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Art Deco in Rochdale (i) The Regal Cinema

Rochdale in Lancashire, a few miles north of Manchester, isn’t quite the grim post-industrial town I had half-expected. Its town centre is in fact fairly well appointed and its Town Hall a marvel I shall come to later.

But what I was most looking forward to seeing (having glimpsed it in the background to a photograph of a family member) was the former Regal Cinema – an imposing Art Deco building now housing a Wetherspoons called The Regal Moon. Note the rounded wall, the horizontal rule of three in the central windows and the vertical one in the flanking blocks:-

The Regal Moon, Rochdale

Frontage. There’s even rule of three in the white columns surrounding the central windows and in the detailing above the lower central windows plus a beautiful roundedness to the four white pillars and their peaks:-

Frontage, The Regal Moon, Rochdale

Opposite view. Note the lack of symmetry in the right-angled corner as compared to the curved one on the far side. The stepped upper levels descending towards the rear mirror the other side though:-

The Regal Moon, Rochdale, Opposite View

Some pictures of the cinema in its days as a picture house are here.

Sneek (iv) – The Cinema

The ultra-modern clean lines of Sneek’s cinema argue against it being Art Deco:-

Sneek Cinema 1

Yet despite its rather austere look there’s a definite deco feel to this. It might just be the flagpole but there is “rule of three” in the windows:-

Sneek Cinema 2

Cinema Rules

On the wall of the cafe at The Birks Cinema, Aberfeldy:-

Aberfeldy Cinema Rules

I like the rustling comment.

The other notice is less unusual:-

Rules, Aberfeldy Cinema

Pedant’s corner:- I note independant above (independent.)

War Graves, Leslie Cemetery

Leslie is a small town not far from where I now live. My photographs of its War Memorial are here and of its remaining Art Deco buildings here. My post on the lost Regal Cinema is here.

As is common its cemetery gates carry the “Commonwealth War Graves here” sign.

I found four, three fromn the Great War, one from the Second World War.

Privat D F Robbin, Royal Scots, 20/12/1915, aged 22:-

War Grave, Leslie Cemetery

Private W LIvingstone, The Black Watch, 9/2/1917:-

Leslie Cemetery War Grave

Private R Thomson, Royal Scots Greys, 23/10/1920, aged 39. “In loving memory of our dear father from wife & family”:-

War Grave in Leslie Cemetery

Lance Corporal J F Johnstone, Royal Engineers, 21/2/1941, aged 23.
The stone below is inscribed “From the neighbours”:-

War Grave, Leslie Cemtery

Art Deco in Lockerbie

Lockerbie in Dumfries and Galloway is, alas, more well-known for the disaster of Pan-Am Flight 103, than its former sheep-marketing prominence.

I found two Art Deco style buildings.

The former cinema, The Rex, now no longer used. Photos of the cinema in better days are here:-

Lockerbie Cinema

A corner location, now used by The Original Factory Shop:-

Lockerbie Corner Shop

Corner aspect:-

Lockerbie Corner Shop, Corner Aspect

Art Deco in Newton Stewart, Dumfries and Galloway

Newton Stewart used to be in Wigtownshire but that was later subsumed into the larger Dumfries and Galloway region.

Cinema. It is just known as The Cinema:-

Cinema, Newton Stewart

Detail of entrance:-

Cinema Detail, Newton Stewart

The Galloway Arms Hotel, Newton Stewart, is a bit worse for wear but the detailing on the canopy has deco touches:-

Galloway Arms Hotel, Newton Stewart

Detail:-

Canopy Detail, Galloway Arms Hotel, Newton Stewart

Dunkirk

Syncopy Inc. Directed by Christopher Nolan.

Since our move to Son of the Rock Acres we’re now close to a “proper” cinema, the Kino. It’s not a separate building though but part of Glenrothes town centre, though accesssed from outside. We still don’t go often but the good lady took a fancy to the new film about Dunkirk so off we toddled.

The film dispenses with any preamble or scene setting about the situation leading up to the retreat to Dunkirk and starts with a group of British soldiers moving through the streets of Dunkirk with paper leaflets falling down around them. One looks at a leaflet to see the phrase “We Surround You” and arrows pushing in towards the English Channel – presumably a facsimile of a real German propaganda leaf drop at the time and probably where Dad’s Army took the idea for its opening credits from. Suddenly the men are fired on and they start running – and dropping like flies. Eventually one reaches the beach and the hordes of men waiting there.

We then move to the situation at the Mole (Dunkirk harbour’s long pier) which features Kenneth Branagh as Commander Bolton, in charge of naval affairs there.

The action then switches to the “small boats” being requisitioned by the navy with particular emphasis on one boat. (Mark Rylance puts in a fine performance as the boat’s master but all of the acting was convincing.)

Then we are transported to an RAF patrol of three Spitfires flying to the Dunkirk area with the leader warning his team to keep an eye on fuel levels.

The film intercuts between these four scenarios at (ir)regular intervals and repeatedly shows the same incident but from the several differing viewpoints.

Most of it, though, displays a distinct lack of heroism, men fetching for themselves, queue-jumping, arguing, though others (Royal Engineers contstructing makeshift jetties out of whatever is lying about on the beaches for example) are trying their best to muddle through.

But that is how it would have been. For a soldier Dunkirk must have been anything but heroic. A frantic mixture of hope and fear and endurance with even rescue from the beaches no guarantee of a safe journey home what with the gauntlet of bombers and U-boats still to run.

If anything it is the efforts of the RAF pilots that the film emphasises – despite the complaint after a Stuka attack on the beach of “Where’s the ruddy Air Force?”

I could have done without the swelling strings (a very slowed down tempo for Elgar’s Nimrod) when the small boats started to make their appearance off the beaches, though.

It also seemed odd to me that Rylance’s small boat took its cargo back to Dorset – that’s a long way from Dunkirk and far from the nearest point in Britain. And I had the impression from my reading that the small boats were mainly used to ferry men from the beach to destroyers etc lying off-shore.

The film touches on the point of the soldiers feeling that they had let the country down and dreading the reception they would get on arrival only to find they were being greeted with cheers. It is still strange that the “Dunkirk spirit” is invoked by those who wish to big Britain up. As Churchill said at the time, “Wars are not won by evacuations.”

The second last image – of a burning Spitfire on the beach – seemed emblematic of a Britain that has lost its way and won’t easily find it again. At least in 1940 it only took four years for Britain to get back into Europe.

I saw in the credits at the end the name of one Harry Styles. I knew of the name of course but could not have put a face to it.

Art Deco in Avilés (iv)

Corner Deco:-

Corner Deco, Avilés

More corner deco:-

More Corner Deco, Avilés

La Voe de Avilés. “Rule of three” in the middle of the balconies. Good railings; and that compass dial above the door is a neat touch:-

La Voe de Avilés

Balconied Corner Deco:-

Balconied Corner Deco, Avilés

A more moderne style. Springfield:-

Moderne/Deco, Avilés

There’s a stunning mural of a ship and castellations at upper level here. Art Deco “rule of three” on the corner. I think this was the Play House Cinema:-

Mural, Avilés

More Modern Avilés

Street in Avilés, cinema to right:-

Street in Avilés

More streets:-

Street Scene Avilés

Avilés Street

Modern Street, Avilés

The last above was just off a town square. On the opposite side of the square was a stadium, the Estadio Municipal Román Suárez Puerta, home of Real Avilés C F, now in the fourth tier of Spanish football but which has cahieved the dizzy heights of Tier 2 for a total of 13 seasons, but not since 1992, which was also the season they progressed their furthest ever in the Copa del Rey, Round 5:-

Estadio Municipal Roman Suarez Puerta, Avilés

A sign on the stand’s gable end says El Quirinal which I thought at the time was the stadium’s name but is in fact the street’s:-

Estadio Municipal Roman Suarez Puerta, Avilés

From (pedestrianised) square:-

Estadio Municipal Roman Suarez Puerta, Avilés

Art Deco in Gronigen (iii)

In a previous post on Art Deco in Groningen, The Netherlands, I showed two photos of a cinema. This year I took more views of that building. This is the rear view:-

Art Deco in Groningen

This is the view from the street that runs beside it back to front:-

Groningen Cinema

Lovely window arch on cinema wall:-

Art Deco Cinema, Groningen, Window Arch

Detail on window arch, a sculpted head:-

Art Deco Cinemas, Groningen Detail

Great columning and glazing towards front:-

Art Deco Cinema, Groningen Side View

The glazing has fantastic detailing:-

Art Deco Cinema, Groningen Glazing

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