Gem Cinema

Washington Street,
Northampton, NN2 6NL

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Additional Info

Functions: Auto Repair Shop

Previous Names: Kingsthorpe Picture Palace, Kingsthorpe Electric Palace

Nearby Theaters

Gem, Kingsthorpe

The former Liberty Hall is located in Kingsthorpe, to the north of the town centre, at the junction of Washington Street and Lincoln Street. Pictures were shown here as early as 1898, but on a temporary basis. The 1910 Kelly’s Guide to Northampton, lists it as Liberty Hall, secretary: Patrick Flynn. Writing in the August 1975 Cinema Theatre Association Bulletin, Marcus Eavis referred to it as the Kingsthorpe Picture Palace ‘definitely in business before December 1912’. Local sources also note it as Kingsthorpe Electric Palace, with an opening date of 21st October 1912.

Around 1919 the venue was known as the Gem Cinema, advertised locally as “Little, but Good!”, with F. Haines as proprietor and W. G. Jolley the resident manager. Prices ranged from 3d to 1s with 2 weekly matinees. In 1928 the proprietor and resident manager was C. Goff but the Gem Cinema must have closed shortly after as there are no references to it operating by 1930.

For many years the former cinema has been used by nearby ice-cream manufacturer E. Gallone Ltd. for servicing their vans, it is often possible to see a number of the familiar yellow and cream vehicles parked either outside or on the ramp inside the premises.

Contributed by Paul Bland

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

NalaMahneb on November 1, 2022 at 10:01 am

Northampton Chronicle and Echo - Wednesday 17 October 1923

Cinema Fire, Early Morning Outbreak at Kingsthorpe

The Northampton Fire Brigade received a call to the Gem Cinema, Kingsthopre about 1.30 this morning, and on arrival found part of the front of the premises well ablaze.

Mr J Parberry, captain of Messrs Branch’s private fire brigade, and members of other private fire brigades were already at work.

The Northampton Brigade promptly used the first aid jet and with the use of one hydrant they soon got the fire under control.

The fire apparantly originated at the left side of the screen, where the electric light and gas meters are situated. A huge window forming one side of the entrance of the building was destroyed, considerable damage was done to the premises and to the screen, piano, seats, curtains, etc. Films were fortunately kept at the other end of the building and were unhurt.

The premises belongs to Mr A J Chown and Mr Haines is proprietor of the cinema. He lives in the premises, and fortunately was roused before the fire got serious hold. Mr F Brown and Mr G Joyce, neighbours, went to his assistance and telephoned the brigade, who under Inspector Wakeford, arrived with the new motor engine in a very few minutes.

It will, of course, be impossible for the cinema to open for a few days until the damage is repaired. Fortunately it is covered by insutrance

NalaMahneb on November 1, 2022 at 10:10 am

Northampton Chronicle and Echo - Friday 25 October 1912

(Advertisment Article)

Kingsthorpe, Electric Cinema, Liberty Hall, to-night at 8, All The Latest Picture.

Programmes changed Monday, Wedneday, and Friday.

Popular Prices.

NalaMahneb on November 1, 2022 at 10:18 am

Northampton Chronicle and Echo - Tuesday 02 March 1920

The Gem Cinema

“Old Fashioned Young Men” is the title of the film screened at the Gem Cinema, Kingsthorpe, and it attracted large audiences last night. The chief character in the play is taken by Robert Herron. The story tells of a young man brought up by an eccentric father in an out of the way part of the country. When he reaches the age of 21 his father sends him out to face the world, and here begin a series of exciting adventures which lead to an unexpected climax.

The sixth episode of the “ Lightning Raider,” a Sennett comedy, and Pathes Gazette selections are included in the programme.

NalaMahneb on November 1, 2022 at 10:21 am

Northampton Chronicle and Echo - Wednesday 08 November 1922


Mr. Henry Vivian, the Liberal candidate, addressed a meeting of women electors at the Gem Cinema, Kingsthorpe, on Tuesday afternoon.

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