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The Queens Cinema in Formby, originally named 'The Picturedrome' in 1912

This drawing by Muriel Sibley conveys something of the sleepy atmosphere of a suburban cinema in the late 1950’s. This is the Queen’s, Formby, shortly before closure.

The Queens Cinema was originally named ‘The Picturedrome’ and was opened in 1912 in Three Tuns Lane on the site of the present YMCA charity shop and Village Inn.

Throughout it’s life, The Queens was one of Formby’s most popular venues, with films being changed twice a week, two ‘houses’ every evening and matinees on Saturdays.

It closed it’s doors as a cinema in 1957, briefly opened as a roller skating rink the following year and then stood empty for some considerable time before being demolished in the early 1960’s.

Joan Rimmer and Dougie Knight

Formby Past with Joan and Dougie We are pleased to introduce a special feature to our Bubble by two well known Formby faces who, almost twenty years ago contributed a series of articles to the now defunct Formby Times.

Joan Rimmer, our local Author and Historian and Dougie Knight, then our community Policeman and local Artist.

Joan and Dougie have agreed to repeat some of those articles starting today with a reminder of one of our much loved cinemas – The Queens

Here is a poem about the Queens Cinema written by Formby historian Joan Rimmer and a a drawing to compliment it by Dougie Knight

The Queens

by Joan Rimmer

A clapped out piano sets the scene, With a woman sitting near the screen, Pounding the keys for our delight, Down at the Queens on Saturday night.

The noisy film reels clatter round, Producing the pictures and the sound, Not always synchronised quite right, Down at the Queens on Saturday night.

No sleazy sex or violence, Just films to cheer not cause offence, Old Mother Riley or Pearl White, Down at the Queens on Saturday night.

George Formby strumming on his uke, Will Hay with cane and reading book, Dorothy, Bob and Bing take flight, Down at the Queens on Saturday night.

Sixpence, ninepence, one and three, Was what you paid for entrance fee, Squeaky seats and flickering lights, Down at the Queens on Saturday nights.

Sally Houghton and old May, Flashing their torches down the way, Ushering films in black and white, Down at the Queens on Saturday night.

No-one cared if the film broke down, It didn’t even bring a frown, It was quite expected that it might, Down at the Queens on Saturday night.

The slow decline in movie shows, Meant sad farewell, the Queens must close, The lights were dimmed, we said goodnight, To the dear old Queens on Saturday night.

© Copyright Joan Rimmer

Drawing by retired PC - Dougie Knight

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