real time web analytics
Report - - Jesmond Picture House | Theatres and Cinemas |

Report - Jesmond Picture House

Hide this ad by donating or subscribing !


28DL Member
28DL Member
Todays showing: "West Jesmond Picture House" starring Tappanga & numpty.

First things first - A bit of history
The Jesmond Picture House opened on 2nd May 1921 with "At the Mercy of Tiberius". It was designed by the Newcastle based architectural firm, White & Stephenson, and Newcastle artist Gerald Dorman was responsible for the scenic effects in the auditorium.
Seating was 998 (486 stalls, 269 pit, 243 circle). It had a 26 feet wide proscenium. The Pit seating (front stalls-cheap seats!) were on a reverse rake, upwards towards the screen. The area of West Jesmond was always a middle class area and the programming at the Jesmond generally consisted of 'better class' films. Saying this though, the Jesmond was one of the last cinemas in Newcastle to convert to sound films.

With arrival of Cinemascope, a new wider proscenium was built, this was the only alteration made during its lifetime. Part time bingo use came in 1974 but it went back to full time cinema use from 1978, and with a large population of students living in the area by then, average attendances were 400 to 500 each evening.

In its later years from around 1980, it was sometimes refered to as the Jesmond Cinema. The Jesmond Picture House closed on 1st October 1993 after a new Warner multiplex opened nearby. It has stood empty and unused since then and the building is in poor condition.
(cut'n'pasted from - Thanks :thumb

The Cinema is now due to be demolished following council approval for the creation of offices, a shop & a restaurant in its place. :mad:

It was baltic and early, too early, 6.00am on a Sunday and there we were crawling into Jesmond Picture House.

We've been wanting to do this place for a while, but the site is in a busy part of Jesmond; next to a packed student pub and a Metro station, so we had taken our time.


Inside, the cinema is sadly trashed and very few of the original features still remain, all of the mouldings/architrave have been removed.

The main auditorium itself is an huge void, the ceiling has been pulled down and the is floor pretty rotten thanks to the damaged roof/pigeon doorway.

A few pics from where the stalls were



Onwards and upwards to the projection room; The star of the show.
It didn't disappoint and was worth getting up at 6am.
The projectors themselves all seem in half decent condition considering they have been left unused and uncared for since 1993; thankfully the pigeons hadn't encroached into here yet.





You'll notice in that first picture on the right of the photo is a lit up area - this was one of the cells of a reel of film we found lying around, being projected by means of a drain pipe, a spare projector lens, a 4w tesco torch, and elastic band and some gaffer tape and 1 numpty.

The numpty handmade projector was brilliant and these photos really don't do it justice (numpty has some better ones - coming soon to a forum near you)

Old film reel can

Record Player


The Mercury Arc Rectifier - the co-star of the show - is an impressive piece of equipment (and just in case some of you go, eh? see here & here



Tickets please

One of the few remaining features

A few internals



and finally a few externals





You can see a few more pics here



28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Re: Jesmond Picture House Report (Pic Heavy)

as Tappanga says it was bleedin freezin, I'm putting thermals on my Christmas list for these winter explores! As I was loading up my pickup truck at 06:00 with the engine running to warm it up, the snow was gently falling, and I remember thinking, "what the hell am I doing?"

My auditorium pics were a bit crap, so I won't even post them.

I was quite proud of my "McGyver" projector

and the image was reasonably clear

The similarly arc-lit "magic lantern" to the left hand side of the film projectors was used to portray adverts for local businesses and forthcoming attractions. They slides that still remain obviously pre-date the closure in '93

Bow Wow Wow split up in '83 (yes they reformed in '97, but Tiffany's didn't exist then)

I tried my hand at bi-colour light painting

This amplifier goes up to 20! (Spinal Tap reference for those who don't know)

There's still some nice ephemera around too


A cracking explore, if cold and early, but well worth the effort