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Report - Avenue Picture House - Coxhoe, Durham - Oct 2010

Discussion in 'Theatres and Cinemas' started by mrex, Oct 24, 2010.

  1. mrex

    mrex 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

    Sep 30, 2010
    Likes Received:
    I don't think this has been covered before, so here goes!

    Work commenced on the Avenue cinema 18th June 1929 and opened 3rd February 1930.

    It was owned by the Iseton family (Thomas & Frederick) who also owned the Gem cinema at the bottom of Coxhoe (now the Gem Cafe).

    The cinama had 300 seats and a proscenium width of 19ft.

    It was 3d (1½p) to sit on the form right at the front, upstairs in the balcony seats would cost 1s-0d (5p).

    The cinemas were always packed and you had to be sure to be at the front of the queue to be able to get on the form. Films shown were often ‘Hop-along Cassidy’ and ‘Roy Rogers’, with T‘Abbott and Costello’, Laurel and Hardy’ and ‘The Three Stooges’. The Avenue was the posh cinema. The queues would stretch right back to the police station – now the dental surgery.

    I heard in later years the cinema was lived in by a strange fellow. He was arrested for selling drugs, and hanged himself in the building.

    Was a little bit of a disapointment, as lots of the original features have been stripped :(

    Currently plans are to demolish the property, and build 5 houses on the plot.

    Picture of the cinema enterance 1958 (coronation year).

    Picture of the cinema current day.

    Main Stage.

    Original decor to the right of the stage.

    Some of the original decor.

    A Peacock butterfly hibernating under the stage

    Some sockets under the stage, there was also remains of an old piano.

    The balcony.

    Stairs to the balcony.

    Just to the left of the stairs was some original artwork.

    Projector holes balcony side (notice all of the pyrex flasks.. For making Drugs?)
    also some old grafitti 'The who' and 'Def Jam'
    oh yeah.. and tons of pidgeon sh*t.

    The projector room, stripped unfortunately.

    View from the projector room window.

    Down to the cellar..
    The boiler.. looks kinda sad!

    Original knife switches, and taps for the gas mantle lights.

    Part of the old electrics cabinet

    Gas mantle light at one of the fire exits.

    Thanks for looking

    Mr Ex

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