Essoldo Shildon

Station Street,
Shildon, DL4

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Essoldo Circuit (Contol) Ltd.

Previous Names: Picture House

Nearby Theaters

the Mechanics Institute

The Mechanics Institute was built in 1825. It was converted into the Picture House which opened in 1915. It was locally known as the ‘People’s Cinema’.

Taken over by the Newcastle based Essoldo cinemas circuit in 1947, it was closed in 1969, and has since been demolished.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 19 comments)

Moiraallsopp on December 27, 2017 at 4:05 pm

I was born and raised at the Essoldo, my grandfather was the manager Mr C Watson. My sister and I still love to remember the steam trains passing as we played at being usherettes and shining the torch to show patrons to their seats in the dark. The twins who always sat in the back stalls, shouting “they’re behind you” at the Cowboys and Indians movies. The front rows of boisterous lads who every week got thrown out by my grandfather, and then called us the ‘ flea pit kids’ and duly roughed me up for getting thrown out. I helped to sell the Kia ora orange drinks, Hoggetts crisps, Fry chocolate cream. My mother sold the tickets, my father was part time projectionist and woe betide if the film snapped. The lights went on, the boo’s and stamping of feet was deafening until the film was joined,lights went down and everyone cheered. Glorious days, my childhood.

terry on December 28, 2017 at 7:56 am

I remember you all and the Essoldo with great affection, Moira.

I saw some of the greatest films there including ‘Sink the Bismarck’, ‘The Ten Commandments’, ‘Cleopatra’, ‘South Pacific’ and scores of others. It is sad to see the empty spot now and hard to imagine the escapism we enjoyed.

I hope that you are keeping well.

Moiraallsopp on December 29, 2017 at 10:36 am

Yes us grandchildren are well thanks. Trying to place you, can you give a surname to jog my memory?

terry on December 29, 2017 at 4:39 pm

Hi again, Moira. I am Terry Charnock and I remember you at King James School. My dad at one time was Chief Projectionist at Shildon Hippodrome and I went into the business myself in the early 1970’s and managed, among others, the former Newcastle Essoldo when it became an ABC.

Moiraallsopp on January 2, 2018 at 12:16 pm

Yes I seem to remember a Terence Charnock but no recollection of a face ,sorry. So cinema was in your family too. Very nice to hear from you and reading your fond memories.

terry on January 2, 2018 at 2:12 pm

You may recognise me on here, Moira; there are various photos – some going back to the ‘year dot’ :–

Anyway, I take this opportunity to wish you a good 2018!

terry on February 20, 2018 at 12:11 pm

See page 7 of ‘The Shildon & District Town Crier’ Issue 852 :–

terry on October 20, 2018 at 4:25 pm

Photo uploaded.

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