11. WATCHING THE SILENT FILMS

The Regent Cinema, Regent Street/ Rugby Road

Anon

There were dance halls but a lot of them were just little hops. The Palladium was there when I was about 18, that was at the top of Castle Street. You never asked a boy for a dance, never, they always asked you. Well, you didn’t if you were brought up properly, you didn’t ask a boy to take you out, so you were more or less held back weren’t you, you didn’t get him if he weren’t interested in you did you? Unless one of your girlfriends were cheeky enough to go and tell him. We done the quick step, the waltz, we did the tango in those days and the really old fashioned ones like the barn dance and the military two-step.

Arthur Moore

There was the Palladium, Regent, Odeon and Danilo, there were four. The Odeon was the favourite, the one where we used to go mostly. When the Regent and the Danilo opened the Palladium closed down because people didn’t seem to go. That was right at the top of Castle Street in New Buildings. If we couldn’t get in one we’d rush down to the other to get in there. You used to get the Pathe pictorial then a big film then a comic film like Laurel and Hardy – you were there two and a half hours. No theatres, only amateurs.

Albert Attenborough

There were the Borough Cinema, that were called the Odeon in the end, and you used to go up – at the bottom of Mansion Street was Frisbee’s butchers shop – and you used to go up the back of there to the back entrance of the theatre. That were a regular treat that was if you went there. The talkies come on late you see but in them days you used to go and there were silent films and you used to have Mr. Denton, who was an old Hinckleyan and Mr. Oldham who was playing the piano, and one stage when there were a cowboy film on, Denton and Mr. Oldham fell out you see. So Denton got up…he’d got the violin and hit him over the head with it and busted his violin, so they’d got no music then.

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Margery Dorman (b.1915)

The dancing school…was in the Borough, a dance floor, it were over a shop. Oh yes, we went to The George – The George Hotel were at the front and the dance hall was at the back. They still use it, it’s a big place, I think it’s a night-club now. They used to have different orchestras.

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Ron Milton

On a Saturday night and a Sunday night in those days there’d be a parade up and down Castle Street and along Regent Street of people. Sunday you could see plenty of people walking round Burbage or wherever – a real parade. That was where a lot of the courting was done, up and down Castle Street, along Regent Street. You dressed in suits, you’d wear a Trilby probably, earlier still everybody wore a cap to go to work.

 

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