Bygones (the Tudor Cinema)

The Tudor Cinema

The row of shops in Fore Street were built during the 1930’s when the old Hampton Estate land was being redeveloped.  The Tudor Cinema was part of this terrace and was used along with the church hall, for church services following the bombing of the Parish Church.

Memories of the 1950’s and 1960’s……… when for 9d or 1/6d people could go and see two films and continue watching them as the programme ran again.  For those who didn’t have the price of a ticket, they might be let in through the fire door at the back by friends who went to spend a penny once the show had started.  The manager was given the name ‘Torchie’ because when the children made a noise he would come down the aisle with his torch to silence the misbehaving.  A regular stop off on the way to Saturday morning pictures was the Tudor Cafe next door to buy penny stalesies, this was a bag full of yesterdays buns for a penny.  The Tudor Cinema survived as a picture house until becoming a bingo hall when “going to the pictures” fell from favour.

Bygones came about when the owner’s interest in railway collecting outgrew their house.  The final straw came in 1986 with the purchase of a 27ton railway engine that was bought from Falmouth Docks in Cornwall and it was then that the present owners purchased what was the old cinema.  The engine can be seen in the entrance and the building contains Victorian street scenes, room settings, large model railway layouts and a World War trench.  Well worth a visit for historical artifacts.