Do you remember the old cinemas in Huntingdonshire?

The old Grand Cinema in Huntingdon. 

The old Grand Cinema in Huntingdon. - Credit: CAMBS ARCHIVES

In the first two weeks of February, 1958, The Grand Cinema, in Fountain Inn Yard, just off 111 High Street, Huntingdon, was showing The Ten Commandments.

In St Ives, the town had the Regal Cinema and in 1940, it would have had 390 seats. It was run by the Bostock Circuit, but I believe local people also helped to run the picture house.

The first cinema in Huntingdon was called The Gem and this was in Grammar School Walk, in later years the building was also a junk shop and pizza place.

The most memorable cinema for any older readers is probably The Hippodrome cinema in Huntingdon. It used to be roughly where Boots the chemist is now and the coffee shop next door. ( which at one time also used to be the Wimpy burger house).

The Hippodrome has a great little sweet shop next door to the left of the entrance near the alley way next to the Commemoration Hall. The shop, I believe, was originally called Wiles and later Candy’s sweet shop.

The Hippodrome opened in 1933 and it had 813 seats, as well as a ground breaking Western Electric sound system. The cinema was noted for its unusual sunburst window facing the street.

Sadly films were dropped in favour of bingo in 1971, but were reintroduced in 1976 before closing and finally being demolished around 1977 making way for the new shops.

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A new cinema was opened in 1984 , as it was built by developers and had some support from the council, it was let to various people over its short term

The first film shown here was Walt Disney’s Jungle Book. But the arrival of Cineworld on Tower Fields in 2000 forced the cinema to close.

Although, this, like other local cinemas, was then used as various named nightclubs, which  younger readers may well remember before the building was closed.

I am sure we all remember the buildings that have come and gone throughout Huntingdonshire, but hopefully some memories and stories can be shared with each other regarding our local cinemas.


 

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