NOSTALGIA: Golden age of the silver screen in Peterborough

Looking Back
Looking Back

Film fans will have been watching with interest as two rival plans emerged for new multiplex cinemas in Peterborough.

With several twists and turns that would have done a Hollywood screenwriter proud, the plan for a cinema in Queensgate seemed to be the winner.

Princess cinema staff - 1938 ENGEMN00120111104080252

Princess cinema staff - 1938 ENGEMN00120111104080252

Perhaps it will herald a new golden age for the silver screen in the city. At the end of World War Two, Peterborough had six cinemas and they were usually packed to the rafters.

They were the Odeon in Broadway (capacity 1,600), Kinema in Broadway (900); City Cinema in Bridge Street (900), Savoy in Woodston (350), Princess in Lincoln Road (900), New England in Occupation Road (400).

The City Cinema was on the site of old M&S now home to B&M. The picture was taken in 1959.

The next photograph shows staff outside the Princess cinema. Do you know anybody?

Looking Back

Looking Back

Another is of the Embassy, which was opened as a live entertainment venue but was later converted to a cinema and was renamed twice as the ABC and Cannon before closing in the 80s.

One picture is of The Broadway Kinema and was taken in 1983, by which time it had been converted into a bingo hall.

There’s a picture of the Odeon in Broadway, still a familiar venue as the Broadway theatre although there are controversial plans to convert it into luxury flats.

Changing social habits and the video recorder hit the film industry hard, but in 1988 there was a revival thanks to the American firmNational Amusements.

Looking Back

Looking Back

Showcase cinema cost £6million and boasted 11 screens creating a new generation of city big screen fans.

At the time it was one of the largest cinemas and on April 12, 1989 it was the venue for the first royal premiere held outside London. Did you go? Please get in touch if you did.

Looking Back

Looking Back

Looking Back

Looking Back