Bridge Street which opened in March 2012.

The £3 million multiplex cinema boasts six-screens, which can seat up to 900 people, and the latest in audio-visual technology, including digital presentation and surround sound.