Object No.63

Palace Cinema programme, 1941

Object No.63
Object No.63

The Palace Cinema in Stratford Road (currently the home of Faith Dimensions Ministry) and the Scala in Stony Stratford were both established by Mr Barber who became Lord Mayor of Stoke – indeed the Palace was known as ‘Barber’s Picture Palace ’ in its early days.

The cinema opened on Monday 18th December 1911 . The opening feature was the big epic “Zigomar”. The pianist, Mr Oliver Thorneycroft, was considered very talented. The cinema seated 650 and this included a medium sized balcony. A popular feature was the Saturday matinee for children. The first was on 23rd December 1911 and included a free stick of Blackpool rock.

At that time the cinema employed a part timer to cycle between The Palace and The Scala with the shared news reel films. This usually involved 2 return journeys a night but could occasionally mean more if the main feature was also shared! The cinema had no electricity in the early days, but used its own generated supply. This was produced by a generator running from a gas engine. The Palace did not have a screen, but simply used a white painted wall.

In about 1929 the Palace became equipped for sound and was able to show “talkies”.

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