10 March 2011

New Westgate and Stoll Cinemas

New Westgate and Stoll Cinemas

Click on pics for larger versions.

Newcastle, like the rest of the country, had a wealth of cinemas in the 20th century which are now gone. Even the Warner Brothers Multiplex at Manors has been replaced. Two that have survived are less than 150 yards from each other, on opposite sides of Westgate Road and have both been through several adaptations to survive.

The Journal Tyne Theatre, as it is known now, started life as The Tyne Theatre and Opera House in 1867 but was fitted with projectors and renamed The Stoll in 1919. By 1974 it had become outdated and was closed down, but didn't remain empty for long as it was reopened as a theatre in 1977.
The photo of The Stoll showing the view up Westgate Road is from 1928, the queue to see 'The Monster Maker' is from 1945.

The O2 Academy on the corner of Westgate Road and Clayton Street is probably best known as the Gala Bingo which lay vacant for many years until it underwent renovation and opened in its current incarnation as a live music venue in 2005. But it went through many years as a cinema before its bingo hall days. Opening in 1912 as The Picture House, it would have been among the first purpose-built cinemas, and it went through many identities to suit the fashion of the day; The Westgate Road Picture House (1914-1927), The New Westgate (1927-1937), The Westgate (1937-1950) and The Gaumont Cinema (1950-1958).
The shot of The New Westgate was taken in 1927 and seems to have been before its grand opening under that name. The date of the Gala Bingo photograph is unknown but looks to be from the early '90s.

The Stoll 1928 & 1945, New Westgate 1927, Gala Bingo © Newcastle Libraries
Tyne Theatre 2010, O2 Academy 2010 © Chris Perriman

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting. The Stoll isn't very far from me at all.

    I recently found some 120 negatives taken over 60 years ago. Mostly family stuff. My grandmother used to run a general store