La Continental Cinema
Station Road and Clyde Street,
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Previous Names: Tyne Picture Theatre
In Wallsend, Tyne & Wear, the Tyne Picture Theatre was opened on 15th February 1909. It was owned, and constructed, by Wallsend builder James McHarg, who was beginning to build up a modest circuit (see, for example, the separate entry for the Royal Picture Theatre).
Designed by Newcastle based architect J. Newton Fatkin, the building was 80ft long and 34ft wide. For reasons unknown a plan for a proposed balcony was withdrawn, so the hall opened with its 650 (all tip-up, velvet-covered) seats on a single floor. There were three sections: 2d, 4d and 6d. In 1910 local architect Edward Cratney prepared plans for a stage 27ft wide and 6ft deep with a dressing room on either side. A 208-seat gallery was added as well as 32 additional seats in an alcove at the rear.
When the ‘talkies’ arrived, a British Talking Pictures (BTP) system was installed.
The Tyne Picture Theatre was renamed La Continental Cinema on 11th May 1959, and began screening ‘continental (X) Certificate films. The first programme was “Femmes de Paris” & “Girls Marked Danger”. It was not a success and was closed on 12th September 1959. The building was left to rot and was demolished in December 1964. The Anson pub was built on the site.
The area where the cinema stood has since been swallowed up by the Forum shopping centre.
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