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Photographs and Other Images  -  These include portraits of photographers  -  photographic outings -  Princes Street views  -  Newhaven Fishwives  -  etc.  Early Photography in Edinburgh  -  Talbot, Brewster, Hill & Adamson, Early Professional Photographers in Princes Street, etc.  Professional Photographers in Edinburgh  -  1840 to 1940  -  Their names, dates of business and studio addresses.  The Photographic Society of Scotland  -  1856 to 1873  -  Lectures, Exhibitions, Outings, etc.  The History of Edinburgh Photographic Society  -  1861 to date  -  Lectures, Exhibitions, Outings, Poems, etc.  EPS Publications - EPS Handwritten Records  -  Photographic Journals  -  Trade Directories  -  Books  -  etc.  Thanks to all who have encouraged and supported me in creating the EdinPhoto web site  -  including descendants of photographers  -  researchers  -  providers of photographs and other material  Background notes on the research thal led up to the creation of this site  -   together with lists of new material added to the site since its launch.  Brief comments on how this site might be used  -  Just browsing?  -  Seeking specific information?  Please add your questions, suggestions or other comments to the Guest Book.  Links to other web sites  -  Photographic Societies  -  Photographic History  -  Family History  -  etc.  Click here to find the link to the Edinburgh Photogrpahic Society web site.

 

A selection of my photographs, many from Edinburgh throughout the year.   Also photos from Scotland, London, Iceland, Italy, Hong Kong and elsewhere    Many old maps of Edinburgh (Old Town, New Town, while City), Leith and Newhaven.  Includes several old transport maps and a comparison of old maps with recent aerial photos.   Old engravings, mailly of Edinburgh scenes.  Some from the 1820s, some from the 1890s,  some others - includes many hand-coloured examples from the 1820s.   News from Edinburgh today  -  Events, Collections, Buildings and Gardens, Transport   This site includes     1. Post card portraits taken in studios in Edinburgh:    2. Post card views either takeen/published by Ediburgh photographers or views of Edinburgh, or both.y Edinburgh    Views of Edinburgh, grouped into three sections:     1. Street views:    2. Buildings:    3. Around Edinburgh   Views of transport around Edinburgh  -  Horse drawn trams and buses, cable cars, electric trams, buses and a few railway photos.  Also several maps of Edinburgh's bus and tram routes.   Links to pages with Photos of Groups   Frequently Asked Questions

  Summary of the updates added to this site each month since the site was launched   Links to Dumbiedykes pages  Link to Granton pages  Link to Leith pages   Link to Newhaven pages   Links to Portobello pages   Link to My Recent Talks

 

Edinburgh Recollections

Cinemas and Theatres

1.

Eric GOLD
East London

La Scala

County and New Palace

Regent

2.

Bryan GOURLAY
Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland

La Scala and Rio

New Vic

St Andrews

Poole's Synod Hall

Eastway

Other Edinburgh Cinemas

3.

Ronnie McBRIDE

County

4.

Bob HENDERSON
Burdiehouse, Edinburgh

New Vic

Bob HENDERSON
Burdiehouse, Edinburgh

and comments from

A.  Eric GOLD
East London

B.  Bob HENDERSON
Burdiehouse, Edinburgh

C.  Brian GOURLAY
Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland

D.  Eric GOLD (again)
East London

E.  Eric GOLD (again)
East London

F.  Graham CARLIN
Edinburgh

G.  Dick MARTIN
Borders, Scotland

H.  Tom HARRISON
Buckstone, Edinburgh

I.  Graham CARLIN (again)
Edinburgh

J.  George STEWART
South Edinburgh

K.  Lennie TOSHACK
Leith,  Edinburgh

L.  Daniel DUFF
Leith,  Edinburgh

Buckie Wives

5.

John CLARK
Canada

Tarzan at the Tiv

La Scala and New Vic

6.

Andy SINCLAIR
British Columbia, Canada

Monseigneur and Alhambra

7.

Phil WILSON
Aberdeen, Scotland

Monseigneur, later the Jacey

8.

Tony IVANOV
Bo'ness, West Lothian, Scotland

Monseigneur, formerly the Princes

9.

Bryan GOURLAY
Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland

Monseigneur

History of The Monseigneur

10.

George T SMITH
Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Edinburgh Cinemas

The Blue Halls

11.

Tony IVANOV
Bo'ness, West Lothian, Scotland

The Blue Halls

12.

Phil WILSON
Aberdeen, Scotland

Monseigneur, later the Jacey

13.

Frank FERRI
Newhaven, Edinburgh

Cinemas and Snooker

State Cinema

Capitol Cinema

Alhambra Cinema

14.

Joyce MESSER
North Island, New Zealand

Monsigneur

Cameo

Dominion

15.

George CLYDESDALE
Edinburgh

State Cinema

16.

Alan FENTIMAN
Edinburgh

The Odeon

17.

GM RIGG
New Zealand

The Ritz

The Regent

The Lone Ranger

Roy Rogers

The Salon

The News Theatre

The Playhouse

The State

The Odeon

18.

Lynda MAINE
Colinton Mains, Edinburgh

Lyceum Picture House

19.

Eric GOLD
East London

New Victoria

20.

James McEWAN
Duddingston Mills, Edinburgh

The Salon

21.

GM RIGG
New Zealand

Saturday Morning Matinees

22.

Anne BLISSETT
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

The New Vic

23.

Eric GOLD
East London

with reply from

Kim TRAYNOR
Tollcross, Edinburgh

New Vic  Organ

24.

Eric GOLD
East London

New Vic  W C Fields

25.

Eric GOLD
East London

New Vic  Victor Sylvester

26.

Kim TRAYNOR
Tollcross, Edinburgh

Empire Theatre - 'Trigger'

Gaumont Cinema  Davy Crockett

27.

Eric GOLD
East London

Empire Theatre - 'Trigger'

28.

Kim TRAYNOR
Tollcross, Edinburgh

Alhambra Cinema

29.

Kim TRAYNOR
Tollcross, Edinburgh

Poole's Synod Hall

30.

Shirley STANTON
(
née HOUSTON)

Newhaven, Edinburgh

and update from

Greg VARHALL
Mount Vernon, Virginia, USA

Empire Theatre - 'Trigger'

31.

Kim TRAYNOR
Tollcross, Edinburgh

Empire Theatre

Lyceum Props Store

32.

Eric GOLD
East London

New Victoria - Francis the Talking Mule

33.

Bob SINCLAIR
Queensland, Australia

Ritz

34.

Ian M MALCOLM
St Andrews, Fife, Scotland

Television

Edinburgh and Leith Cinemas

The Alhambra

Gaiety Theatre

35.

Bob SINCLAIR
Queensland, Australia

Rutland Picture House

Journey Home

36.

Jim SUDDON
Morningside, Edinburgh

with reply from

Frank FERRI
Newhaven, Edinburgh

Pantomime

- Theatres: Leith and Edinburgh

- Tommy and Johnny

37.

Bob HENDERSON
Burdiehouse, Edinburgh

The Op

38.

Jim SUDDON
Morningside, Edinburgh

The Playhouse

St Andrew's Square Cinema

The Palace, Princes Street

Monseigneur News Theatre

39.

Jim VANDEPEEAR
York, Yorkshire, England

The New Victoria

40.

Bob SINCLAIR
Queensland, Australia

Poole's Synod Hall

41.

GM RIGG
New Zealand

Saturday Morning Matinees

42.

Frank FERRI
Newhaven, Edinburgh

Leith cinemas

43.

William DUTTON
Colinton, Edinburgh

Cowboys

The Alhambra

44.

Harry HUNTER
Fife, Scotland

'The Cappy Club'

45.

Ronald STOUT
Denmark

Cinemas

      -  The Salon

      -  The Regent

46.

Eleanor SMITH
Edenvale, Johannesburg, South Africa

Stockbridge

47.

Jim ARCHIBALD
Polmont, Central Scotland

The Astoria, Corstorphine

After the Film

48.

Eric GOLD
East London

Odeon Cinema

49.

Mary (Mari) JOHNSON
Jamestown, California, USA

The Grand

50.

Alistair McINTYRE
Chichester, West Sussex, England

The Capitol

Other Cinemas

Theatres

51.

James Munro
Le Tonkin SW France

Embassy Cinema

52.

Bryan GOURLAY
Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland

Yo-yos

53.

Eric GOLD
East London

 Cinemas

The Caley

54.

Margaret COOPER
Colindale, North London, England

 The King's  -  Back Door

55.

Margaret COOPER
Colindale, North London, England

Blue Halls

Rock Around the Clock

Palladium Variety Theatre

56.

Margaret COOPER
London, England

 The Regal  -  Danny Kaye

57.

George T SMITH
Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

 The Regal

58.

Alex Dow
Fife, Scotland

The King's Theatre

59.

Sandy CAMERON
Edinburgh

 The Palladium

60.

Allan DODDS
Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England

 Princes Street

The Palace

61.

Frank FERRI
Newhaven, Edinburgh

State Cinema

62.

James A RAFFERTY
Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland

Gaumont British

The Capitol

The Regent

63.

Rita HANLEY
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

The Blue Halls

Tarzan

Forgotten

64.

Dorothy FINLAY
Queensland, Australia

Poole's Synod Hall

65.

June WOOD
(
née ROBERTSON)

Central Coast, California, USA

Poole's Synod Hall

The Regal

66.

Meg REILLY

The Blue Halls

67.

Catherine Jamieson
San Diego, California, USA

Usher Hall and King's Theatre

Poole's Picture House

68.

Jim Suddon
San Diego, California, USA

The First Edinburgh Festival: 1947

69.

Gordon Wright
Doncaster, South Yorkshire, England

The Carlton Cinema

70.

Pete Nolan
Doncaster, South Yorkshire, England

The Usher Hall

Edinburgh Street Musicians: 1933

71.

Pete Nolan
Doncaster, South Yorkshire, England

The Usher Hall

Edinburgh Street Musicians: 1933

72.

Lorraine Bruce
Dingwall, Ross & Cromarty, Scotland

Palladium Theatre

73.

Jim Forson
East Linton, East Lothian, Scotland

Palladium Theatre

74.

Alistair McINTYRE
Chichester, West Sussex, England

Palladium Theatre

Our 5-Piece Band

Comics

Music Group

75.

John Fraser
Inch, Edinburgh

Leith Cinemas

The Alhambra

The Gaiety

Lawrie Street

76.

Sandy CAMERON
Edinburgh

 Poole's Synod Hall

77.

Malcolm FINLAYSON
Edinburgh

 Edinburgh Cinemas

Goldenacre?

78.

Allan DODDS
Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England

 Edinburgh Cinemas

Goldenacre?

The Ritz

79.

Malcolm FINLAYSON
Edinburgh

 Edinburgh Cinemas

Goldenacre

The Ritz

80

Margaret McLAY
Edinburgh

 1950s

30 Picture Hooses

Poole's Synod Hall

81

Laurie THOMPSON
Chipping Sodbury, Gloucestershire, England

 The Usher Hall

Folk Music Nights

82

Lilian YOUNG
Hamilton Square, New Jersey, USA

Picture Houses

Theatres

Recent Times

Recollections

1.

Eric Gold

East London

Thank you to Eric Gold, East London, formerly of Dumbiedykes, Edinburgh, for his memories of Edinburgh Cinemas.  Eric also referred to Gordon Barr's web site with photos of  many of Edinburgh's cinemas and theatres.

Eric wrote: 

La Scala

"The old La Scala in Nicolson Street was my haunt where we all used to go.  We nicknamed it 'The Scabbie Lala' due to the fleas.

 A man used to come around with a spray and I thought it was to make the joint smell nice but my mum told me it was to kill the fleas (ha ha ha)."

County and New Palace

"We never got that first class treatment at the County Craigmillar or the New Palace cinema in the High Street opposite John Knox's house.

Regent

"The Regent cinema at Abbeyhill next to Stewarts's Dance Hall was the coldest cinema in Edinburgh.

I will never forget that draught and wind, also Mr Farmer, the Cinema Manager, used to say to people who complained about the cold and wind: 'What do you expect for a shilling a night? - the Caledonian Hotel?' (ha ha ha). 

He was a funny man and I got on with him well."

Eric Gold, East End, London,  April 2006 + January 5, 2007

 

Recollections

2.

Brian Gourlay

Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland

Thank you to Bryan Gourlay, Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland,  for his many memories of Edinburgh Cinemas.  Bryan also referred to Gordon Barr's web site with photos of  old Edinburgh cinemas and theatres.

Bryan wrote:

La Scala and The Rio

"It was interesting to hear, Eric Gold talking about the many hours he spent in the La Scala cinema in Nicolson Street.

My childhood recollections are littered with memories of going to the pictures all over Edinburgh, not very often to the La Scala I must say, nor did we risk the Rio (County) at Craigmillar."

New Vic

"My ‘home turf’ picture house was the New Vic (Victoria) in South Clerk Street, which became the Odeon, now closed for sale and redevelopment.

At the New Vic, hundreds of us went to the GB Club (Gaumont British) every Saturday morning for a diet of Hopalong Cassidy, Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Abbot and Costello, Laurel and Hardy, the Three Stooges, Superman, Bugs Bunny, Sylvester the Cat, Foghorn Leghorn, and naff serials that went on for weeks.

This feast of entertainment was kicked off by a singalong – with an organist and words on the screen – beltin’ oot Guy Mitchell’s or Doris Day’s latest hit at the top of our voices.

Guy Mitchell’s ‘She Wears Red Feathers and a Hula Hula Skirt’, ‘Truly Truly Fair’ and ‘Little Black-Eyed Suzie’ come to mind. It was sixpence for the stalls and nine pence for the balcony. If you delayed your arrival until the stalls were full up, you were allowed upstairs for sixpence anyway.

After the Show

"At the end of each session, the police and staff were outside at the ready, to stop hordes of us hurtling out like lemmings in front of a tram or bus, completely oblivious to everything around us – in full cowboy and indian mode, as we galloped along Rankeillor Street and up St Leonards Lane to continue the chase in the Kings Park."

The New Vic was also where I queued for hours to see Davie Crockett (King of the wild frontier), Geordie and Norman Wisdom’s latest films. At the end of the film, there was a mad rush for the doors, so we didn’t have to wait and stand respectfully to attention, while they played the national anthem.

Then, it was a short journey along South Clerk Street to the chip shop at the top of Gifford Park, for an extra big, 4d (four-penny) poke of chips drowned in chip-shop brown sauce. Chip shops didn’t do vinegar in these days."

St Andrews

"The first cinema I went to, at the age of about three, was the St Andrews Cinema in Clyde Street. It was destroyed by fire in 1952, and has been replaced more than once by a bus station.

My aunt took me there to see a film about Brer Rabbit and Brer Fox and, the now politically incorrect, Song of the South with uncle Remus singing Zip a dee doo dah, zip a dee ay.

It was at the St Andrews, a few years later, that I developed my life-long love of Westerns, when I saw the best film ever made for the first of countless times – ‘She Wore a Yellow Ribbon’, with John Wayne and the great Victor McClaglen."

Poole's Synod Hall

"Some years later, in the late-50s, the Poole’s Synod Hall, in Castle Street, became very popular for us young blades.

We would sneak in to watch the nudist films, taking care that our raincoats fully covered up our blazers and school ties.

Looking back, watching naked people chatting happily in posh voices, and playing tennis delightfully, with camera shots carefully avoiding the lower regions, wasn’t really much of a turn-on.

The Poole’s Synod Hall was demolished in 1966, and left as a hole in ground for many years."

Eastway

"When I lived in Piershill, my mother and father sometimes took me to the Eastway picture-house at the top of Easter Road.

The thing I remember most about it, was it still had gas lights, which were turned up when the film was finished.

The most memorable film I saw at the Eastway was James Stewart in Harvey – the 6-foot high white rabbit only he could see.

The highlight, after a visit to the Eastway, was going to Bauld’s fish and chip shop in Montrose Terrace, Abbeyhill, for a plate of chips, bread and butter, and a glass of Hendry’s Red Cola."

Other Edinburgh Cinemas

"There was no limit to how far my friends and I would travel to see a good picture if it rained during the school holidays.

We’d scour the Evening News, or the long-forgotten Evening Dispatch, for something worth seeing – then jump on a bus or tram to far-flung picture houses, such as:

-  the Poole’s Roxy in Gorgie,
-  the Salon next to the Playhouse,
-  the George Portobello,
-  the Hayweights Musselburgh,
-  the Savoy (Tudor) Stockbridge,
-  the Ritz in Rodney Street,
-  the Regent Abbeymount,
-  the Regal Lothian Road,
-  the Gaumont Canning Street,
-  the Caley Lothian Road,
-  the Carlton Piershill
   and so on . . ."

Bryan Gourlay, Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland:  April 9, 2006

 

Recollections

3.

Ronnie McBride

Cape Town, South Africa

Thank you to Ronnie McBride, now living in Cape Town, South Africa, for his memories of 'The County' cinema at Craigmillar, known locally as 'The Gaff'

Ronnie wrote:

The County

"I remember some time, probably in the mid 1950’s, a cinemascope version of the evening’s film was delivered by mistake. Naturally the Gaff didn’t have cinemascope but that didn’t stop the show.

They were not about to cancel and give everyone their money back, so they just went ahead and showed the film using the ordinary projector.

All the characters on screen appeared to be eleven feet tall and skinny as giraffes. We still sat through it, but it was a very noisy evening."

Ronnie McBride, Cape Town, South Africa:  December 2,  2006

 

Recollections

4.

Bob Henderson

Burdiehouse, Edinburgh

Thank you to Bob Henderson for his memories of the New Vic and Buckie Wives.

The New Vic

Bob wrote:

Theatre Organ

"Brian Gourlay mentioned the Saturday mornings at the New Vic, and the 'Sing Along' to the theatre organ.  This was played by Alistair Allen*, a very accomplished organist.           
* I'm not sure of the spelling of 'Allen'.

The Wurlitzer Organ used to rise out of the floor as he played the into.  It was a memorable visual and audio experience.

I believe the organ was removed and rebuilt by enthusiasts. I'll have to do a search in the News and Scotsman."

UPDATE

Bob e-mailed me again, a few hours later, to let me know  that he had been told:

"Although the organ is not installed anywhere, it is on the care of the good people of the Scottish Cinema Organ Trust.  The trust also owns the organ from the closed Glasgow Odeon, which is similarly homeless."

Gary Painter, Scottish Cinema Organ Trust

 

Poke of Buckies

"It was the mid- to late-1940s when I went to the New Vic, so there was very little in the way of sweets or ice cream.  The favourite was a poke of buckies which were eaten with a pin.

They used to try and make sure that we did not get into the picture house with these.  If we did, the shells usually ended up on the floor and, of course, were stood on as we left.

Those poor usherettes must have had a job to clean them up and get rid of the smell."

Buckie Wives

Bob continued:

"The 'Buckie Wives', I remember, always set up near a cinema at 'going in time' and, if possible, near a pub."

The New Palace

"There was always one just round the corner from The New Palace in the High Street, at the top of St Mary Street, handy for the World's End and the Royal Archer."

La Scala

Another used to set up in Richmond Street, just round the corner from La Scala and outside a pub whose name is lost in the mists of time.

A.

Thank you to Eric Gold who replied:

Buckie Wives

"The pub in Richmond Street was called The Richmond Bar, now The Southsider  -   well it was in 1997.

I know about the Richmond Bar because my uncle worked there when we lived in Arthur Street.  We would go there guising at Halloween time."

Eric Gold:  East London:  January 28, 2008

I checked the address of the Richmond Bar.  It was 3 West Richmond Street.  The bar is still at that address, and is still named: 'The Southsider'.

However, please see Bob Henderson's comments below.

Peter Stubbs:  January 28, 2008

 

B.

Bob Henderson explained

Buckie Wives

"I know the Southsider well.  But the pub that the Buckie Wife sat outside was on the other side of the street.

I can still see in my mind's eye the dark green painted front with heavy moulding along the top of it, just about where the entrance to the sheltered accommodation is now, but I cannot remember the name.

When I have time I will try the street directories in the library.  I also have a vague memory of it being a good second-hand book shop after it closed as a pub."

Bob Henderson, Burdiehouse, Edinburgh: January 28, 2008

 

C.

Brian Gourlay wrote

Buckie Wives

"Unlike Bob Henderson, I never succumbed to the legendary buckies. I tried them once from the stall in West Richmond Street, and can’t possibly describe how awful they were or what they looked like.

The other buckie barrow that I remember was still there in the 1980s, I think – about 20 yards down on the right-hand side of Infirmary Street, just outside James Thin’s bookshop’s side window."

Brian Gourlay, Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland: January 28, 2008

 

D.

Thank you to Eric Gold who replied again:

The Southsider

"It was definitely outside the Richmond Bar that I remember seeing the the fishwives standing.

Edinburgh is changing. The bar is now called the Southsider in Richmond Street. Let's hope they don't change that to the Pink Lagoon (ha ha ha)."

Eric Gold:  East London:  August 11, 2008

 

E.

Eric followed up with another email, saying:

Opposite the Southsider

"I've just come off the phone to my Auntie Marion about the fishwives outside the bars in Edinburgh.  My aunt said there was a pub, before my time as wee bairn, dead opposite the Richmond Pub, now the Southsider.  She has forgotten the name of it.

She knows of this pub because she worked in the Snowfreeze selling ice cream and candy flosses in the shop in Clerk Street, or was it Nicholson Street?"

Eric Gold:  East London:  August 11, 2008

 

F.

Thank you to Graham Carlin who wrote:

The Wee Anderson

"I think the pub that Bob Henderson was talking about (B above) in Richmond Street was called 'The Wee Anderson'.

That's the name of the pub I remember form the 1970s.  It was a William Usher brewery pub."

Graham Carlin, Edinburgh:  August 11, 2008

 

G.

Thank you to Dick Martin who wrote:

The Wee Anderson

"Thanks to Graham Carlin (F above) for his identification of  'The Wee Anderson' pub in Richmond St. It's funny,  once a name is       mentioned how one's memory suddenly is refreshed.

Usher Brewery was, of course, taken over my the Vaux Group."

Richard Martin, Borders, Scotland:  August 12, 2008

 

H.

Thank you to Tom Harrison who wrote:

The Wee Anderson

"Yes, I do remember the fishwife on West Richmond Street.  She sat outside the butcher's shop,  opposite St David's Street, and close-by was the pub that Bob was trying to remember.

My dad used to have a pint there.  It was called We Anderson's, and across the street was the West Richmond Bar.

Did you know the Buckie Women had to sit close by the siver or storm drain to service their needs during the day?  They were much loved by the community."

Tom Harrison, Buckstone, Edinburgh:  August 14, 2008.

 

I.

Eric Gold wondered when the 'Wee Anderson' bar closed.  Graham Carlin supplied he answer.  In an email to Eric, Graham wrote:

The Wee Anderson

"I'm not sure of the date the pub closed but I would guess it was late 1970s.  I was in it once or twice around 1976ish, but being young my friends and I preferred pubs like Nicky Tam's.

The Wee Anderson was just a wee old blokes' boozer and it was Ushers.  We preferred S & N beer."

Graham Carlin, Edinburgh:  August 14, 2008

 

J.

George Stewart also provided 'The Wee Anderson' answer.  George wrote:

The Wee Anderson

"I think the pub that Bob is talking about might be the WEE ANDERSON.  At that particular time, I worked for LAWS, the newsagent, which was just about straight across the road from it, and i delivered there as well as to Stewart's Bar."

George Stewart, South Edinburgh:  August 25, 2008

 

K.

Lennie Toshack, Leith, wrote:

The Phoenix

"The pub round the corner from La Scala cinema was called The Phoenix."

Lennie Toshack, Leith, Edinburgh:  March 12, 2010

 

L.

Danny Duff, Edinburgh, wrote, also identifying the pub as 'The Wee Anderson'.

Danny wrote:

The Wee Anderson

"The name of the pub you are looking for  in Richmond Street was 'The Wee Anderson'.

At the time, it was the smallest pub in Edinburgh

Danny Duff, Edinburgh:  September 11, 2011

 

The New Vic

The other one I remember in the South Side was on the pavement opposite the New Vic, handy for a couple of nearby pubs.

Seafood

The tastes and textures of these treats, buckies and very occasionally mussels, have remained with me until now, and seafood of any kind is usually my choice when we eat out.

I have, however, never had anything as delicious as a sixpenny saucer of mussels served in the seawater they were boiled in.

My mum could not afford too many sixpenceworths in those days, so it was usually a penny poke of buckies, a delicious treat, nevertheless."

Bob Henderson, Burdiehouse, Edinburgh:  January 18, 2008

Recollections

5.

John Clark

Canada

Thank you to John Clark who wrote:

Tarzan at the Tiv

"Is there possibly anyone on earth who loves my beloved Edinburgh as much as I do? I have been reading the latest additions Peter, about going to the local cinemas. What a flood of memories they cause.

I was a Dundee St /  Watson Crescent guy, and my regular everyday haunts were the Harrie Park and the North Merchiston Boys' Club.

We would line up for hours to see Johnny Weismuller in Tarzan at the Tiv."

La Scala and New Vic

"The La Scala and the New Vic were in my later years, when I was courting.  The New Vic was great for musicals which we loved."

John Clark, Canada:  January 28, 2008

Recollections

6.

Andy Sinclair

British Columbia, Canada

Thank you to Andy Sinclair who wrote:

Monseigneur and Alhambra

"On checking out the different  stories of Edinburgh cinemas, I've seen no mention of the Monseigneur on Princes Street or  the Alhambra in Leith Walk.

My father always went to the Monseigneur as it only gave news, as far as I remember.

In the Alhambra, we played guessing games on the adverts on the fire screen, before the show started.

Is my memory faulty, or do others remember anything of this"

Andy Sinclair, British Columbia, Canada:  March 9, 2008

Reply

Andy:

Here is a link to another page on the web site.  It includes some of George Field's  memories of The Monseigneur and other Edinburgh cinemas.  George was a projectionist in Edinburgh  between 1962 and 1976.  He is now living in Melbourne, Australia

Projectionist

-  Peter Stubbs:  March 27, 2008

 

Recollections

7.

Phil Wilson

Aberdeen, Scotland

Thank you to Phil Wilson who wrote:

Monseigneur (later the Jacey)

"I read Andy Sinclair's note this morning about the Monseigneur (later the 'Jacey') on Princes Street.  I think it was a 'newsreel only' cinema during the week, but on Saturday mornings I have a vague memory of there being a children's matinee.

Monseigneur News Theatre ©

I have an even vaguer memory of having gone to one or two at some stage in the late 50s or very early 60s. I can, unfortunately, no longer remember what the matinees consisted of.

I'm guessing that many other cinemas would also cater for youngsters on a Saturday morning, but don't know for sure."

Phil Wilson, Aberdeen:  March 26, 2008

  

Recollections

8.

Tony Ivanov

Bo'ness, West Lothian, Scotland

Thank you to Tony Ivanov who wrote:

Monseigneur (formerly the Princes)

"As a child in the fifties my father used to regularly take me there along with my brother to the Monseigneur Cinema in Princes Street as it showed a lot of cartoon movies. I recall it being very enjoyable.

This cinema was originally called The Princes Cinema when it began in 1912.  it was bought by the Lucas family, who owned other cinemas, in the 1920's and at some later date the name was changed to 'Monseigneur News Theatre'.

In 1964 it was bought by Jacey Cinemas and renamed the Jacey. It later on just showed 'Continental films' and finally closed in 1973 with it having been the only cinema left in Princes Street."

Tony Ivanov, Bo'ness, West Lothian, Scotland:  March 26, 2008

 

Recollections

9.

Brian Gourlay

Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland

Thank you to Bryan Gourlay who added:

Monseigneur

    Monseigneur News Theatre ©

"Andy Sinclair’s memory is not at fault about the Monseigneur Cinema in Princes Street.  I was in there a few times in my teens and I’m sure it only showed news and maybe documentary type features.

 It was quite a small picture house and, if my memory serves me right, it was between Castle Street and South Charlotte Street, and is now a GAP clothing store."

History of The Monseigneur

"The Scottish Cinemas website gives the following description:

-  Opened as Princes Cinema, 1912, seating 500,

-  Also had Tea Room and Smoking Room.

-  Re-modelled as Monseigneur News Theatre 1935.

-  Reconstructed as Jacey 1964.

-   Closed 1973.

-  The entrance was where Gap's large glass window is now"

Bryan Gourlay, Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland:  March 26, 2008

 

Recollections

10.

George T Smith

Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Thank you to Bryan Gourlay who added:

Edinburgh Cinemas

"The recent 'recollections' about the various Edinburgh cinemas  brought back a few memories to me.

One mention of the 35 cinemas  reminded me of my early teenage self counting all the advertisements for cinemas on the front page of the Edinburgh Evening News.  I think I once counted 42, but that did not include Portobello and  Musselburgh and no doubt some other outlying suburbs."

The Blue Halls

"There is a  web site devoted to Edinburgh cinemas which I looked at some time ago.

I'm  hoping to find out something about 'The Blue Halls' which was in Lady Lawson Street, I think."

George T Smith, Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada:  March 28, 2008

  

Recollections

11.

Tony Ivanov

Bo'ness, West Lothian, Scotland

Thank you to Tony Ivanov who wrote:

The Blue Halls

"The Blue Halls was in Lauriston Street.  This cinema, built on the site of the old cattle market, was opened on New Year's Day 1930. It eventually closed in April 1954 and re-opened again later the same month re-named The Beverley.

As a child we used to refer to it as the Flea Pit.  The Beverley finally closed in November 1959.  The building was then taken over by a public house called The Lord Darnley which I'm not sure still exists"

Tony Ivanov, Bo'ness, West Lothian, Scotland:  March 29, 2008

 

Recollections

12.

Phil Wilson

Aberdeen, Scotland

Thank you to Phil Wilson who added:

Monseigneur (later the Jacey)

"There are two small pictures of the Monseigneur, and later the Jacey, dating from 1963 and 1965 respectively in the book previously mentioned 'Edinburgh since 1900' by Archive Publications (no page numbers, but they are Plates 118 and 119).

The Monseigneur actually had the sign above its entrance:  'Monseigneur News Café' .

The sign for the Jacey showed 'Jacey News Theatre'."

Phil Wilson, Aberdeen:  March 29, 2008

 

Recollections

13.

Frank Ferri

Newhaven, Edinburgh

Thank you to Frank Ferri, now living in Newhaven, Edinburgh, for sending me these memories of cinemas in Edinburgh and Leith

Frank wrote:

Cinemas and Snooker

"Leith had six cinemas at one time.

- The State  (De Rolos) cinema and snooker halls.  It changed to a bingo hall then to a nightclub.

-  The Gaiety in the old Kirkgate.  It alternated between a theatre and a cinema.

-  The Laurie in Laurie St, which was behind Woolworth.  At one time it was known as the Salamander.

-  The Palace cinema and and snooker halls, at the corner of Duke St. and Constitution St.

-  The Capitol in Gordon St.  It's now a bingo hall.

-  The Alhambra cinema and snooker halls, at the corner of Springfield St. and Leith Walk, now Budget car exhausts and tyres."

There were another two snooker halls, one on the corner of the Shore and Henderson St., now the Raj Indian restaurant and the other in the Kirkgate Arcade almost opposite the Gaiety."

State Cinema

"I remember the old  State Cinema in Great Junction Street, built circa 1935 and still standing.  It showed programmes consisting of:

 the main feature film

-   a 'B' movie

a cartoon and

newsreels.

The programs were changed twice weekly, with a children’s matinee on Saturday mornings.

Up until the late 1950s, it was a grand white-painted, Art Deco building, the outline of which was surrounded by green, red and blue neon lights, a magnificent sight on dark nights.

The foyer was flanked with palm trees.  All the staff wore blue uniforms and the manager stood at the door, dressed in a Tuxedo.

Sandy, the Doorman stood outside the theatre, resplendently dressed in what looked like a royal blue Admiral's uniform, decorated with gold braid."

Inside the Cinema

"Usherettes showed you to your seat in the dark guiding you using their torches.

Cheap perfumed air freshener was sprayed by staff, up and down the aisles, to mask the smell of tobacco smoke and other odours.

The stage's silver curtains would reflect the different hues of colours from the stage lights.  Fashionable blue and gold trim 1930s basket-woven chairs and tables decorated the posher balcony foyer areas.

Great movies for us kids included:

Frankenstein (Boris Karloff as Frankenstein’s monster)

Wolf Man (Bela Lugosi as  the vampire).

-  The Invisible Man (Lon Chaney Jnr.)

Treasure Island (Wallace Beery)

Robin Hood  (Errol Flynn)

Jungle Jim (Johnny Weismuller)

Roaring Twenties (James Cagney)

-  Flash Gordon ( Buster Crabb)"

    (and Frank listed many others!)

Capitol Cinema

The Capitol used to have a Saturday morning children’s film club showing serialised Flash Gordon Movies and cartoons.

On your birthday they sent you a birthday card, which allowed you in free and on Sunday evenings there was the Cappy concerts, featuring amateur entertainers from Leith, Lochend and Granton etc.

Alhambra Cinema

I remember lying about my age to get in here to see 'Duel in the Sun', a very risqué film at the time.  You had to be sixteen to see this movie.  Any five year old could see it now.

Also, 'Bitter Rice', an Italian sub-titled film with under arm pubic hair.  Oh yes! 

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  June 12, 2008

 

Recollections

14.

Joyce Messer

North Island, New Zealand

Thank you to Joyce Messer who wrote:

Monsigneur

"I'm sure the Monseigneur showed Laurel and Hardy films as well as Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton's silent movies, interspersed with the news.

The newsreels, of course, from time to time also showed graphic images of the German concentration camps, I guess as part of the Nazi war-crime  trials, since this would be 1947/8.  I've never forgotten the shock of seeing the newsreels, the heaps of bodies etc."

Cameo

"The Cameo at Tollcross was the first cinema to show foreign  films - as least in Edinburgh, I think.  The films seemed very exotic and different from the usual UK and US fare."

Dominion

"We lived in Morningside Road and when the Dominion opened, next door at Churchill, we thought we were in heaven.

We sometimes went to the Saturday afternoon sessions and so saw many weird and wonderful tales from Hollywood - certainly not life as we knew it!"

Joyce Messer, North Island, New ZealandJuly 3, 2008

 

Recollections

15.

George Clydesdale

Edinburgh

Thank you George Clydesdale for posting this message in the EdinPhoto guest book.

George wrote

State Cinema

"I remember the State Cinema, mentioned by Frank Ferri (13 above).

I also remember standing at Scot Lyons bakers, watching the flood lights come on at the cinema for first time after the War.

I even remember Frank.  It was nice to see his photo,

Frank Ferri  -  Newhaven, Edinburgh  -  Phtotograph, 1954 ©

It brought back memories.  I used to stay in Ballentyne Place and play with him as a kid."

George Clydesdale, Edinburgh:  Message posted in EdinPhoto guest book:  August 12, 2008

 

Recollections

16.

Alan Fentiman

Bournemouth, Dorset, England

Thank you to Alan Fentiman who wrote:

The Odeon

Saturday Mornings

"Another Saturday morning favourite entertainment (apart from the swimming) was to go to the pictures.  From Gracemount, we would get the bus down to the Odeon in Nicholson Street."

One and Thruppence

"I think the outing usually cost my parents 1/3d per child.  That was 3d bus fare each way, 6d to get in and 3d to spend on sweets.

I can recall persuading my sisters to walk home and spend the bus fare on sweets.  They were delighted at first but very weary and unhappy with me when the sweets ran out well before Gracemount.

The Films

"I don't recall much of the films that were shown, except for 'Old Mother Riley', which was actually a man dressed up as an old woman, and also possibly 'Flash Gordon'."

Mayhem

"Like the swimming sessions, the pictures were mayhem also. Very often you couldn't hear the film, although I do recall the manager trying to get everyone to calm down and shut up. He enjoyed only very limited success!"

Alan Fentiman, Bournemouth, Dorset, England:  August 12,2008

 

Recollections

17.

GM Rigg

New Zealand

Thank you to GM Rigg for leaving this message in the EdinPhoto guest book.

The Ritz

"The Ritz in Broughton Street and The Regent at Abbeyhill were our choices for the Saturday morning matinee serials.  The Ritz was organised with the 'Minors Club' , and we had to march into the cinema singing.   I can recall it began

"We are the boys and girls
Well known as the minor's of the ABC
And every Saturday all queue up to see the shows we like
and
shout about with glee."

Stirring stuff, when you are about seven !!!"

The Regent

"The Regent was considered the lesser choice unless their serial was better.  Favourites in my era were

- 'The Purple Monster' (sci-fi)

- 'Treasure Island' (I think Robert Newton was Long John Silver)

- 'Hopalong Cassidy', (western)."

The Lone Ranger

"I remember when Clayton Moore came to the Ritz all dressed up as the Lone Ranger (it's the first time I realised that his suit was sky blue).  Some wag asked him if he was married he drew his handguns and replied:

"Nope, I'm the Lone Ranger"

and fired blanks into the ceiling.  We all got photos to take home.'

Roy Rogers

"My brothers saw Roy Rogers & Trigger at the Ritz - just a bit before my time.  He rode Trigger off the stage and up the aisles of the cinema - or so my brothers told me."

The Salon

"The Salon by the clock tower at the top of the Walk was our local flea pit, a real dive in the 1960s."

The News Theatre

"The News Theatre on Princes Street was great for cartoon specials.  We were taken there as a treat sometimes.

The Playhouse

"The Playhouse at Greenside was the top notch one for the Disney Christmas treat.   We all loved the Disney stuff."

The State

"The State , at Leith, was pretty run down when I was a kid, but I  remember that when it was closing down, to become a bingo hall, the last show/programme was non stop Elvis movies.

I went with my friends, Gillian (the real Elvis fan), Rose and another school friend.

The Odeon

"The Odeon, on the bridges, had special all-night shows in the 1970s.  I remember going to see the Hammer Horror Show.  It must have been a Halloween Special.

I rented a box for my mum and me when Dr Zhivago was on, and again for The Sound of Music  -  luxury."

GM Rigg, New Zealand:  Message left in EdinPhoto guest book: February 7, 2009

 

Recollections

18.

Lynda Maine

Colinton Mains, Edinburgh

Thank you to Lynda Maine for leaving this message in the EdinPhoto guest book.

Lyceum Picture House

"I used to go to the old Lyceum Picture House in Slateford Road, on a Saturday morning.  It was the highlight of my week.  I don't think the children nowadays would know what we were talking about.

At least, going to the pictures on a Saturday kept us out of mischief."

Lynda Maine, Colinton Mains, Edinburgh:  Message left in EdinPhoto guest book: February 8, 2009

 

Recollections

19.

Eric Gold

East London

Thank you to Eric Gold (who also wrote  1 and added to 4 above) for writing again.

 After reading GM Rigg's comments (17 above) Eric wrote: 

New Victoria

"I, too, remember the Saturday Club at the New Victoria (Odeon) cinema in South Clerk Street, and also the guy  playing the organ.  It was a Wurlitzer.  I wonder where it is now.  It will be worth a few quid now."

Eric Gold, East End, London,  February 9, 2009

REPLY

Thank you to Bob Henderson, Burdiehouse, Edinburgh for reminding me that the answer to Eric Gold's question about the organ can be found in Recollection 4 above.

Peter Stubbs, February 10, 2009

 

Recollections

20.

James McEwan

Duddingston Mills, Edinburgh

Thank you to James McEwan who wrote: 

The Salon

"I recall the Salon Picture House in Baxter's Place, opposite Union  Street, being known as the 'Scabby Alan'.

I also recall that we were  always thrown out the side door at exactly the point in the main  feature, B film or cartoon at which we were admitted.  I never fully  understood the logistics of keeping track of the entry point so many  children !"

James McEwan, Duddingston Mills, Edinburgh:  April 6, 2009

 

Recollections

21.

GM Rigg

New Zealand

Thank you to GM Rigg for leaving another message in the guest book.

GM Rigg wrote:

Saturday Morning Matinees

"I was recently reminded that when we attended our Saturday morning matinee at the chosen cinema, we would buy a 'Joobilee', a frozen orange drink in one of these tetra pack type boxes.  They cost thruppence.

I was also reminded of another favourite sweetie, reading the recollections, when someone mentioned toffee doddles.  They lasted for ages, as they were hard boiling sweets."

GM Rigg, New Zealand:  Message left in EdinPhoto guest book: April 15, 2009

 

Recollections

22.

Anne Blissett

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Thank you to Anne Blissett for posting a message in the EdinPhoto guest book.

Anne wrote:

The New Vic

"I enjoyed reading Brian Gourlay's accounts of the 'New Vic' cinema (2 above).

I remember it well. The boys were seated on one side and the girls on the other side. We had to sing "We come along on a Saturday Morning greeting everybody with a smile," and so on and so on, while they threw candy wrappers, sticky ice-cream papers and worse from the balcony above on to our heads. It was a great morning's entertainment."

Anne Bissett, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada:  August 26, 2009

 

Recollections

23.

Eric Gold

East London

Eric Gold wrote:

The New Vic - Organ

"The big organ at the New Vic was a treat.  It was similar to the organ in the Odeon, Leicester Square in London which still gets played to this very day, as they have awards there and film premiers there and the guy plays the organ which rises from the ground as the New Vic one once did.

I still can’t believe the cinema is closed as it was a great cinema to go toI, like the rest of the children from the Dumbiedykes, went to the Saturday Club and the organ played for a good hour and we all joined in on the songs."

Eric Gold:  East London, England:  August 30, 2009Kim r

Kim Traynor added:

"A prime specimen of a Wurlitzer organ can be seen at the Summerlee Industrial Museum in Coatbridge."

Kim Traynor, Tollcross, Edinburgh:  September 27 2009

Recollections

24.

Eric Gold

East London

Eric Gold wrote:

The New Vic - W C Fields

"The Saturday Club was a great treat for us working class children.  I remember seeing the great comedian, W C Fields at the New Vic."

Eric Gold:  East London, England:  August 31, 2009

Recollections

25.

Eric Gold

East London

Eric Gold added:

The New Vic - Victor Sylvester

"I see that Anne Blisset from Canada has been asking about the 'Victor Sylvester' dance studio.

I remember at the New Vic, when you went in, near the kiosk, there was an ad and a cardboard cut-out of Victor Sylvester stood there.  My ma met him there too.

That could have been a place where you signed up for the ballroom lessons, but I would bet my lot that’s where the dances were held.  There could have been a wee ballroom inside the New Vic."

Eric Gold:  East London, England:  August 31, 2009

Recollections

26.

Kim Traynor

Tollcross, Edinburgh

Thank you to Kim Traynor who wrote:

Empire Theatre

Roy Rogers and Trigger

"Remember Roy Rogers and Trigger?  They appeared at the Empire theatre in the early-1950s. The set was very colourful, made to look like a Western ranch with a log cabin, wooden  fence, cartwheel and bales of hay.  The part of the performance that sticks in the memory was Roy demonstrating his lassoo tricks.

After the show, I was taken to see Trigger who was housed in the St Cuthbert’s stables in East Fountainbridge.

I was dismayed years later to discover that there were at least three Triggers, the other two presumably left behind in the USA when he was on tour."

Gaumont Cinema

Fez Parker and Davy Crockett

"I was taken to see the film 'Adventures of Davy Crockett' at the Gaumont Cinema, when it came out.  The big attraction was a personal appearance by the star, Fez Parker, who came out onto the stage after the film and sang the 'Ballad of Davy Crockett' while playing guitar.

During the crush that followed when he left the cinema, his car was mobbed by adoring fans, I was being held up and reached into the car.  I grabbed his raccoon hat off his head and clutched it to my chest.

A very large policeman told me to hand it back.  It took several decades to acquire one of my own after taking my own children on holiday to Disneyland Paris."

Kim Traynor, Tollcross, Edinburgh:  September 20+22, 2009

 

Recollections

27.

Eric Gold

East London

Eric Gold wrote:

The New Vic - Organ

"It was great reading Kim's memories about Roy Rogers and Trigger at the Empire Theatre of Nicholson Square.  Please give Kim my thanks.

I remember my uncle Albert and his wife Madge and their family took me to see him.  At the end of the show we kids all got a book called 'Roy Rogers and Trigger - King of all Cowboys'.  If I had it today, it would be a collectors' item."

Eric Gold:  East London, England:  September 21, 2009

 

Recollections

28.

Kim Traynor

Tollcross, Edinburgh

Thank you to Kim Traynor who wrote:

Alhambra Cinema

"After the cinema closed in 1958, it lay empty for a time until it was totally gutted by fire.

I remember sneaking in with some friends, shortly after the fire, and wandering through the eerie interior with its once plush trappings scorched and blackened.

For some reason it was not  demolished until 1974."

Kim Traynor, Tollcross, Edinburgh:  September 24, 2009

 

Recollections

29.

Kim Traynor

Tollcross, Edinburgh

Thank you to Kim Traynor who wrote:

Poole's Synod Hall

"I remember the Poole’s Synod Hall.  It was a converted chapel where the balcony was the original upstairs gallery arranged in a horseshoe shape.  This meant that patrons had to watch the screen sideways-on with their heads turned to the right or the left depending on where they sat.  Your neck ached after a showing.

The Poole’s seemed to specialise in old X-rated horror films, so you had to be sixteen to get in.  

I remember the frustration of my brothers coming home and telling me about the films they’d seen, but I couldn’t go there.  I think I got in when I was fifteen.

It was there, in the 1960s, that I saw classics like 'The Blob', 'The Incredible Shrinking Man' and, over twenty years after its original release, 'King Kong'."

Kim Traynor, Tollcross, Edinburgh:  September 25, 2009

Kim added:

"I was told recently that the Edinburgh Gun Club had a practice shooting range directly underneath the cinema, so I wonder if that added to the sound-effects of the Westerns shown there!"

Kim Traynor, Tollcross, Edinburgh:  September 25, 2009

Recollections

30.

Shirley Stanton (née Houston)

Newhaven, Edinburgh

Thank you to Shirley Stanton who wrote:

Empire Theatre

Roy Rogers and Trigger

Roy Rogers' visit to the Empire Theatre in Edinburgh is well remembered by several of the people who have contacted me.

However there is one person who will remember it better than most.  Shirley Stanton explains below.

Shirley wrote:

Visit to Challenger Lodge

"In 1953 I remember, while I was at Victoria Primary Roy Rogers visited with his wife Dale Evans.

He visited Challenger Lodge in Boswall Road, which was a home for orphans.  Roy took a notion to my friend Marion Fleming and subsequently adopted her.

My last memory of Marion was of her waving to me as she rode off on Roy's horse Trigger along Park Road!

I believe that there is sadly no footage of this event  -  or maybe there is out there, somewhere?

Shirley Stanton (née Houston), Newhaven, Edinburgh:
Message posted in Guest Book, September 25, 2009

 

UPDATE

to Recollections

30.

Dr Greg Varhall

Mount Vernon, Virginia, USA

Thank you to Dr Gregory Varhall who wrote with information that he thought might be of interest to Shirley Stanton (above). 

Unfortunately I don't have an email address for Shirley, so I'm leaving Dr Gregory's message here, and below the message that she posted in the EdinPhoto guest book in September 2009.

Dr Gregory wrote:

Roy Rogers' Web Site

"Here is a message from the royrogers.com web site:

"In 1954, Roy and Dale went on on tour to England, Ireland and Scotland. While visiting an orphanage in Scotland, they met a charming young girl named Marion Fleming, and they invited her to spend the summer vacation with them in California. When summer was over, no one wanted to leave. Although British laws prohibit an adoption by citizens of another country, Marion, who everyone calls Mimi, eventually became Roy and Dale's ward.and she is as much their daughter as Cheryl, Linda and Dodie."

Dr Greg Varhall:  October 15, 2010

 

Recollections

31.

Kim Traynor

Tollcross, Edinburgh

Thank you to Kim Traynor who wrote:

Empire Theatre

Archie Andrews

"I remember being taken to the Empire Theatre in the 1950s to see variety acts, including Peter Brough, the ventriloquist with his alter ego, Archie Andrews.

Mouth -Organs

"One evening, the harmonica-player, Ronald Chesney, threw or passed miniature mouth-organs from the stage to the auditorium.  These were snatched up by eager little hands. I still have mine.

Smoke

"I remember also staring mesmerized, through a fog of tobacco smoke, at the smoke wraiths dancing in the spotlights to either side of the spectators, their colour changing as the spotlights changed colour.

When you consider how many people fitted into theatres, and the proportion who smoked in those days, it seems a miracle that there weren’t more theatre fires like the one that brought the house down at the Empire in 1911.

Fire

"The fire safety curtain which descended during the intervals fascinated me as a child. I was told it was there to prevent a fire spreading between the stage and the auditorium, but I could never work out whether it was to protect the spectators from a fire breaking out backstage, or to protect the entertainers from a fire started by a member of the public smoking cigarettes!"

Lyceum  Props Fire

"I remember when the Lyceum props store in the Dean Village was gutted in a serious fire around 1957/58

Kids plundered the derelict warehouse and for a time could be seen wandering around in unlikely outfits. I saw one boy, a West Indian lad, wearing a long judge’s wig and a shiny purple frock coat and brandishing a brace of highwayman's pistols.

By swapping comics or toys I acquired a white and a brown pith helmet for myself and a friend whose dad had built a proper guider.

We must have been a strange sight as we hurled down Smokey Brae looking like a characters straight out of Gunga Din. 

(The fact that we even knew about Gunga Din suggests that the 1939 film was still being shown from time to time in the local picture houses!)

Kim Traynor, Tollcross, Edinburgh:  September 26, 2009

 

Recollections

32.

Eric Gold

East London

Thank you to Eric Gold, East London, who added:

New Victoria

Francis the Talking Mule

" I remember Donald O'Connor and Francis the talking mule.

He was a great actor and the talking mule was a great hit worldwide with children, and yes it was screened regularly at our Saturday cinema club at the New Victoria, that became the Odeon.

Here is a page that I found, today, on the Internet for 'Francis the Talking Mule'."

Eric Gold, East End, London,  September 25, 2009

 

Recollections

33.

Bob Sinclair

Queensland, Australia

Thank you to Bob Sinclair, who added:

The Ritz

"On a Saturday, I used to go to the 'ABC Minors' at the Ritz in Rodney Street. We sung a song "We are the Minors of the ABC "  ---- but what was the rest of the song?

I was  asked if I  would like to be a monitor  -  What?  And try to keep the rest in line?  You must be joking.   Monitors were for the brave or stupid.

The films were good and it was hard to wait for what would happen in the serial next week.

I believe that they also had an 'ABC Minors' at the Regal on Lothian Road."

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  December 21, 2009

 Recollections

34.

Ian M Malcolm

St Andrews, Fife, Scotland

Thank you to Ian M Malcolm for telling me of some of his experiences in and around Edinburgh while he was studying at Leith Nautical College in 1947-48.

Ian wrote:

"Television, which was to kill the cinema, was already available in the south of England, but it was several years later before it arrived in Scotland In Edinburgh and Leith were still full of cinemas."

"I went to:

the Alhambra, State, Capital and Palace Cinemas in Leith

-  the Savoy in Stockbridge

-  the County in Portobello

the New Cinema and the Monsigneur News Cinema on Princes Street

Green's Playhouse at the top of Leith Street

-  a cinema near St Margaret's Loch. 

"The Alhambra, in Leith Walk, was unique in that the seats had no arms.  I discovered this when I entered it in the dark to see 'The Jolson Story' and found that I was placing my arms on the people who sat on either side of me!

"The Kirkgate, since destroyed, was the vibrant heart of Leith.  I went with Bob Gordon to Gaiety Theatre in the Kirkgate to see 'Burke and Hare'.  The house was packed and the show achieved an excellence seldom seen today.

Variety turns and sketches preceded the main show.  I believe Lex MacLean was the star. 

During another week, the subject was 'The Tay Bridge Disaster'. If I hadn't had so much studying to do, I would have gone to the Gaiety more often. 

Ian M Malcolm:  St Andrews, Fife, Scotland:  January 24, 2010

Recollections

35.

Bob Sinclair

Queensland, Australia

Thank you to Bob Sinclair, who wrote:

Rutland Picture House

"I waited for a while in a queue for the Rutland Picture House on the corner of Torpichen Street and Canning Street.  The queue stretched nearly along to Rutland Court, a long way.

A man with a squeeze box was playing his way along the queue and collecting with his cap.  He was a good player and kept the crowd entertained.

Journey Home

"After the flicks were over,I went to catch the 19 bus which then left from Melville Street.  Unfortunately I missed the last bus and started to walk to Pilton.

I had walked to the far side of the Dean Bridge when I was hailed from a big chauffer driven limousine.  The man inside asked me where I was going.  I said that I was heading for Pilton. 'We could drop you off at Crewe Toll if that will be of help', he said.

I was a bit hesitant but got in.  Polite conversation held sway until we approached Crewe Toll when it dawned on me who my transporter was.  You may have guessed and may be right - it was the squeeze box man.   That's Entertainment!"

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  March 2, 2010

Recollections

36.

Jim Suddon

Morningside, Edinburgh

Jim Suddon wrote:

Pantomime

"A pantomime that I recall was Jack and the Beanstalk with a frightening giant.  Years later, I discovered that Jimmy Logan was in that pantomime and that it was his first venture apart from his family."

Theatres:  Leith and Edinburgh

"There seemed to be a hierarchy of theatre in Leith and Edinburgh. Artists started at the Gaiety, Leith, and gradually progressed to the Palladium and then possibly to the King's, Edinburgh.

Lex MacLean took this route and, although I never saw him in the Gaiety, I saw him at both the Palladium and the Kings.  I thought that the Palladium and Lex were made for each other.  The Palladium had such a wonderful intimate atmosphere which the Kings never had."

Tommy Hood and Johnny Victory

"I remember two comedians, Tommy Hood and Johnny Victory.  Johnny came from a famous family who had a fleet of taxis under the name of his father Peter.

Johnny had bought Sir Harry Lauder's Rolls Royce.  It used to be parked behind the Palladium when Johnnie was on stage.  Both Tommy and Johnny moved up from the Gaiety  to the Palladium."

Reply

Frank Ferri wrote:

"Johnny Victor Jun. looked so like his dad.
Here is a photo of him taken with my brother, Terry.
They were good friends in the mid-1950s.
Sadly, young Johnny has passed away.
He would have been 65."

Frank Ferri:  Newhaven, Edinburgh:  March 13, 2010

Johnny Victory and Terry Ferri

Terry Ferri and Johnny Victory Jun

©  Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh

 

Jim Suddon, Morningside, Edinburgh:  February 18, 2010

 

Reply to

Recollections

36.

Jim Suddon

Morningside, Edinburgh

Frank Ferri wrote

Johnny Victory

"A pantomime that I recall was Jack and the Beanstalk with a frightening giant.  Years later, I discovered that Jimmy Logan was in that pantomime and that it was his first venture apart from his family."

Theatres:  Leith and Edinburgh

"There seemed to be a hierarchy of theatre in Leith and Edinburgh. Artists started at the Gaiety, Leith, and gradually progressed to the Palladium and then possibly to the King's, Edinburgh.

Lex MacLean took this route and, although I never saw him in the Gaiety, I saw him at both the Palladium and the Kings.  I thought that the Palladium and Lex were made for each other.  The Palladium had such a wonderful intimate atmosphere which the Kings never had."

Tommy Hood and Johnny Victory

"I remember two comedians, Tommy Hood and Johnny Victory.  Johnny came from a famous family who had a fleet of taxis under the name of his father Peter.

Johnny had bought Sir Harry Lauder's Rolls Royce.  It used to be parked behind the Palladium when Johnnie was on stage.  Both Tommy and Johnny moved up from the Gaiety  to the Palladium."

Jim Suddon, Morningside, Edinburgh:  February 18, 2010

Recollections

39.

Jim Vandepeear

York, Yorkshire, England

Thank you to Jim Vandepeear for sending me many memories of growing up in Edinburgh during and following World War 2, including the following, probably from around the late-1940s:

The New Victoria

"The New Victoria had a Saturday Cinema Club.

 An announcement was made that a prize would be given to the girl or boy who collected the most rose hips.

These were needed to make rose hip syrup as a vitamin substitute.  Days were spent at Liberton and around Holyrood Park being scratched and torn, to get a paper bag of rose hips.

All were transferred into a shopping bag to take in on the Saturday.  A girl won.  I forget the prize.  It was nothing much, maybe a Savings Certificate.

The New Victoria's plush seats were crowded for cowboys and comedy.  The serial hero died at 12 noon each Saturday, but was miraculously restored to life at 11.30am next Saturday.

There was community singing, where we followed the little white dot.  The cinema organist rose from the dark to play for us.   ‘Rule Britannia  and 'Jerusalem' were great favourites."

Jim Vandepeear, York, Yorkshire, England: 

 

Recollections

40.

Bob Sinclair

Queensland, Australia

Thank you to Bob Sinclair, who added:

Poole's Synod Hall

"It was most common in my day to get 'a crick in your neck', either to the left or the right, if you went upstairs in the Poole's Synod Hall picture house.

You came out with a crick because you had to view the film with your head at an angle of 45 degrees off-centre. It was a bit like looking at a tennis match but only looking at the player at one end.

If you went downstairs you had to make sure that your seat was not behind a pillar.  I still went to see Superman there, all the same."

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  May 8, 2010

 

Recollections

41.

GM Rigg

New Zealand

Thank you to GM Rigg for leaving another message in the guest book.

GM Rigg wrote:

Saturday Morning Matinees

"For Rob Sinclair and fellow ex-minors of the Saturday morning 'get rid of your kids for the morning' club, the ABC cinemas all had ABC minors' Clubs.

I attended either the Ritz or the Regent, depending on the serial showing.  My favourite was The Purple  Monster.

I remember the song like this

' We are the boys and girls,

All known as the minors of the ABC

And every Saturday all line up to see

The films and shows and shout about with glee.'

Do any other people remember it differently or what?  We would all march like wee sodgers!"

GM Rigg, New Zealand:  Message left in EdinPhoto guest book: May 13, 2010

 

Recollections

42.

Frank Ferri

Newhaven, Edinburgh

Thank you to Frank Ferri for writing again.  Frank has also sent his memories of the State Cinema (13 above).

Here he has sent a photograph of the State Cinema, and also sends brief details of other Leith cinemas:

Frank wrote:

Leith Cinemas

"Leith at one time had six cinemas:

 The State with De Rolo's  snooker halls attached.  It changed to a bingo hall then a nightclub.

State Cinema, at the bridge over the Water of Leith, Great Junction Street, Leith

©  Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh

The Gaiety in the old Kirkgate alternated between a theatre and a cinema.

The Laurie   cinema, in Laurie St, was behind  Woolworth.  At one time it was known as the Salamander or Alison.

The Palace cinema and snooker halls was at the corner of Duke St. and Constitution Street.

The Capitol in Gordon Street  is now a bingo hall.  They used to have a Saturday morning children’s film club showing serialised Flash Gordon Movies and cartoons. On your birthday they sent you a birthday card, which allowed you in free On Sunday evenings, there were the Cappy Concerts in the 1950s, giving local talent a chance to perform, featuring amateur entertainers from Leith, Lochend and Granton, etc.

The Alhambra and and snooker halls were at the corner of Springfield St. and Leith Walk.  I remember lying about my age to get in here to see 'Dual in the Sun', a very risqué film at the time.  You had to be sixteen to see this movie; any five year old could see it now.

There were another two snooker halls:

-  One was on the corner of the Shore and Henderson Street.  It is now the Raj Indian restaurant.

The other was in the Kirkgate Arcade, almost  opposite the Gaiety."

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  August 22,, 2008

  Recollections

43.

William Dutton

Colinton, Edinburgh

Thank you to Lorraine Bruce for sending me the story of her father's life, written by her father, William Dutton.

Most of William's recollections can be found on this page:   Royston.

The notes below are his memories of the Edinburgh Cinemas.

Cowboys

"The first film that I ever saw was a silent cowboy film.  I remember not being impressed.

I did not understand the sub-titles and the whole thing seemed  shambles.  I was about seven years old at the time."

The Alhambra

"I remember The Alhambra at the foot of Leith Walk.  It's now a pub.  We would go to the Saturday morning matinee for a treat.

It was actually pretty hopeless as it was all trailers and stories 'continued next week'."

William Dutton, Colinton, Edinburgh.
Message received from Lorraine Bruce, Dingwall, Ross & Cromarty, Scotland:  September 7, 2010

  Recollections

44.

Harry Hunter

Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland

Responding to Frank Ferri's comments about 'The Cappy Club at Capitol Cinema, Leith, in Recollections 13 and 42 above, Harry Hunter wrote

'The Cappy Club'

"I used to go to The Capitol in Leith on a Saturday morning.  We used to live in Junction Street. (Note the omitted 'Great')  and our route to the cinema led through the 'Hole in the Wall' at Central Station.

It was definitely a Saturday when we went.  I know that because the song we belted out started off:

'We come along on a Saturday morning.
Greeting everybody with a smile
We come along on a Saturday morning
Knowing that it's all worthwhile.'

I still remember all the words from1954-56.

Now that is sad !"

Harry Hunter, Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland:  September 20, 2010

 

Recollections

45.

Ronald Stout

Denmark

Ronald Stout, who grew up living in Hillside Street from 1953 onwards, wrote:

Cinemas

"Cinemas were plentiful.  The ones we visited most frequently were:

The Eastway

-  The Salon

-  The Regent

-  The Playhouse."

The Salon

"The Salon had benches in the front rows and an usher kept tracks of when we came in, so at precisely the time when we were about to see the film second time round we were tossed out the back door – to the infamous Greenside area."

The Regent

"At the Regent, if you bought a ticket for the balcony, you turned right up some stairs at the booking office.  On the other hand, if your ticket said the stalls, this meant a longer walk through an underground passageway before getting to, as in all cinemas of the time, a smoke-filled cinema."

Ronald Stout, Denmark:  October 15, 2010

 

Recollections

46.

Eleanor Smith

Edenvale, Johannesburg, South Africa

Thank you to Eleanor Smith who wrote:

Stockbridge

"The other picture house in Stockbridge was The Grand.  It was situated at the end of St Stephen's Street.  In the 1950s, the tickets cost 1/- , expensive seats cost 1/3."

Eleanor Smith, Edenvale, Johannesburg, South Africa: October 22, 2010

 

Recollections

47.

Jim Archibald

Polmont, Central Scotland

Thank you to Eleanor Smith who wrote:

The Astoria

"We (mum dad and I) used to go to The Astoria at Corstorphine every Friday, regardless of the film.  

We did not always arrive at the start of the film.  We stayed  until we had seen the whole film once, using the phrase 'This is where we came in.'

This was very strange.  In a murder mystery, you would know who did it when watching the start of the film.   Happy days."

After the Film

"When we left, we would go to Tarry's (the chip shop) and get a bag of chips each to walk down the road with.  I also remember a sweet shop across from Tarry's. Would get gob stoppers, Jubilees, etc."

Jim Archibald, Polmont, Central Scotland:  October 15, 2010

Recollections

48.

Eric Gold

East London

Thank you to Eric Gold  for writing with more memories of Edinburgh cinemas.

Eric wrote:

The Odeon

"I've just been watching stunning HD 3D television.  It reminded me of the New Victoria cinema in South Clerk Street, now the Odeon, where they used to show 3D films on a Saturday morning when I was wee  -  but the 3D specs were made of cardboard and uncomfortable to were for a long time."

Eric Gold, East End, London,  April 2006 + November 6, 2010

Recollections

49.

Mary (Mari) Johnson

Jamestown, Foothills of California, USA

Thank you to Mary Johnson who wrote:

The Grand

"I read with interest what Eleanore (South Africa) said about the price of admission to the cinema in the 1950s.

 I remember the glass jam jars were all you needed for a Saturday morning and afternoon since the glass was a premium in the 1940s."

Mary Johnson, Jamestown, Foothills of California, USA:  January 9, 2011

Recollections

50.

Alistair McIntyre

Chichester, West Sussex, England

Thank you to Alister McIntyre who wrote:

The Capitol

"I used to live in Glover Street and the Capitol was just at the end of the street so I used to go to the Saturday morning kids' film shows in the mid 1950s"

Saturday Mornings

"Sometimes they had talent competitions and I remember Jackie Dennis won one. During the yo-yo craze they had competitions as well as demonstrations of yo-yoing. I remember being on stage with my yo-yo but unfortunately it came off it’s string; very embarrassing for me."

The Pictures

"I remember being allowed to go to the pictures in the afternoon for the first time to see Robin Hood. In these days there used to be long queues outside the Capitol. (We called it the Cappy).

There would often be a singer trying to make some money busking to the queue.   In fact, in those days it wasn’t unusual to have a busker singing in the back greens behind the tenements."

Other Cinemas

"I used to visit:

-   The Palace

-  The Alhambra  ('The Alabam')

-  The State

-  The Salon

-  The Regent

regularly whist still at school."

Theatres

"I know I’ve been to the Gaiety theatre although I was too young to remember

I do remember going to the Palladium.  In fact, I played trumpet in the pit band from 1962 to 1965. Lex McLean and Johnnie Victory were the stars who did frequent seasons with variety shows.  Johnnie Beattie also starred in shows there.

Two shows a night, 6 nights a week it was in those days. I played for Dickie Valentine, Donald Piers and Rosemary Squires, Albert and Les Ward and loads of others. Some of the acts had been big stars in their day but were doing the variety halls in the twilight of there careers.

The Palladium had loads of regular patrons who came every week and sat in the same seats. I should think a lot of these regulars will remember Mimi, the head usherette and some might remember Dan Campbell who was the manager for many years.

Some might even remember Ginty McEwan who was Lex McLean’s head chorus girl. She was going out with Ray McVay, the band leader from one of the bands playing at the Palais in Fountainbridge. He is still going strong and is now directing the Glen Miller UK band."

Alistair McIntyre, ex-pat Leither, now living in Chichester, West Sussex, England:  May 16+17, 2011

Recollections

51.

James Munro

Le Tonkin, SW France

Thank you to James Munro who wrote:

The Embassy Cinema

"I am shocked to read that the Embassy Cinema has been demolished.   It was quite an 'art deco' building and was part of the group which included the State, Leith and the very elegant Dominion at Morningside.   I may be wrong but I believe the Cameo was also a part of the group.

I'll always remember an Errol Flynn film at the Embassy - 'Captain Blood'.  The queues were long and the manager was booed for saying: 'You can buy a ticket, but you are not guaranteed to get in.' !"

James Munro, Le Tonkin SW France:  June 2, 2011

 

Recollections

52.

Bryan Gourlay

Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland

Thank you to James Munro for responding to Alistair McIntyre's memories of his yo-yo  in 'Recollections 50' above.

Bryan wrote.

Yo-Yos

1954

"I well remember the yo-yo craze that Alister McIntyre mentions. In my case, it was the spring of 1954 when I spent a few months at Boroughmuir school. 

Demonstrations

"They used to have yo-yo demonstrations, up on the stage, at the New Vic every Saturday. An American chap used to mesmerise us with all sorts of yo-yo tricks and, as Alister says, invite some kids up beside him.

 The craze lasted for a few months, and you never left home without your yo-yo in your pocket, so you could outdo your pals with your skills.  The secret was to have right type of yo-yo.  Lightweight tin ones were absolutely no good."

Tricks

"There was a shop at Bruntsfield that sold the real deal – made out of heavyweight plastic – a bit like Bakelite.  Mine was bright yellow. It was absolutely essential to fit the string just right in the middle of the yo-yo – not too tight – or that prevented you mastering a few tricks .  Just letting itgo up and down was kids’ stuff.

 The two masterful tricks I can remember were ‘walking the dog’ and ‘round the world’ – both of which relied on the string at precisely the right tension in the middle of the yo-yo."

'Walking the Dog'

" 'Walking the Dog' started with throwing the yo-yo down hard and fast over the back of your hand – so, when it was fully extended, the yo-yo spun round on its axis at full stretch.

If you gently lowered it so it touched the pavement it would run along away from you still at full stretch – just like walking a dog on a lead. A quick tug on the string and the yo-yo would rocket back into the palm of your hand."

'Round the World'

" ‘Round the world’ started the same way – throwing the yo-yo downwards hard and fast until it spun at full stretch – then you could swing it round vertically in a full circle until the spinning slowed – when you had to tug it back into you hand.

Easily Pleased

With all this practice and activity, you never left home without the obligatory small packet of replacement strings.

 We were easily pleased in these days.

 To this day, I can’t resist borrowing a kid’s yo-yo to impress them with my hard earned skills.  They think I’m nuts .

Bryan Gourlay:  Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland:  June 2, 2011

Recollections

53.

Eric Gold

East London

Thank you to Eric Gold for sending more memories of Edinburgh cinemas. 

Eric wrote: 

Cinemas

"When I was wee and left school, I went on the Queen Mary as a waiter.  On leave, I would meet my uncle Paddy Deighan and his business partner Peter Williamson and go to see a great film.

The New Victoria, Clerk Street was our local.  It was posh.

Poole’s Synod Hall, Castle Terrace, showed a good horror film.

The Salon, near the Playhouse, was great too.  It boasted five cartoons during the break

The Regent in Abbeyhill was a freezing, cold cinema, but the manager there was great and had a great sense of humourI saw all the W.C. Fields movies there and I was in pain for weeks with laughter.  I thought W.C. Fields was the best comedian ever."

The Caley

"For me, The Caley, Lothian Road, was best.  It was awesome.  I met all the top film directors and movie stars when I was on board the Queen Mary and the QE2, and when I was serving them they told me what movies they had made and what Oscars they had taken - and would you believe it, the Caley had shown them all in 70 mm.  I remember the Caley showing:

The Sand Pebbles

Lawrence of Arabia

Zulu

-  Papillon

The Blue Max

-  The Wild Bunch

Other cinemas in Edinburgh also showed these movies, but not in 70 mm.  I think only The New Victoria had 70mm."

Eric Gold, East End, London,  June 24, 2011

Recollections

54

Margaret Cooper

London, England

Thank you to Margaret Cooper for posting a message in the EdinPhoto guestbook.

Margaret wrote:

The King's  -  Back Door

"Drumdryan Street, Tollcross, where I grew up ran parallel to Tarvit Street, which is where the back doors to the Kings Theatre looked on to. 

As kids, we would wait outside and often see the various performers as they came out for a quick cig at interval time, clowns, dogs that played football, and the best one of all was when movie star Margaret Lockwood came out and shook our hands."

Margaret Cooper, London, England: Message posted in EdinPhoto guest book: 11 July 2011

Recollections

55

Margaret Cooper

Colindale, North London, England

Thank you to Margaret Cooper for posting a message in the EdinPhoto guestbook.

Margaret wrote:

Blue Halls

Rock Around the Clock

"Does anyone remember the old Blue Halls picture house at the top of the High Riggs, the local gaff when I was a teenager.

I remember the night Bill Haley's 'Rock Around the Clock' was showing.  The picture house was packed.

The minute the music started we all started jiving in the aisles and no amount of threats by the usherettes would make us stop.

Eventually, they stopped the film and put the big lights up and told us we behaved or we were out and, would you believe it, we behaved.  I suppose we were pretty good kids in those days."

Palladium Variety Theatre

"Also does anyone remember the old Palladium Variety Theatre also in that area."

Margaret Cooper, Colindale, North London, England:
Message posted in EdinPhoto guest book: 21 July 2011

Recollections

56

Margaret Cooper

Colindale, North London, England

Thank you to Margaret Cooper for posting a message in the EdinPhoto guestbook.

Margaret wrote:

Regal Cinema

Danny Kaye

"I don't know if anyone even remembers Danny Kaye, comedian who starred in such movies as The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.

Well, he did a one-man show in the Regal Cinema, Lothian Road, back in the 1950s.  I remember, it was a Sunday night as everything used to close in Edinburgh on a Sunday, so this was a rare treat.

It was the early days of the Children's Charity, UNICEF, and I think he was an Ambassador.  The picture house was packed. does anyone remember that night?"

Margaret Cooper, Colindale, North London, England:
Message posted in EdinPhoto guest book: 21 July 2011

 

Recollections

57.

George T Smith

Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Thank you to Bryan Gourlay who added:

The Regal

"The Regal was one of the posher cinemas that I visited in my youth.  Reading about it (above) brought to mind an incident that I witnessed from the top end of the queue outside the Regal.

A young woman was walking restlessly around at the corner of Lothian Road when a large, polished saloon car drew up. The driver got out to open the passenger door and another well- dressed young woman appeared.

The waiting girl ran towards her and exclaimed:

'Jings Bell !  What the Hell kept ye?"

George T Smith, Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada:  September 2, 2011

 

Recollections

58.

Alex Dow

Fife, Scotland

Alex Dow also remembers The King's Theatre.

Alex wrote:

The King's Theatre  -  Margaret Lockwood

"Mention of The King's Theatre, above, reminded me that I was almost knocked over by Margaret Lockwood outside the theatre.

I was in a queue for the matinee performance when I thought I had seen a car driven by an acquaintance heading up towards Bruntsfield.  There were very few cars in those days.

Walking to the edge of the pavement and looking in that direction, I suddenly realised that a cab was drawing up and that the passenger door was being opened simultaneously.  The doors were  rear-hinged in those days, so it  almost swept me along.

Out stepped Margaret Lockwood.  She hurried in to prepare."

Alex Dow, Fife, Scotland:  September 8, 2011

 

Recollections

59.

Sandy Cameron

Edinburgh

Sandy Cameron wrote:

The Palladium

"As a youngster, I remember going to see Winifred Atwell making an attempt at the world non-stop piano playing record at the Palladium some time in the late 1950s or early-1960s.

I think I lasted about 10 minutes; it was so boring.  She was barely awake and was just touching the keys and not playing a tune as such.

The Palladium used to specialise in second-rate Scottish acts, such as Larry Marshall etc."

Sandy Cameron, Edinburgh:  September 4, 2011

Recollections

60.

Allan Dodds

Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England

Allan Dodds wrote

Princes Street

"I don't see any reference yet on this page to a cinema at the East End of Princes Street, opposite Waverley Market.

In 1951 or thereabouts, after a family Christmas dinner at Brown's Restaurant in Hanover Street, we all went there to see 'The Mudlark'."

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England:  November 24, 2011

The Palace

I think that would probably have been the Palace Cinema at 15 Princes Street.  It opened on Christmas Eve 1913 and remained open until February 1955.

Source:  'The Last Picture Shows, Edinburgh' (Brendan Thomas)

Recollections

61.

Frank Ferri

Newhaven, Edinburgh

Thank you to Frank Ferri for writing again.

Frank wrote:

State Cinema

Junction Street

"I remember the State Cinema picture house well, in 1969. It was at Junction Street, Leith.

A couple of years after this picture** was taken I worked part-time for extra cash at Johnny’s bingo who took over Benny Di Rolls snooker halls above the State. The name of the man in the picture, I think, was Bob Wooley.

**  I'll add this picture to the page, once I discover which picture it is that Frank is speaking about.

The Programme

"The cinema opened in 1938.  I went there when it was almost brand new. It showed programs consisting of the main feature film, a 'B' movie, a cartoon and newsreels.

The programs were changed twice weekly, with a children’s matinee on Saturday mornings.

I remember the manager at Saturday matinees frequently stopping the film and warning the excited kids that the show would not start again unless they kept the noise down."

The Building

"Up until the late 1950s, it was a grand white painted, Art Deco building, the outline of which was outlined by green, red and blue neon lights, a magnificent sight in the dark nights.

In the foyer on the left were a cash desk, and another kiosk on the right sold chocolate and sweets.  Both side of the entrance were flanked with real Palm trees."

At the Door

"All the staff wore a blue uniform and the manager, George Webster, standing at the door, was dressed in a Tuxedo.

Sandy the doorman stood outside the theatre resplendently dressed in what looked like a royal blue Admirals uniform decorated with gold braid."

Inside

"Usherettes showed you to your seat in the dark, guiding you using their torches, and at intermittent times sold ice-cream from a tray hanging from their shoulders. 

You could smell the cheap perfumed air freshener spray, used by staff squirting it up and down the aisles, to mask the smell of tobacco smoke and other odours, the moist droplets falling on your face.

The stage's great silver curtains, would reflect the different hues of colours from the stage footlights

Fashionable blue and gold trim 1930s basket woven chairs and tables decorated the posher balcony foyer areas."

Balcony

"The cinema was split in two, the main auditorium and the more expensive balcony area.  -  Well, not a balcony as such, just a graduated raised area with a 5 feet wooden wall as a separation."

Queue

"I lived at Ballantyne Road from 1939 to 1958 and remember my father hanging out our window looking up the street where he could see the State and tell my mother whether there was a queue or not. Regular well kent buskers would entertain the people standing in the queue."

Gantry

"Twice a week the doorman would stand on a high ladder and change the letters on the gantry for the picture showing

I remember, around 11.00 at night, hearing the clanking of the metal box containers being loaded on and off a van that delivered them."

Bingo and Night Club

"In the late 1970s, the cinema was transformed into a bingo hall by the owners of Johnny’s Bing, then circa 1990s it became Babylon’s Night Club, which didn’t last long."

Derelict

"Only a few years ago a fire gutted the whole interior

It’s a shame it’s laying so derelict - very sadI have many happy memories of more tranquil times"

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  November 17, 2011

Recollections

62.

James A Rafferty

Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland

Thank you to James A Rafferty who for allowing me to reproduce this Gaumont British Program for 1935.  It lists films being shown at two of the Gaumont British cinemas:

-  The Capitol, Leith

-  The Regent, Edinburgh.

James wrote:

British Gaumont

"I noticed a few postings about the Leith Capitol Picture House recently, and thought that some of the EdinPhoto visitors might like to see this old program from 1935.

   Gaumont British Cinema Program, 1935 - Cover ©

   British Gaumont Cinemas - Programmes for Leith Capitol and for Regent cinemas, 1935 ©

James A Rafferty, November 30, 2011

Recollections

63.

Rita Hanley

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

Thank you to Rita Hanley who wrote:

The Blue Halls

"Our family left for Canada in 1953.  I heard that The Blue Halls were demolished soon after that.  That saddened me.  I spend many a Saturday afternoon there with my young cousin, whom I babysat at that time, watching the Cowboy Movies  - Tarzan, The 3 Stooges and whatever else was deemed suitable for young children."

Tarzan

"It cost sixpence to get in and was cheap at the price, for all the wonders our young imaginations captured by watching those pictures.  More than one kid broke a leg, ankle or arm doing the 'Tarzan' bit, complete with yodel."

Forgotten

"I find it hard to believe that a Picture House, so beloved of the children then, is so forgotten now.  It will always remain what it was when I lived there.  -  a place to watch a good movie with sweeties bought from the wee store on the corner, run by old Mr. Mackenzie."

Rita Hanley, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada:  January 2, 2011

Recollections

64.

Dorothy Finlay (née Cossar)

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Thank you to Dorothy Finlay, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia for posting a message in the EdinPhoto guestbook.

Dorothy wrote:

Poole's Synod Hall

"I liked Poole's Synod Hall Movie House, where they showed x-rated horror;  very exciting for a teenager."

Dorothy Finlay (née Cossar), Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Recollections

65.

June Wood (née Robertson)

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Thank you to Dorothy Finlay, Queensland, Australia for posting a reply to Dorothy Finlay's comments (64 above) in the EdinPhoto guestbook.

June wrote:

Poole's Synod Hall

"The Poole's Synod Hall had great movies.  I hear it's been torn down.  That's a shame, as it was a great building.

The Regal

"I loved going to the Regal.  My friend's father worked there.  He stood out the front in his uniform.  We thought he looked grand.

So many places, so many memories.  I had a great childhood in Edinburgh..  It's all changed now!"

June Wood (née Robertson):  Brisbane, Queensland, Australia:  June 8, 2012

Recollections

66.

Meg Reilly

Thank you to Meg Reilly for  also posting a reply to Dorothy Finlay's comments (64 above) in the EdinPhoto guestbook.

Meg wrote:

The Blue Halls

"I think there was a cinema just off Bread Street, called the Blue Halls, and that it showed scary films.  There was a pawn shop just across the road.

Meg Reilly:  June 8, 2012

 

Recollections

67.

Catherine Jamieson

San Diego, California, USA

Catherine Jamieson, San Diego, California, USA wrote:

Usher Hall

and

King's Theatre

"I saw Paul Anka at the Usher Hall in the 1950s, and also Tommy Steel, and Rosemary Clooney at the Kings Theatre."

Poole's Picture House

"We went to the Poole's Picture House in Gardiner's Crescent on a Tuesday night.  They had great science fiction movies:

'Tarantula and the Bean Pod People', etc."

Catherine Jamieson, San Diego, California, USA: June 22, 2012

 

Recollections

68.

Jim Suddon

Morningside, Edinburgh

Jim Suddon wrote:

The First Edinburgh Festival

1947

"One of the events that I was taken to by my parents was the Official Opening of the first Edinburgh Festival which took place at a ceremony on Edinburgh Castle Esplanade.

The Lord Provost, Sir John Falconer, lit a torch and runners set off to inform the world.  I have no idea where they actually went, but I recall watching a runner from the esplanade going west, along Princes Street.  This was the summer of 1947.

The strange thing that I do remember is that everyone was happy about the Festival, but they all felt it was not really for them -  'only for those and such as those''

Working class people did not go much to orchestral concerts, ballet or opera.  Nor, in reality, were they encouraged go.  People used to dress-up for those events and the working class were made to feel socially inferior."

Jim Suddon, Morningside, Edinburgh:  August 20, 2012

 

Recollections

69.

Gordon Wright

Doncaster, South Yorkshire, England

There has already been some discussion of the Carlton Cinema on the Piershill Recollections page of the EdinPhoto web site.

Thank you to Gordon Wright for responding to this discussion.

Gordon wrote:

Carlton Cinema

"I was especially interested in some of the memories written about the Carlton Cinema in Piershill Recollections 9 onwards, which evoked very fond memories for me.  I enjoyed many a Saturday matinee in there as a boy.

Regarding the difference of opinion re the balcony in the Carlton cinema, I think both parties are correct in a way.

The balcony was only slightly elevated above the level of the stalls, perhaps eight feet or so.  Where the balcony stopped, there was a walkway from one side of the cinema to the other then the stalls began and went down towards the screen.

I'd be interested to hear what others remember regarding this,"

Gordon Wright, Doncaster, South Yorkshire, England:  October 29, 2012

Gordon subsequently wrote:

Carlton Cinema

"There is a very good photograph of the Carlton Cinema on this page of the Scottish Cinemas web site."

Gordon Wright,  South Yorkshire, England:November 1, 2012

 

 

Recollections

70.

Peter Nolan

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Thank you to Peter Nolan who wrote:

Usher Hall

1933

"Here is an Usher Hall Program from 1933, showing the names of some of the Edinburgh street musicians then."

Usher Hall Grand Concert, 1933  -  Progaramme Cover ©

©

Peter Nolan, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada,:  November 22, 2012

If you wish to read the two pictures above, you will need to enlarge them first.  Please click on these images to enlarge them.

 

Recollections

71.

Pete Nolan

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Peter Nolan wrote again:

Usher Hall Grand Concert

1933

Usher Hall Grand Concert, 1933  -  Progaramme Cover ©

"I knew a number of those musicians through my father.  When I was a little boy, some of my dads pals would come up to my mother's place in the Grassmarket and play their music, then my mother would give them a large plate of Spaghetti."

Peter Nolan, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada,:  December 11, 2012

 

Recollections

72.

Lorraine Bruce

(née Dutton)

Dingwall, Ross & Cromarty, Scotland

Thank you to Lorraine Bruce for posting a message in the EdinPhoto guestbook.

Lorraine wrote:

Palladium Theatre

"I'd love to see a photograph of the old Palladium Theatre.  I see that there are already some recollections of the theatre on this page.

My father used to take me there in the 1960s, leaving outside the Stage Door while he had a drink in the pub.  I would get my programmes signed there, and he often took to the dressing rooms to meet stars.  I recall a tenor whose surname was Darling."

Lorraine Bruce (née Dutton), Dingwall, Ross & Cromarty, Scotland:
Message posted in EdinPhoto guestbook: January 21, 2013

 

Recollections

73.

Jim Forson

East  Linton, East Lothian, Scotland

Jim Forson asks:

Moss Empires

Sir Edward Moss

"I'm trying to locate a portrait of Sir Edward Moss of Moss Empires fame.  He lived in Edinburgh at St Patrick's Square then at 8 Minto Street and also purchased the estate of Middleton Hall near Gorebridge.

I know a lot about him but have been unable to locate a photograph as yet.  He died at Middleton on 2h5 November 1912.

Any help would be most appreciated."

Jim Forson, East Linton, East Lothian, Scotland:  February 21, 2013

Reply to Jim?

If you think you might be able to help Jim to find a photograph of Sir Edward Moss, please email me, then I'll pass on your message to him.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  February 21, 2013

Recollections

74.

Alistair McIntyre

Chichester, West Sussex, England

Thank you to Alister McIntyre who wrote:

Palladium Theatre

"I was interested in the bits in Recollections 72 and Recollections 73 above about the Palladium Theatre.  I actually worked in the theatre for 3 years from 1962 to 1965."

Our 5-Piece Band

"I played trumpet in the 5 piece band, which consisted of:

Helen Fowler (musical director), piano

-  Helen's husband Tom, violin

me, trumpet *

a trombone player, whose name escapes me

a drummer, whose name escapes me.

*  I'm still playing the trumpet, but not professionally.

As an 18 year-old, I thought this was a fantastic job, just watching all the shows and playing the music.  I actually met my wife there.  She started as a usherette then became the Manager's secretaryWe are still married.

Comics

I remember the comics:

-  Lex McLean

-  Johnnie Victory

-  Johnnie Beattie

-  Alec Finlay

-  Dickie Valentine

-  Donald Peers.

Music Group

Lex McLean used to have a music group with him.  Their pianist, Tommy Banner** who then lived in Penicuik, went on to become a member of 'Adge Cutler and the Wurzels'.  He may even still be playing with them.

I remember Ken Swann a ventriloquist with his dummy, Wee Magee. He did the same act every time he appeared but then in the days of variety you could tour the variety halls doing a week at a time with the same act. He used to do a duet with his dummy, it was the Al Johnson number 'Sit Upon My Knee Sony Boy'.

Oh happy days!

Alistair McIntyre, Chichester,West Sussex, England:  February 16, 2011

**  Tommy Banner

Tommy Banner was certainly still playing with Adge Cutler and the Wurzels fairly recently.  This Wikipedia page about The Wurzels includes a photo of Tommy playing the accordion at Wychwood Festival in 2011.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  February 24, 2013

Recollections

75.

John Fraser

Inch, Edinburgh

Thank you to John  Fraser for writing about the cinemas that he remembers from when he lived in Leith in the 1940s.

John wrote:

Leith Cinemas

The Alhambra

"When I was six years old, my sister Sadie took me to the Alhambra in Leith Walk.  She wanted to buy sweets when we came out, so we went down Springfield Street to a small door where there was a cash desk.

She only paid threepence for the tickets.  After climbing up stairs for what seemed forever, we finally reached a door and went in. It was well named ‘The Gods’.  Any higher and we would have been in Heaven

The picture was small square in the far distance.  Blink and you'd have missed part of the picture. The seats were concrete, with wooden bar along the back.

Many a fight broke out with the person behind you kicking you in the back.  I was warned not to tell my mother where we had been."

The Gaiety

"A fortnight later, Sadie took me to the Gaiety, down the Kirkgate. We followed the same routine:  We went up to ‘The Gods' and sat in the same seats.  My bum got quite sore, and tmy rousers got messy, as children in the rush to get out, used to run along the seats."

The Lawrie Street

"Another picture house was the Lawrie Street. You held on to the seats so you wouldn’t slide all the way to the front row.

Two pins and a jeely jar would get you in.  If, by bad luck, you landed in the front row, you came out with a sore neck, the screen being up above you.

The smell there was like rotten cabbage."

John Fraser, Inch, Edinburgh:  April 18, 2013

Recollections

76.

Sandy Cameron

Edinburgh

Thank you to Sandy Cameron who wrote:

Poole's Synod Hall

"We used to sneak in to the seats in the side balcony of Poole's Synod Hall cinema in Castle Terrace, via the fire escape door in Cornwall (Corny) Lane after a game of 'shapes' against the boiler house gate of the Lyceum Theatre.

Happy days!"

Sandy Cameron, Edinburgh:  May 9 2013

Thanks for your comments, Sandy. 

Can you tell me how 'shapes' was played?

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  May 9, 2013

 

Recollections

77.

Malcolm J B Finlayson

Arbroath, Angus, Scotland

Thank you to Malcolm J B Finlayson who wrote:

Edinburgh Cinemas

Goldenacre?

"I am wondering if anyone is aware of the existence of a cinema at Goldenacre circa mid 1930s.

Apparently, my parents met at Goldenacre on their first date, and went to a cinema.  However, I am uncertain of whether this was at Goldenacre, or 'up the town'

I have often thought that the Muffin Shop frontage could have been the reception of a small cinema.

All enquiries so far have drawn a blank.

Malcolm J B Finlayson, Arbroath, Angus, Scotland: September 13, 2013

Reply

Hi Malcolm:

Edinburgh Cinemas

I think it unlikely that there was ever a cinema at Goldenacre.  I'm certainly not aware of any there.  I've also looked through my book 'The Last Picture Shows - Edinburgh' by Brendan Thomas.  The book gives descriptions of and brief histories of almost 70 cinemas in Edinburgh, but makes no mention of any at Goldenacre.

However, your parents would have only had to travel about half way 'up town' from Goldenacre to find an impressive cinema, The Ritz, at Rodney Street near Canonmills.  It had almost 2,000 seats.  It opened in 1929.

The Muffin Shop

I think the Muffin Shop that you mention was at 2 Montagu Terrace, on the Ferry Road corner.  If that's the shop you are thinking of, it would not have been a cinema in the 1930s.  It was Gosman's fruit shop for several decades from 1930 or earlier

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  October 22, 2013

Recollections

78.

Allan Dodds

Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England

Thank you to Allan Dodds for responding to Recollections 77 above.

Allan wrote:

Goldenacre

"I agree that it is highly unlikely that there was ever a cinema in Goldenacre, a dignified suburb on the north side of the city.

Gosman's was revered as the canon of good taste in fruit, on a par with Wilson the Butcher on the corner of Inverleith Row and Inverleith Terrace.

My Mother would shop nowhere else.

The Ritz

"I think you're right in identifying the closest cinema as the Ritz in Rodney Street, from which my parents banned me on account of the hoi polloi that frequented it!

It's no wonder that I lost all my friends from Canonmills who went there every Saturday morning as 'ABC Minors'."

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England:  October 23, 2013

 

Recollections

79.

Malcolm J B Finlayson

Arbroath, Angus, Scotland

Thank you to Malcolm J B Finlayson for writing again, following up his comments in Recollections 77 above.

Malcolm wrote:

Goldenacre

Cinema

"Many thanks, Peter.  I'm now convinced that there was no cinema at Goldenacre."

The Muffin Shop

"Muffin's, that I mentioned earlier, is the current business on the site at the corner of Montagu Terrace and Ferry Road.  The business is owned by Brian and Cath.

If it not too much of an advert, I'd recommend it for excellent fare."

The Ritz

"Your mention of the Ritz brought back happy memories, as it was the first cinema that my parents allowed me to attend during an evening.  It was 23 December 1961, and I was an eleven year old.

I was accompanied my older brother and his friend when we went to see:

-  'The Young Ones' starring Cliff Richard.

It was a wonderful Christmas time as Edinburgh screenings were also being held of:

'Blue Hawaii', arguably one of Elvis' best films, and

-  'Breakfast at Tiffany's', starring Audrey Hepburn, George Peppard, Mickey Rooney, and a cat named 'Cat'."

Malcolm J B Finlayson, Arbroath, Angus, Scotland: September 23, 2013

 

Reply

80.

Ronnie Murphy

West Yorkshire, England

Thank you to Ronnie Murphy for posting a message in the EdinPhoto guestbook.

Ronnie wrote:

1950s

30 Picture Hooses

"I remember going all over Edinburgh on the bus to the pictures in the late-1950s.  I think there mush have been 30-odd cinemas."

Poole's Synod Hall

"I remember Poole's Synod Hall.  What a great building for horror films.  It as terrifying, just going to the toilet!

I used to go to the Synod Hall with my Dad.  They were auld films, but good value."

Ronnie Murphy, West Yorkshire, England:
Message posted on EdinPhoto Guestbook: October 26, 2013

Recollection

81.

Laurie Thompson

Chipping Sodbury, Gloucestershire, England

Thank you to Laurie Thompson who wrote:

Usher Hall

Folk Music Nights

"Looking through the Entertainments section of Recollections, I'm surprised that I've not found any reference to the wonderful folk music nights that were regularly put on at the Usher Hall in the first half of the 1960's.

These were not quiet, contemplative gatherings of beardy-weirdies listening to just sea shanties and songs about dead loved ones (although there WERE occasionally such songs) but instead lots of like-minded people of all ages (although predominantly young) getting together to listen to, and often participating in the singing of, rousing folk songs from all over the world.

These evenings attracted artists - some very well-known,  others who at that time had not achieved great fame but who would later go on to do so either on their own or as part of later folk-rock bands - from all points of the compass.

From memory, some of the names that appeared there were :

The Dubliners

The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem

The Corrie Folk Trio and Paddie Bell
two of whom would later give us 'Flower of Scotland'!

Nadia Cattouse

Matt McGinn,

Archie Fisher

Cyril Tawny and Martin Carthy

among others.

Often, there'd be a mix of several artists on the same bill.  I can't remember exactly how much the tickets cost - although I've a feeling it might have been about ten shillings or ten and six, or something like that - but they were great value for money.

If any of your readers would like to get a flavour of a typical evening, they should watch the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem singing 'The Holy Ground' on YouTube

Laurie Thompson, Chipping Sodbury, Gloucestershire, England:  September 11, 2014

YouTube

Laurie Thompson has recommended watching the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem singing 'The Holy Ground' on YouTube.

I've found several clips on YouTube matching that description.  I don't know which is the one that Laurie recommends.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  September 28, 2014

Recollection

82.

Lilian Young

Hamilton Square, New Jersey, USA

Thank you to Lilian Young who wrote, telling me that the messages on this page of the web site have invoked many, many happy memories.

Lilian added:

Picture Houses

'Movie Buff'

"I was reading through the information on various picture houses and theatres above and it set my mind off.  During my life in Scotland I was definitely a 'movie buff' and went to many of the picture houses in Edinburgh."

Corstorphine

"We mostly went to the Astoria in Corstorphine. It was a comfortable place to spend time and watch movies and cuddle in the 'chummy seats' in the back of the downstairs part. My brother's girlfriend, Marion, ran the concession stand in the lobby and then sold ice cream during the interval. As a young child I saw pictures of the horrors of the German prisoner-of-war camps there, but didn't quite realize what I was seeing - I probably thought it was part of the movie."

Gorgie

"The New Tivoli and the Roxy in Gorgie were also favorites.  At the Roxy we saw cartoons in the afternoon, then if we weren't caught by the Ushers, we stayed on for the entire show until late evening."

Central Edinburgh
and other cinemas

"The Monsigneur on Princes Street and the Caley on Lothian Road were famous for their foreign films.

The Poole's Synod Halls usually had movies that were scary and sometimes x-rated.  We saw The Outlaw starring Jane Russell there and hoped our parents didn't find out we had seen it.

The Regal, Rutland a.k.a. Gaumont and the Regent were more up-market and usually ran first-showing movies. They were a little more expensive."

Central Edinburgh

"My Uncle's Father was a doorman at the New Victoria Picture House. He wore a maroon and gold outfit and saluted as he opened the doors.  We thought he was so dignified when we used to see him."

Theatres

Pantomime

"Who can forget going to the Pantomime at the King's Theatre at Christmas? We only had the money to go to the upper tier which was dubbed 'The Gods' and we valiantly climbed up and were fascinated by the performers."

US

"When I emigrated to the US, my friends took me to see the late, great Kenneth McKellar perform.  We were seated in one of the boxes and Mr. McKellar dedicated a song to me in the hope that  I would always remember Scotland.  It was 'The Mist Covered Mountains of Home' and I have loved this song ever since.  He was a wonderful singer."

Edinburgh Festival

"We attended the Lyceum during the festival and also the Empire where we saw many famous stars - Guy Mitchell and Billy Eckstine come to mind, and also we actually performed in the Usher Hall during our Annual Boroughmuir School concert and prize giving."

Smoking

"One thing I didn't see mentioned while reading the notes above on theatres was the fact that you could smoke during the performance. Sometimes the smoke was so thick your eyes would be burning by the end of the performances, but it didn't stop us going.

The little ashtrays on the seats in front were so tiny, it's a wonder people's clothing didn't get burned.  At one time, when the Usher Hall was being refurbished, we saw the rags that had been used to clean the paint and trim and they were dark yellow stained from the smoke. It's a wonder that fires were not more common."

Recent Times

"When we came back home to Edinburgh on holiday, we attempted to get tickets for the King's, but it was sold out.  The poor Astoria was gone, and on a recent TV show, I saw that  the Roxy had been turned into flats.

Lilian Young, Hamilton Square, New Jersey, USA

 

Recollections

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