WITH Dewsbury set to have its own cinema soon, many of us will be turning our minds back to the days when we went to the pictures every week – sometimes twice.
The other day I started recalling the names of some of the old film stars seen at local cinemas and was amazed just how many I could remember.
Ask me what I had for dinner yesterday and I couldn’t tell you but ask who starred in Love is a Many Splendid Thing and without hesitation I’d say, “William Holden and Jennifer Jones!”
Names like Rhonda Fleming, Cyd Charisse, Lana Turner, Tyrone Power, Cary Grant, Richard Widmark, Olivia de Havilland, just roll off my tongue, and these aren’t easy names to remember. Well not as easy as Colin Firth!
And who could forget Cornel Wilde, Spencer Tracey, Googie Withers, Joan Fontaine, Fred Astaire and Ida Lupino.
I could go on and on...Robert Taylor, Maureen O’Hara, Charlton Heston, Victor Mature, Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart, Glenn Ford, Charles Laughton, Joan Crawford and Barbara Stanwyck.
And I haven’t really touched on those who regularly appeared in Westerns, John Wayne, Randolph Scott, Robert Ryan, Alan Ladd, Gene Autry, Joel McCrea, James Stewart.
Or the English ones, John Mills, Alastair Sims, Alec Guinness, James Mason, Trevor Howard, Jean Simmons.
I’m sure many readers will now be getting out pens and paper to recall many more which I still remember but don’t have space for.
These film stars became an important part of our lives and we not only watched them on the silver screen, we took them home and started to dress like them, talk like them, and even wore the same hairstyles.
Going to the pictures was a way of life and the stars who performed in them brought glamour into our lives. They didn’t call them ‘tars’ for nothing.
THIS week I looked through old Reporter files to see what films were appearing at the five cinemas in Dewsbury – the Playhouse, Majestic, later to become the Rex, the Pioneers, Regal, later to become Essoldo, and Tudor.
Pictures were advertised every week and I thought readers might like to know what some of them were - perhaps they even saw them.
These films appeared in 1946 just after the war:
Another big attraction has been secured for the Pioneer Cinema all next week with Johnny Angel starring George Raft and Claire Trevor. This thriller of the sea is packed with incidents.
There will be a welcome return to Dewsbury next week of the novel and exciting picture The Wicked Lady featuring James Mason and Margaret Lockwood in the roles of two highwaymen, one genuine and one not so genuine.
There will be some fine comedy to amuse patrons in the chief attraction which will be shown all next week – Don Juan Quilligan – in which the leading parts are played by William Bendix, Joan Blondell, Burt Lancaster and Phil Silvers.
The chief attraction at the Playhouse next week is Road to Utopia starring Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour. The Pathe News will also be shown at every performance.
Charles Boyer and Loretta Young will be taking the leading roles for the first three days of next week in a fine musical, Caravan.
SOME years later in 1959 these were the films on show in Dewsbury, and some new names were cropping up.
James Stewart, Kim Novak and Jack Lemmon in Bell, Book and Candle. Also Keep it Cool featuring Paul Anka and Della Rees.
Rock Hudson and Cyd Charisse in Twilight of the Gods. Also John Saxon and Sandra Dee in Wonderful Years.
She Didn’t Say No! featuring Herlie and Niall MacGinnis. Also Guy Madison and Rhonda Fleming in Flaming Bullwhip.
Swamp Women filmed in the dangerous and reptile infested Louisinia Bayons, starring Carole Matthews and Marie Wilson. Plus, Jack Warner and Dirk Bogarde in The Blue Lamp.
Jack Hawkins and Gia Scala in The Two-headed Spy. Plus Rory Calhoun in Apache Territory.
The following week at the Pioneers – for one night only and in person – was a galaxy of disc stars, the fabulous King Brothers, the John Barry Seven and Russ Conway.
Times were certainly changing.