'I've never heard it called the Picturedrome, everybody I know called
it the Scala and that's what it was, the Scala. Remember you pronounced
it Scala and not Scarla.'
'It was quite a nice picture house and in fact it's probably one of
the few former cinemas in Wolverhampton which is still standing, at
least the building. I think it's a night club or something now. We used
to go to the Scala quite often. It was quite a long building. It never
had any of the big films on. It was usually months after they'd been to
places like the Gaumont or Savoy that you'd see them at the Scala.'
'We lived in Pennfields so the Scala was
probably our nearest pictures. We'd walk down Lea Road, on to the Penn
Road, we passed Sam Castle's and into the Scala. We got to know some of
the people in the cinema quite well, at least by face. They'd sometimes
let us in for a bit less. It was probably because there was so much
competition from other places, especially the big cinemas in the town
'The Scala was one cinema I do remember because
I used to go there in the war with my cousin. We met some American
soldiers at the Civic one Saturday night and they took us to the Scala
on the Sunday. We started going quite regularly and it became rather
like our local cinema, even though we lived nearer to the Penn.'
'I remember one thing about the Scala which was very different and
that was that you could be stood outside the cinema and you could hear
people walking about inside the cinema. It must have had something to do
with the wooden floors or something.'
'My mom lived most of her younger life in Fisher Street and she went
to the Scala loads of times when she was a girl. She told me how nice it
was inside and how it was a shame that the cinema had to contend with so
much opposition from the town centre places.'
'I saw the last film show at the Scala I think. It was a
film with Cornel Wilde in, I don't remember what it was called but it
was definitely the last show there. We left the cinema and the manager,
I think it was, shook hands with everybody as they left, or as near
everybody as he could.'
'The Scala didn't close down
immediately after the last picture show, I think it became a Bingo Hall
and I definitely went to Wrestling shows at the Scala. That would've
been about 1962 I think.'
'The Scala was the first cinema that I remember becoming a Bingo
Hall. I thought it was terrible and so did most of my friends but if we
were honest I suppose the main reason it happened was because so few of
us went to the Scala and so it could not stay open.'
'I often pass the building on the bus and I think it's really
strange that a small cinema building like that stays up while a huge
cinema building like the Gaumont closes. I suppose it's got something to
do with where it is. My grandson has been to the night club that's there
now and he tells me it would be very difficult to recognise it as a
'You know that song Simply The Best, well that's how I would describe
the Queen's. When I was very young, it was the Queen's which we all
regarded as the main cinema in the town. It was in the best position in
the town centre and it had the most imposing frontage. I loved the
'If you ask me about the early cinemas in the town, it's always the
Queen's that I remember. It was a really smart building. It had a really
nice foyer, a little cafe and the people who worked there always seemed
to care about the cinema. The inside of the auditorium was super and
very smart. I remember meeting a girl outside the Queen's when I was a
young feller and taking her in to see the film. She thought I must've
had a bob or two otherwise I wouldn't have gone to the Queen's.'
'My first talking picture was at the Queen's. I
think it was called something like The River or something but it was
advertised all across the front of the building. When you went into the
Queen's it was pretty impressive and made you feel you were going into
somewhere quite posh.'
'The Queen's had a really good orchestra led by a man called Van Damm
I think. My dad loved music and he would rather go to a cinema which had
a good orchestra than the very big and more impressive cinemas. Anyway,
the Queen's was plenty big enough for him.'
'If you went into the Queen's you went into a foyer which
was quite large and had potted palms and other plants in it. It had a
very nice little cafe where you could get tea or coffee. You didn't have
to go to see the film to use the cafe and many times I've been in there
with my mother and then later with my own children.'
'It was at the Queen's that I first became interested in the cinema.
I went there at the age of about six with my parents in about 1932 and
started going ever so regularly after that. It was also at the Queen's
that I did a lot of my courting. My son and daughter used to go to the
films and later to the dances at the Queen's.'
'The Queen's had a very beautiful interior. I remember also that it
had a really steep drop in the stalls, in fact I once fell when I tried
to get down the central aisle in the dark and misjudged my footing.
Luckily one of the usherettes noticed my fall and so she helped me up.
My husband nearly fell over me.'
'I always remember that clock which used to be outside the Queen's on
the front wall, above the entrance. It's strange but that's the main
memory I have of the building.'
'I would always regard the Queen's as one of those
cinemas with a bit of class. If you went there you were going somewhere
a bit special, rather than a simple cinema. You might call it
imagination but that's how it seemed.'
'We went to the Queen's to see the film Henry V with the school. It
must have been some time near the end of the war, I think. That's the
one with Laurence Olivier. I thought it was a really great film and so
did most of my friends.'
'The Queen's was OK. It reminded me a bit of the Theatre Royal
inside, older than most of the other flicks in town but it never really
looked like it.'
'I remember standing in a
queue outside the Queen's one Saturday afternoon to see Jailhouse Rock
with Elvis. It began to rain but they couldn't let us in because the
cinema was already full. I got soaked.'
'When I knew I was coming to talk to you, I had a think about the
different cinemas in the town and made a sort of list. I reckoned the
Queen's was my favourite because it seemed so very nice inside. It was
right in the centre of town and so was very accessible. I used to like
to go up town to the cinema because it seemed more special than going to
one of the local places.'
'They used to call the Queen's the real pictures by me because it was
the one that most of the older people round by us had been to first. To
those older people it was the cinema which showed the best films. This
was before the bigger cinemas opened in the town.'
'I went to all the cinemas in the town but I don't think any
of them compared favourably with the Queen's. That was what my mates
thought too. We would look in the paper what was on at the Queen's first
and then the other places.'
'It was a sad day when the
Queen's closed and became a dance hall and it was even sadder when it
closed all together.'
'The Queen's was not only my favourite cinema, it was also my
favourite dance hall. It was where I went every Monday night to see some
of the best groups around in the early 60's. I saw John Mayall, Eric
Clapton, Jeff Beck and the Stones at the Queen's.'
'There are a few places that don't exist anymore that I often think
about and the Queen's is one of them. In fact, whenever I go into
Queen's Square it's the Queen's cinema and dance hall that I usually
think about. It was one of the most important places in my youth and a
fair number of my friends as well. I think it's the one old cinema that
I miss most.'
'It was in Horseley Fields, but to try and determine exactly where
would be very difficult, especially with all the rebuilding and so on. I
think one place that you could use as a reference point is the old St.
James Square where the Walsall buses used to go from. If remember
rightly the Globe was just around the comer from the bus stops. It was
quite a nice little building. I went quite a few times in the thirties
and I think I went when it was called the Carlton as well. I can never
remember being in a large audience there, not like the town centre
places. It was because of where it was I suppose. You didn't get many
people travelling over to that part of the town unless you lived around
there. When I went to the Globe it was when we lived in Commercial Road
so it was our nearest cinema really.'
'My dad and mom both lived round Horseley
Fields when they were nippers and they've both told me about the Globe.
It was a Cinema which I'd never heard of, even though I must have been
alive while it was still open but I was brought up on Low Hill so there
would be no reason to go over to Horseley Fields to see a film.'
'I only knew it as the Carlton and I can
remember going to it a few times in the fifties. It was reasonable,
nothing special I think most of us thought of it as a bit of a flea pit,
but thinking about that now it was probably very unfair.'
'The Carlton was one of those cinemas that you went to if you
couldn't get in anywhere else. Although the films would have been of a
pretty poor quality in comparison to the bigger places.'
'I think it was probably the biggest flea pit in the town.
It was far worse than the Olympia or the Coliseum. I think we called it
the Tin Palace or something like that. Mind you I couldn't tell you
'Horseley Fields has always been one of the poorer areas of
the town so it's not surprising that the picture house down there was
pretty rough. If you went to the Carlton you needed to keep your coats
on because it was really cold inside the auditorium.'
'There was a man who owned the Carlton who worked ever so hard. I
can't remember his name because it was yonks ago but he almost ran a one
man show. He was just like that character in that film with Peter
Sellers where he ran the cinema on the pier. I can't remember the name
of the film either.'
'Carlton showed a lot of poor -standard films but that was probably
because all the big studio films went to the Gaumont, Odeon or the
Savoy. The Carlton was very much second or third rate.'