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Knottingley and Ferrybridge Memories

MEMORIES OF THE PALACE CINEMA
KNOTTINGLEY, 1940'S


MAUD HALL (nee Stones)

As a child I lived at Pickhill Garth, Aire Street, Knottingley, in a back to back house that was just over the wall from the Picture Palace and my sister Tessa and I seemed to live at the pictures.

When it was a ‘U’ rated film we could go in on our own but to see an ‘A’ rated film we had to pluck up courage and ask a ‘grown up’ to take us in with them.

It was not unusual for an adult to be accompanied by six or more children! Once inside we soon dispersed as our tickets were for the cheap, wooden seat area known as the ‘chicken run’, and so close to the screen a stiff neck was guaranteed.

So close to the action were we, we really got into the films. We cheered loudly when the cavalry came to the rescue and got so frightened by the horror films of the day we tried to hide under our coats, and also got plenty of laughs from Abbot and Costello, especially when they met Wolfman, Frankenstein and the Invisible Man, all in the same film!

Coming out of the Palace was scary after seeing a horror film, there were no street lights, lots of bats flying around and when we got home there were usually ‘Jimmy Long-legs’ flitting around the gas lamp casting shadows on the dimly lit walls, which all added to the fear and excitement.

Living near the Picture Palace when I was young gave me something I have never lost, a love of the cinema. I am still a regular film goer and enjoy ‘going to the pictures’ just as much as I did all those years ago.

Incidentally, when the Palace was being ripped apart, I managed to rescue the ‘Usherettes’ wall seat that she used to manage the proceedings from, so I also have a piece of the Palace to add to the happy childhood memories.

They were good happy innocent days despite the austerity and you were safe on the streets.

Maud Hall (nee Stones)
June 2004

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