In January 1961 after the film ‘The Siege of Sydney Street’ was shown at Empire Cinema on Stockwell Gate in Mansfield, two words flashed up on the screen ‘THE END’. This was not just the end of the film but the end of an era as it was the final film at this cinema/theatre which had entertained people for 46 years.
In a Mansfield Chronicle Advertiser report dated 19th January 1961 people recalled the early days of the Empire Theatre when Marie Lloyd, George Formby and Flanagan and Allen were on the stage there.
The Manager of the 700-seater cinema for many years was Mr Victor Allgood (he was once manager of the Rock Cinema). For 30 years the Chief Projectionist was Fred Herman, he was only 19 when he took the job and was believed to be the youngest projectionist in the country at that time. His son Kenneth followed in his footsteps to become second projectionist and Kenneth’s wife Iris was his assistant.
Mrs Florence Randall, Mrs Doris Millward and Mrs Mary Gill were three of the cleaners and had all been at the Empire for a number of years.
These photos and news cuttings were in a scrap book kept by Mr Allgood the manager. This has fortunately been saved by his family and loaned to us to copy for ‘ourmansfieldandarea’ and share with you. We thank them for their kindness.