The Empire Cinema

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. 


No 1 The Empire Cinema
No 2 Airial View Showing Empire Cinema
No 3 Victor Allgood Manager of the Empire Cinema
No 4 Ticket Office
No 5 A Presentation, the people and reason are unknown
No 6 Staff
No 7 Oaklahoma
No 8 Handshake on the steps of the Empire Cinema
No 9 Cleaning staff
No 10 Edwin Causer puts up the shutters for the last time
No 11 Looking at the fim reel for the last time
No 12 An advertisment to remember
No 13 News Cutting
Chronicle Advertiser 19th January 1961
No 14 News Cutting
Chronicle Advertiser 19th January 1961

Comments about this page

  • Great pictures and memories long gone ,those were days when going to the “pictures” meant a night out .Two films in those days plus “Pathe News” ” Pearl and Dean ” and films shown on Sunday night only.Together also a choice of  other Picture Places to go to in the town ,sadly buildings long gone but a trip down memory lane brings everything back to how Mansfield used to be .



    By Former Woodus Lad (22/07/2016)
  • Re the Empire stories. What a surprise to see my cousin Iris featured in the pictures. She was the daughter of Syd and Phyllis Grundy who kept a shop at Forest Town. Unfortunately not many photos were taken in those days so this was a great surprise, thanks to everyone for your comments. Keith Blythe

    By Keith Blythe (07/08/2015)
  • The gentleman in the cap at the ticket office (No. 4) looks like a Mr Charlie Haywood if I am not mistaken.  Perhaps somebody else might recognise him or prove me wrong.

    By Shirley B (16/06/2015)
  • I have fond memories of the Empire it’s the first cinema I went to without my parents, it was the saturday morning matinee in about 1956 I went with some of my friends. I think the manager Mr.Allgood was refered to as uncle someone or other by the children but I can’t recall the name, I think he lead the singalong before the films started.

    By P.Bowler (09/06/2015)

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