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Going to the Pictures in Cullercoats

It was easy to spend five evenings watching the latest films on offer.


Cullercoats people were very keen on the cinema.  I started going to the pictures when I was about 9 or 10.  My mother liked getting out of the house and took me as her companion when she frequented the local cinemas.  Whitley Bay was a small town but could boast of 4 cinemas: the Empire Gaumont, the Coliseum, the Playhouse, the Picture House.  As three of them changed their programme mid-week it was easy to spend five evenings watching the latest films on offer.  American films were very popular as they were slick, quick and full of ‘pep’.  English films then were considered to be dull.  Only when I was older did I realise what gems those early English film were.  The diction of the players was excellent – James Mason, Stewart Granger, Margaret Lockwood, Patricia Roc etc, and the story lines so interesting.

I can recall my mother taking me to the Coliseum to see The Blue Light, a German film with Leni Riefenstahl (she became Hitler’s chief photographer) and yet another famous German film M about a child murderer of Dusseldorf (with Peter Lorre).  I still remember the scene when the miners of the Ruhr came off their night shift and went hunting for the killer.

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