'I remember the place as a theatre as
well as a cinema. It was a really lovely building inside, just like you
would picture a music hall. When it became a cinema, I suppose it must
have been in the thirties, it meant the town lost a really good
'The Theatre Royal is how I always remember it, never as the Clifton.
I suppose it was because I'd been brought up to love the theatre and so
to me it was a theatre rather than a cinema. Anyway, I did go to the
cinema there many times and I always felt somehow that it was wrong as a
cinema. Something was not quite right, if you know what I mean.'
'My mom had always told me that the Clifton had been a really nice
theatre once and if you took the trouble to look around it when it was
the interval, you could still see signs of what she meant.'
'It was a beautiful building that was allowed
to fall into ruin. It had all the paraphernalia of the old theatres but
it was all that little bit drab and depressed.'
'The Clifton was quite notorious in my younger days as the place you
went to see those films which your mom wouldn't like you to see. The Xy
Sexy films as we used to say. It was at the Clifton I saw some of the
worst of the X films but it was good fun.'
'If you wanted to see a film which you knew your parents would not
approve of, then the Clifton was the place to go. I saw X films there,
in fact that was where I saw my first nude woman on the screen. Pretty
'It was always a bit seedy. The general appearance of the
place and the general standard of the films went together. It was the
sort of place you might well expect to see the raincoat brigade in.'
'One of the most interesting things I remember from the
Clifton was 3D. We saw 3D for the first time at the Clifton. We all had
those card glasses, I think the lenses were red and green and you looked
through them to make the animals jump out at you or make the knife seem
as though it was coming into you and not the person on the screen. It
was novel and we thought it was pretty good fun. Mind you we all must
have looked pretty daft.'
'I always thought the Clifton was the coldest cinema in town,
especially upstairs. If you went up there you probably had to sit all
night with your coat on. Another thing was the upstairs had a number of
pillars which restricted your view.'
'I'm nearly eighty and I remember the Clifton
as a theatre and as a flicks but it was one place which got older and
never got any better. In other words, it became more and more old
looking. The walls had paint that was peeling off and there was a heck
of a lot of cracks in the wall. It was painted yellow I think and it
always looked like it needed a new coat of paint on it'
'I saw some really interesting films at the Clifton in town. It was
there that I saw many of the early Elvis films, usually on their second
or third run in town. I saw some of the original X rated sex films which
now I think about it were pretty tame stuff but at the time they seemed
very exciting. Remember I was in my teens then so the chance to see some
naked flesh was really something to get excited about.'
'I went to see those awful X films at the Clifton in town. It was
either there or the Olympia. It was really little more than a flea pit
and I'm sure my mother would have had a heart attack if she knew I was
'I remember when they were building the Savoy
and we used to go to the Clifton and watch the men building across the
road. We were told it was going to be a new and really big cinema but it
never had the same appeal to me that the Clifton had. I reckon that was
because the Clifton had been the old Theatre Royal and was what we
considered a real theatre or cinema.'
'I don't really think the Clifton was helped by where it was. That
part of the town soon started to fall into rack and ruin. The area
around St. George's Parade was not the place to go to if you were
respectable and the Savoy across the road couldn't really help the
Clifton could it?'
'Whenever I think of the Clifton I think of those places
around it. There was Le Brasserie I think it was called where you got
things that you didn't tell your mom about and there was that cycle shop
on the corner, and of course there was St. Georges Parade and Pipers Row
just around the comer. They were the sort of places a respectable person
didn't go to.'
'I saw the last film at the Clifton. I went on
purpose because I was a great fan of the Clifton and felt really upset
when it closed. I think the last film was Curse of the Fly. It ended and
I think the few of us in the audience just got up and walked out. It was
a great shame. I don't suppose many other people in the town were very
'I think I must've been at the last picture show at the
Clifton. I can't remember the film but I do remember being told by a
mate soon afterwards that it had closed and we had been to see the last
film there. I don't think there could have been anything special
otherwise I would have remembered it surely.'
'The Dunstall was the cinema I remember best because I lived nearby
and so I went there very often, especially to the Saturday morning
matinees. It was a really nice friendly place and most of the people who
went there were from the same area so you got to know everybody,
including the staff at the cinema.'
'Saturday mornings at the Dunstall were really
great. It was like one big club. It wasn't just a film show. Children
took their pets along, there was an Uncle type figure who appeared on
the stage and invited some of the children up. You even got a birthday
card when it was your birthday.'
'We'd always go into the sweet shop by the Dunstall. It was called
Smalley's and we'd get our sweets from there before the film.'
'It was one of those cinemas which a lot of people have forgotten
about. It was OK, in fact it was better than OK and at no time was it
one of those flea pits, like so many of the older cinemas in town.'
'The Dunstall used to get really full, especially in the war. It
remained like that until well into the fifties when it went down the
same slippery slide as all the other cinemas. It deserved better.'
'I never considered it as the Odeon, it
was always the Dunstall. I reckon it was the name which kept it popular
in the locality. I would imagine virtually everybody who lived around
the racecourse must have gone to the Dunstall at some time.'
'I didn't live anywhere near the Dunstall but I went there
quite often as a kid. It was mainly because we played so many football
matches at the racecourse that I probably saw what was on and would go
to the flicks after the games with some of my mates.'
'It was at the Dunstall that I saw Rock Around The Clock
and I remember all the trouble caused by the teddy boys in the audience.
Still, looking back now it was a great time to be young.'
'It was called the Odeon wasn't it? I went there quite a few
times in the fifties. It was really nice inside. It was more like one of
the bigger and posher cinemas than a local flea pit It was not a flea
pit at all. I reckon the inside of the Odeon Dunstall was on a par with
any of the town cinemas and much better than most.'
'It was really sad when the Dunstall closed because once again it
was like part of your past being torn away, although you can't stand in
the way of progress. Perhaps building a dual carriageway is not