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Pavilion Picture Palace, Swallownest


Guest Old Canny Street Kid

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Guest Old Canny Street Kid

I would love to hear of any memories members may have of the Pavilion Cinema at Swallownest. It opened on December 24th 1913, and closed in the late 1950s or early 1960s (anyone know exactly when?).

The manager for about 20 years until shortly before it closed as a cinema was Allan Lax, a well-known figure in the Swallownest and Aston areas (he was also chairman and secretary of Aston Hall Cricket Club for some years), and Allan's wife, Bessie, worked at the cinema. Nellie Booker, who also worked as the Pavilion, did various jobs, even that of projectionist, during her 20 years there from 1938.

I am told that the Pavilion was sometimes known as the Ranch House by many patrons because of the high number of westerns shown there, especially Roy Rogers films!

Sadly, I don't think the Pavilion advertised in any local newspapers, so it would be impossible to compile a list of films over the years, and no records now seem to be available. Indeed, I cannot find a picture of it as it was in its cinema heyday, although, of course, the building still exists.

I believe the Steeples family owned the Pavilion for many years, and certainly they were the owners at the time the cinema closed.

Anybody able to add to my knowledge of its history?

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Guest Old Canny Street Kid

I would love to hear of any memories members may have of the Pavilion Cinema at Swallownest. It opened on December 24th 1913, and closed in the late 1950s or early 1960s (anyone know exactly when?).

The manager for about 20 years until shortly before it closed as a cinema was Allan Lax, a well-known figure in the Swallownest and Aston areas (he was also chairman and secretary of Aston Hall Cricket Club for some years), and Allan's wife, Bessie, worked at the cinema. Nellie Booker, who also worked as the Pavilion, did various jobs, even that of projectionist, during her 20 years there from 1938.

I am told that the Pavilion was sometimes known as the Ranch House by many patrons because of the high number of westerns shown there, especially Roy Rogers films!

Sadly, I don't think the Pavilion advertised in any local newspapers, so it would be impossible to compile a list of films over the years, and no records now seem to be available. Indeed, I cannot find a picture of it as it was in its cinema heyday, although, of course, the building still exists.

I believe the Steeples family owned the Pavilion for many years, and certainly they were the owners at the time the cinema closed.

Anybody able to add to my knowledge of its history?

For interest, here are pictures of the Pavilion, including one with Allan Lax in the foreground --this having been taken many years after he retired, by which time the premises had ceased to be a cinema.

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  • 2 years later...
Guest greenie

For interest, here are pictures of the Pavilion, including one with Allan Lax in the foreground --this having been taken many years after he retired, by which time the premises had ceased to be a cinema.

Hello there

We currently own the Pavilion, and have done for many years now. You were talking of films that used to show there. We have one of the origional poster adverts for the Pavilion, and whilst we have had it restored it remains very much in its origional condition. It does not have a date but there are two films that it is showing ' Follow the fleet' Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire and my favourite 'bohemium Girl' by Laurel and Hardy. Th prices listed are 4d, 6d and 9d. I hope this helps. Feel free to contact us if we can help with anything else.

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