PocklingtonHistory.com Railway Street (Circa 1880)
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Gallery
Market Place Market Place
Note the new building in the photo on the corner.
Regent Street Regent Street
Note the 'Old Red Lion Hotel'
Chapmangate Chapmangate
Note the independent chapel built in 1807 to the left.
Pocklington Cinemas
The first reference to using Cinematograph is in 1909 at an outdoor Scout meeting at Ousethorpe. The first found reference of a Cinema in Pocklington is in the Central Hall in 1912, although a local resident believes they were first shown in Victoria Hall (see below). The Aug 29th 1914 newspaper reference below also refers to the animated pictures starting in 1912. A 1921 Trade Directory mentiones the Central Hall Cinema, in Peter's square, opened by the proprietoress Mrs. Fred Lee. By 1929 the proprietor was the Central Hall Cinema Co. Ltd. It could seat 450 people in 1933, but the capacity dropped to 350 in 1937. In 1927 the Majestic Cinema was founded by the Allison family and was operating in Manor Yard, Chapmangate at least up to the outbreak of war. During the war, Pocklington's population trebled by the creation of the large wartime airfield established on it's outskirts. The Oak House Cinema was opened and became a well known attraction for all the military personnel from the airfield.In the 1960's became known as the Ritz Cinema. In 1981 the Ritz Cinema opened the Penny Arcadia, but the cinema and Arcadia closed in 1994, only to be reopened in 2000 as the Arts Centre and Cinema, now a highly successful venue in the area for Performing Arts with seating for 200 people.
Central Cinema 1912
Pocklington Weekly News and Market Weighton Advertiser
October 12th, 1912

(Found by Ken Durkin)
pwn
1914
(2)
Howdenshire Chronicle and Pocklington Weekly News
Saturday, 5th September, 1914
Early Cinema in Pocklington
Hull Daily Mail - Wednesday 16 July 1919
Image © Local World Limited.
Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.
Image reproduced with kind permission of http://www.thebritishnewspaperarchive.com/
Majestic 1938 (1)
Majestic 1938 n(2)
Majestic Cinema Pocklington
Majestic Cinema Pocklington in 1934
Oak House
The Oak House Cinema
Cyril Willoughton
Cyril Willoughton projectionist at the Oak House Cinema in the 1950's
Peter Harrison Town Crier
Peter Harrison was Town Crier and Pocklington Central Cinema doorman
Ritz Cinema
The Penny Arcadia Museum in the 1980's.
After the Arcadia closed in 1994, the collection was sold to an American Greg McLemore in 2004 who now exhibits the machines in Los Angeles. More about the collection can be seen at www.penny-arcadia.co.uk  
 

Further memories of the cinema have been provided by a local resident, Ken Durkin, he says:

"The first cinema in Pocklington was in the Victoria Hall (where Betterton Court is now) it was at the top floor where English's mill was. It was a shilling to get in and in addition a chair was 3 pennies, a stool was 2 pennies, a penny for children on a pouffe, so Jim Beckett told me, and you could stand at the back for a halfpenny. Jim Beckett's mother worked for Mr Lund (or Lunt?)  in about  1900 to 1915. She was his cashier, and he was a fairground man. All his films were shown in tents at this time, but he hired Victoria Hall  to show them in the town.  In other towns, he would get new films to show and about every 5 weeks would come back to Pocklington. He had 2 horses and carts to load his seats on. The films were 20 minutes long, and he would have about 5 reels. They were very amateur.  It was  one shilling and threepence,  one shilling and twopence and one shilling and onepence  and one shilling and halfpence for the different seats and cushions.  You could also stand at the back for a shilling. Papa Swan also told me all about this. The stage Lund (or Lunt) had built for his projector was still there in the 1980s. If you had to go to the toilet, you had to keep well down or you were in big trouble! Clare Evans got free cinema tickets from Mr  Grant,  she also said  the travelling cinema man gave her one penny a seat to carry them down to his transport and the same when he came back with new films.

The second cinema was Centr
al Hall. The heating in there was a big round stove, and it got red hot. My mother told me the third was the Majestic owned by Allisons. It became their joiners shop (where Manor Buildings was). Central Hall belonged to Eric Lee. It held more like 250 then 400.  Then came the Oak House. It held 418 and was full on many  occasions. The queue often went round to Stubbs's in Deans Lane. Mr Robinson was a big burly ex-policeman and was the manager. There was no nonsense with him! Dorothy Richardson was on the pay desk and others who worked there included Anne Ward, Janet Hunter and her sister. Norman Craggs and Vera Kirkbride used to put chairs in the aisle to get more in. Allisons also owned 3 other cinemas at Pickering, Howden and Filey.  The oak house was open for most of the second war. Alf Allison told me it was built in about 1939/40. I worked as a projectionist at oak house." 

 
If You have any further information on Pocklington Cinemas. Please contact me