'I used to go to the Strand
in Whitmore Reans on a Saturday morning. You had to throw your penny or
tuppence into a bag which the lady at the door held. You used to get one
of those long strips of sweets to eat. It was the only sweets I ever
used to get. One time they were giving spearmint out and the kids were
chewing it and throwing it about. I went home with spearmint in my hair
and my mom didn't think it was very funny at all. Fancy me remembering
that, it's over 70 years ago'
'I think it was called the Park or something like that.
Anyway, it was near the West Park, off Newhampton Road. I suppose that's
why they called it the Park. We went a few times during the war. I don't
think it was up to much inside but it was somewhere to go.'
'I used to live in Whitmore Reans, in
Evans Street actually, so I remember the old cinema there ever so well.
While I lived there it must've had about three names at least. I best
remember it as the Rex though. It was really very nice inside and
considering it was in an area which wasn't in the centre of town, it was
really up to date. I don't remember any of the films particularly but I
do remember when it reopened after the war. I must've been about 25, so
it must've been in 1947 or 1948.
'I only remember it as the Rex but it had a set of steps up to the
front doors and the name Rex was in lights by the side of the entrance.
It was one of those cinemas which you went to because it was local or
because there was nothing special on one of the main picture houses in
town. Still, it was quite nice and really pretty comfortable inside. I
think I saw African Queen there, but I'm not sure. I remember talking to
an old neighbour of ours a little while ago and we were saying it's one
thing the kids in Wolverhampton need, a good cinema, especially a local
one, although nothing seems to be local anymore.'
'We would go to the Rex very often. It was near
home in Dunstall Road, so it was nice to walk down to the flicks and be
able to get home quite quickly after the show. Some people thought it
was a flea pit but it wasn't. My husband was really keen on the flicks.
We seldom went to the flicks after the Rex closed. In fact I don't
remember many other films after the Rex, but I must have gone. I
definitely haven't been since my husband died and that was twenty years
'It closed in the fifties. It was somewhere near where the Avion
Centre is nowadays, in fact that area's changed so much it would be ever
so difficult to find it nowadays. I went on the bus around there some
time last year and I really felt lost and I used to live in Leicester
'Whitmore Reans is nothing like it was and so I bet nobody who lived
down there would know where they were now. I couldn't tell you how to
find where the Rex was. I reckon it would be near that shopping centre
in Whitmore Reans but I can't remember what that's called.'
'After it closed it remained pretty derelict
for some time after. It was a real eyesore. It wasn't until they started
all that building in the area that things got sorted out and they
finally pulled the building down.'
'The last picture house I can remember was that one in Whitmore
Reans. It was called something like the Rex. I went there once or twice
even though it wasn't my local cinema.
'It must've been because I was courting a girl from round there or
something. That was usually the only reason I went to one of those
smaller places. It wasn't bad inside though. Yes, it was called the Rex.
I think it must have been in Gatis Street, near that school.'
'I lived very near to the Coliseum when I was little so it was the
first cinema I ever went to. I don't remember much about it but I
thought it was quite homely but that's talking about somewhere which I'm
remembering from about 60 years ago. We moved from the Dudley Road when
I was about I0.'
'I think the biggest flea pit in Wolverhampton was the Coliseum. They
used to say that if you put your money on the pay desk it would move
itself. That's an old wives' story I'm sure, although the few times I
went to the Coliseum I sat there scratching most of the time.'
'It wasn't that big and certainly wasn't very impressive from the
outside but it was OK as a place to go if you'd got nothing better to
do. I went there three times maybe in the forties and saw some old films
there. It was probably only showing older films because the big films
would've been in town.'
'My one memory of the Coliseum was one day when I went there with my
cousin. My mom didn't know but she found out and she came to the
Coliseum and asked the manager to come and tell us to go home
immediately. When we came out my mom was waiting and she didn't half
give me a telling off. My cousin thought it was ever so funny but when
she got home her mom did the same thing. It's funny really because we
actually lived at that time very close to the cinema so we weren't miles
'I remember the time when the old Coliseum was closing and it was
only showing Asian films. There was Asian writing outside and all the
people going were Asian. That must have been some time in the fifties or
sixties when the people from India were first coming to Wolverhampton
and many of them were settling in the Dudley Road area.'
'I actually went to the Coliseum to see an
Asian film sometime in the sixties. I think it must have been put on for
the Asians living in the area but there still wasn't much of an audience
and to be honest the quality of the film was pretty awful. I'm not
surprised it never stayed open.'