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Previous Names: Town Hall, Picture House
Located in the small town of Stone, Staffordshire. The Picture House operated from the Town Hall and opened prior to 1934. It is likely that, as was the case in many small town cinemas, it was opened and owned by a London company as Stone Cinema Co. Ltd. As a conversion of Stone town Hall, a projection room had to be constructed at the rear of the stalls. It protruded into a small foyer with only a single iron door separating them. Lack of height meant heads could obscure part of the picture if someone stood up. The cinema had two mercury-arc rectifiers which were located in the basement. It had a 24 feet wide proscenium and was equipped with a Kalee sound system.
The cinema reached its zenith during World War II due to the number of troops stationed in the area. It must have been very profitable as the paybox was equipped with a rare electric Automaticket machine. After the war the company had two local directors, the retired Stone Town Clerk and the owner of the local tobacconist supplies business who booked the films.
In the early-1960’s a long-time employee could remember someone coming from London to interview a prospective usherette. By the 1960’s the cinema was closed on Sunday’s and had three different shows a week. Monday for 2-days, Wednesday for 1-day, and Thursday for 3-days. Shows were once nightly with a matinee on Saturday. The projectionist was a local farmer. The building had a stage which was only used for political meetings. It had a small balcony. After James Green took over the cinema, he moved the projection box to an office at the back of the balcony. Mr. Green subsequently moved to take over the Kinema in the Woods in Lincolnshire.
The Picture House was still open in 1969, but had closed by 1980.
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