Goodbye to the Rock

Before demolition. | Janet Scott
Before demolition.
Janet Scott
Going... | janet Scott
Going...
janet Scott
Auditorium revealed | Janet Scott
Auditorium revealed
Janet Scott
Thee were decorations on the ceiling.... | Janet Scott
Thee were decorations on the ceiling....
Janet Scott
...and classical headings to the pillars | Janet Scott
...and classical headings to the pillars
Janet Scott

When I moved to Montague Street in 2007 there was a large building on the corner of the junction with Skerry Hill. I was told it had been the Rock Cinema and had shown films from 1914 until 1956, since when it had served a number of commercial purposes and was now an aquarium and pet food store.

After the owner retired no one else seemed able to take it on and it fell into disrepair with broken windows and flocks of pigeons roosting on the roof. Then it was sold with planning permission to build houses.

The demolition team moved in at the end of July (2010) and as it came down it was possible to glimpse its past splendours. I mentioned this to a gentleman who has lived in this area most of his life, and was the organist at nearby St Lawrence’s church for some years. He recalls that, when he was a boy living in Ravensdale in the 1920’s, he looked forward to Saturday afternoon and what was called ‘The Tuppeny Rush’ when youngsters could be entertained inexpensively.

Comments about this page

  • Often wondered when it closed let alone got demolished, saw many a film there over the years. That whole area was one big playground for us in the fifties. Thanks for the update!

    By Steeve Cee. (15/09/2017)
  • Wonderfull comments of once again a Cinema which brought happy memories to many familys now long gone .In later years was it taken over by a double glazing firm  can anyone remember ? Happy days for those residents in their days.

    By G.Burton former Woodus lad (16/12/2016)
  • Was the organist at St Lawrences Church named David Chamberlain? If so I remember him living on Carter Lane and being a dedicated musician. When the Wesleyn Reform Chapel obtained a replacement organ that was electric he would meet with my Grandfather– Arthur Osborne to aclimatize himself on that type of organ. I also remember him playing at The Granada Cinema on occaisions at the children’s matinees for the sing song. Could it be the same gentleman?This would be in Forties.

    By Malcolm Raynor (25/01/2011)
  • Thanks for the interesting comments from people who have childhood memories of the cinema. There is a letter in this week’s ‘Chad’ (25 Aug 2010) from a gentleman reminiscing about the Rock and other places in the area. Janet

    By Janet Scott (25/08/2010)
  • Round about 1936 if mum was going out, she would tell me to stop in for both halves so she would be in when I came home just up the street. Sometimes the Manager would ask me to run an errand for him and I got a bar of chocolate and a free seat, the cashier was called Annie.

    By arthur wright (22/08/2010)
  • Although I never met him one of my granmother’s brothers, Samuel Henry Stubbings is said to have been the projectionist for many years at this cinema. Born in 1875 he wanted to pursue a career in farming but lost a leg in a farming accident in his teens. Consequently he became a photographer and later a cinema projectionist.

    By Denis Hill (20/08/2010)
  • In my early years The Rock was somewhat of a second home. It must have belonged to the same group as The Empire Cinema in Town As the same programme there was always shown the following week at the Rock. If I remember Right Front Stalls were 6 pence Back Stalls 10 pence and The Circle 1 Shilling & sixpence (Half Price for Children with their Parents). My Mother took my Sister and Myself every Monday & Thursday and with my Father when he was not at work (later he was in The RAF) The Tuppenny Rush was on Saturday Afternoon and we were all in the Shirley Temple Club and our Membership cards stamped at the Box Office. It was great fun . One Advantage was that the other tuppenny rushes in town were on a Saturday Morning so we could attend both. The morning sessions were ideal for my Mother as she could shop without having two kids hanging on in the obligatory Queues in those days. Wonderful memories of the Serials- Flash Gordon- Gene Autry et al (Lots of Cowbows and Indians Feature films).

    By MGR (08/08/2010)

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