King's Hall Picture Theatre|
White Abbey Road,
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The attractive façade was topped by an ornate semi-circular piece flanked by two square and equally ornate towers each supporting a dome and flagpole and all floodlit at night. Although purpose-designed as a cinema it still tended to look more like a chapel than a picture theatre from the outside.
The local newspaper reported . . .
"The ornamental façade at once arrests the attention of the passers-by. Illuminated at night by massive arc lamps, the effect is still more striking."
There was a fully equipped small stage and dressing room for it was planned from the start to cater for both films and live variety acts. The projection room was at first floor level along with offices.
The King's Hall had a regular staff of eight from the manager and projectionist to six smartly uniformed staff including two burly doormen in liveried outfit and peaked cap.
Grand Opening Programme of Pictures and Varieties
The opening programme comprised . . .
"The Pirates of 1920" - 1911 UK B/W Silent 15mins.
Whilst appearing on the stage . . .
Two First Class Acts
The popularity of the opening night at the King's Hall was such that "the size of the crowds required two policemen to regulate the traffic". The film and variety continued twice nightly at 7.00 and 9.00pm with matinées on Saturdays at 2.30pm.
Twice Nightly at 7 and 9pm
The crowds flocked to see this dramatic spectacle which was also to be seen at many other picture houses. It was this tragedy and the events of the 1914-18 war which established the newsreels which quickly became an important part of the film programme.
In the early 1920's Regent Pictures (Batley) Ltd with George Day as its managing director took control and installed Herbert Hebden at manager. By 1926 George Day of Batley was listed as the new proprietor with Charles William Clow (1889-1971) formerly manager of the Regent in Batley and now manager of the King's Hall where he was to stay until the cinema closed after which Clow moved off to Grimsby where he became a councillor and manager of the new Plaza Cinema.
"Somebody's Darling" - 1925 UK B/W Silent
With a Children's Matinée on Tuesdays after school at 4.30pm for a mere 1d and 2d admission.
Whilst on Wednesday evening only 3rd November 1926 . . .
"Love & Glory" - 1924 USA B/W Silent
and on Thursday/Friday/Saturday 4/5/6th November 1926 . . .
"The Best Bad Man" - 1925 USA B/W Silent
with a Children's matinée on Saturday at 2.30pm for only 2d and 3d admission.
The adult prices for the evening performances were 3d, 4d, 5d and 6d.
Later in 1928 under George Day's ownership with Charlie Clow as manager tried a similar pattern of programme. Children's matinées on Tuesday and Saturdays were only 1d admission and no tax. For example on Monday/Tuesday 22/23rd October 1928 . . .
"Go Get 'Em Garringer" - 1919 USA B/W Silent
Special music was provided at each performance by . . .
"Mr Walter Lockwood - Yorkshire's finest cinema pianist.
Adult prices for the evening shows were now increased to 4d Front seats, 6d Area and 8d Stalls including the new tax. A war tax had been introduced in 1916 and this was later to become known as 'Entertainment Tax'.
Talkies were never installed and the King's Hall quietly closed its doors on Tuesday 30th September 1930 and only a week after the opening of the luxurious and gigantic New Victoria Theatre/Cinema less than a mile away in the city centre.
The King's Hall building was then soon demolished for the widening of White Abbey Road.
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