Last Reel at the Royalty

The Royalty cinema, Gosforth,
Newcastle upon Tyne

 
 
 

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Royalty cinema, Gosforth High Street
Royalty cinema, Gosforth High Street
Royalty cinema, Gosforth High Street
 

What do think of the video and the website? Do you have information about the Royalty cinema, memories or stories as a customer? Perhaps you worked there or one of your family did? We would like to hear from you.

You can add your comment by using the mail form at the bottom of the page.

We would also like to hear from people who have original photographs or other memorabilia from the Royalty, which could be added to this site.

 

I have wonderful memories of the Royalty. Our parents would drop my sister and I off every Saturday morning, where we would watch a double bill of Woody Woodpecker and then some black and white film, generally a cowboy film - but it was the Woody Woodpecker double bill that we lived for and that bring back the fond memories.

I note a few people say that when they drive past the old peoples home, how sad it is not to see the Royalty - it was such an iconic building, and seemingly much used if all on here are anything to go by.

SUZI

 

I really wanted to see Adam and the Ants at the Royalty when I was about 7 or 8 around 1980. I did get to see Dumbo there which I believe I enjoyed although I think I would have much preferred Adam and the Ants.

LISA

 

I'm always reminiscing about the Globe and the Royalty to my kids and grandkids. Films like Zulu, Guns of Naverone later on Get Carter.

I can remember a matinee series called the purple cloud where everybody cheered and booed the screen. the lady attendants used to shout at us all and shine the torches in our faces for making too much noise. The admission I think it was 9d to get in which is about 4p nowadays.

K

 

Last time there was about 1972 to see Cool Hand Luke starring Paul Newman - we were a couple of 2 years under the age limit but we got in - all very exciting. A shame to see another landlark go...

ROY BATTY

 

This film brought back a lot of great memories for me in my childhood. I was there every Saturday afternoon queuing up for the matinee... I'll never forget the words "get yer feet doon hinny". Brilliant place and brilliant people... thanks for the brilliant film...

MICKC

 

I grew up living next door to one of the managers of the Royalty. Mr Green and his wife and their children all worked in the cinema from time to time. We only ever got in free once, after the Greens used my Nanas caravan.

In later years after I married and had my son (he will be 36 this july) we would drop him off in his carrycot at my parents and then race of to the Royalty, always, always the latest Bond film. Mr Green sadly died from liver cancer.

Happy memories of Gosforth, I now live in Chester, Cheshire, where unbelievably they closed down the Odeon cinema, so no cinema in the city!!!

EILEEN H

 

Did I see 'Breaking Glass' here? Starring Hazel O'Connor. I can't believe I went alone. I doubt there were eight people in the audience. I've been trying to recall how few films I saw here between 1966 or so and the demise of the place. It was here or the Odean on Northumberland Street for us growing up.

JONATHAN

 

i loved this place i was quite a regular.i knew mrs chapelhow well and my mam workde there for a cpl of years in the sweet kiosk.(jane stuart) i remember watching grease everyday it was on and seeing adam and the ants and bad manners.it was such a shame it closed so soon.

 

Yes, remember the Saturday Matinees. Going in at the side door. Kids sticking lollipop sticks down your back. Like Saturday Morning TV, so a serial, a documentary and a cartoon?

No idea what I say in the main theatre, but went in my teens for the last time and sat in the circle with a mate and we got chatted up by a couple of girls who scarpered before the lights came up.

JONATHAN

 

Super memories from the Royalty. I cannot remember going to the Globe at all, but I spent numerous days and nights going to the Royalty. My first recollection is queuing up at the side door on a Saturday lunchtime to watch some rubbishy B rated American movie involving some ficticious super hero in black & white.

As I got older, me and some mates from Gossie Secondary school, would conspire to go to the pictures, with only one of us paying. A plan was devised where the usherette would be distracted, thus allowing one of the lads to open the fire door to allow the rest oif us in. harmless, compared to today's society.

I also recall sneaking off to the Royalty when I really should have been at night school. Me and my best mate enrolled to do English O level at night school, but soon got sick. Instead of sitting behind a desk for two hours on a cold winter's night, we would sneak down Salters Road and spend the two hours watching some decent movie, hoping and praying that we wouldn't bump into anyone who would grass us up.

One of the most vivid memories of the Royalty were the black & white photographs which used to hang in the entrances to the upper stalls. I cannot recall all of the personalities who adorned the walls, but I distinctly remember Morecambe & Wise being on one of the photographs. Kia Ora orang juice was another favourite at 'Intermission' time.

Watched some great movies there upon release, including Towering Inferno,Butch Cassidy.. most of the Bond films and especially Summer Holiday in the early sixties. In view of the multi cinemas which now dominate the cities, i don't think we can argue about the way in which the Royalty finally closed. times move on, but innovations in technology will never erase those sort of memories from being spoke about for generations to come.

many thanks to all those people mentioned in the video for allowing me the pleasure of the 'Pictures'in my early informative years.

STEVIE D

 

The Royalty Cinema was not only a great institution but also a distinctive landmark within Gosforth. I am pleased that there is at least this film remaining to capture the sprit of the time and thoughts of staff who I never knew but must have met many times.

PJ

 

I loved the Royalty and went nearly every week in my teenage years from 1955 till 1959 when I left the area. I lived in Hawthorn Road so it was an easy walk. I also passed it by each day when working at the (new then) Gosforth library at age 16.

Gosforth was overflowing with teenagers in those days and the film of Rock around the clock shown at the nearby Globe, ushered in the cult of the teenager with a vengeance. Teddy boys were around too, known to us as "the Teds".

We met at the Royalty, in the Central Park, at the lovely chippy where Mr and Mrs Bawdon (?) sold delicious chips, and at the Toddle Inn coffee bar - very exciting. If anyone can tell me the date that Carousel was shown first at the Royalty, I would be very grateful.

JULIE

 

Thank you so much for the delightful video, which has brought back happy memories of my post war childhood. I lived across the road in Lansdowne Terrace with my grandparents, and saw many wonderful films at the Royalty. It was a full night's entertainment, with the newsreel, the cartoons and the the "Big Picture". That was before we all had a TV!

It was in the Royalty that I sat in awe and pride to see the Coronation. The manager greeted everyone, and impressed me no end with his dinner jacket and black tie. We dressed up, yes we did, then sat in the dark! But with a little bit of luck the lad who asked you out would appreciate the effort. An intermission, with the ice cream lady and her tray of goodies, and a choc ice on a stick. Fantastic! As people were taking their seats, the overture to the Thieving Magpie was played, and it never varied. To hear that now takes me back almost 60 years.

My best wishes to all.

CAROL

 

Wonderful to see this documentary. I lived on Salters Road and visited the Royalty every week. Saw some great movies there: "Capricorn One", "The Man with the Golden Gun" and my first ever 'AA' certificate: "National Lampoon's Animal House"

It's a pity the owners of the building weren't as dedicated and passionate about the place as the staff. I remember the Royalty being in disrepair way back in 1974...and it seemed forever in need a lick of paint. That aside, we may have blu-ray DVD and plasma televsions these days, but I'd swap it all to be within a five minute walk of giant cinema screen with a thousand plus seats.

PHIL

 

Hi All found this through a link from an other Geordie on Facebook. Takes me back to my childhood as i was brought up in Gosforth. So many great memories of me and my brothers going to the royalty on a saturday afternoon queue down the alley waiting to get in. Stamping our feet and cheering as the lights went down and always rushing back each week to see what happend to Batman and Robin or Flash Gordon.

Such a shame they knocked it down to replace it with flats. It was an old building you do not see nowadays. Last i heard the same had happend to Jesmond flicks. Alas im getting older and miss those days not a care in the world saw Jaws there for the first time and kissed many a young girl in the double seats in my teen years.

Remember the outrage at Adam and the Ants concert. Bob Youngs chippie after and i remember the manager kiosk lady and Mrs Oliver my brother went to school with her son. Happy Happy Memories just gald someone had the sense to record it on film. I will be passing this to my Mum as she will love to see it.

MICK

 

WOW!!! I remember so many trips on a Saturday afternoon with all the lads to see the latest film, films like Battlestar Galactica, The Black Hole, Bedknobs & Broomsticks & Star Trek the Motion Picture, during a showing of Bronco Billy I found a button located on the wall at the entrance to the Circle & was egged on to press it by the rest of the group, imagine my horror when I did & the house lights came on in the theatre in the middle of the film & we were then confronted by an irate usherette demanding to know who had pressed it & every last one of the lads grassed me up, luckily she calmed down & didn't kick me out.

I was also one of those kids along with my little sister to get the free sweets (Toffee Poppet's) when we went along to see the last ever movie shown there The Incredible Journey & was hoping to see my 11 or 12 year old self in the video but alas didn't.

It's a great shame that the place closed down & was demolished. I agree with an earlier comment by Eric when he wrote "Shame on the owners for taking the "quick buck" and selling the land for retirement homes."

GRAEME

 

How lovely to discover this, I typed in 'Royalty Gosforth' out of curiosity! I actually lived next door to the fire station, and went to the Royalty all the time. You can see my bedroom window in the pictures, I lived above the Jeffreys opticians and next to the Mogul Indian restaurant.

Fond memories include sitting in the stalls with our boyfriends , sneaking in a few Embassy Regal, and having a sneaky fag. We saw loads of films, I remember Rollerball, Lemon Popsicle (very explicit for us, although we didn't know what was going on really!!) and a few of the Adventures of a windowcleaner type films with that Robin whatsisname.

I managed to get in to see Saturday Night Fever at age 14 which I think was X rated, it remains one of my fave films! When we progressed to the 'bench' type snogging seats at the back we thought we were so grown up. I was going out with one of the butchers from Dewhurst the Butchers shop on the high street, who was probably only 17 himself , but seemed so sophisticated. We used to meet up, him wearing his Bomber jacket, star jumper and Oxford bag trousers, he had some Rider boots too,The height of fashion!

We munched on Texan bars or Cabanas bought at Ebletts, I absolutely loved the Royalty!

I left the area many years ago but was sad when the Flats replaced the old cinema, which no doubt, if still standing, woiuld be a fabulous listed building.

Thank you for the memories on these comments I've loved reading them.

STEPH

 

Remember this place so well, been wanting to see old photos so fantastic to see the video. Remember seeing matinees such as Battlestar Galactica. Have to admit that as a grubby kid going in when the place was about to be demolished... we were in awe, felt privileged in a way.

VIN

 

The Royalty holds very fond memories for me. I was brought up and lived in Gosforth, till I left home in 1988, at the age of 19. I spent many a happy a Friday night with my brother and a few friends at the Royalty, then off next door to the Gosforth chippy (which is still there now), for a bag of chips with plenty of vinegar. Whenever i travel down the high street and go past the old peoples homes that now replaces the Royalty, I often think of the old cinema, and also the old fire station that was right next door which has also gone now. My brother Reese sent me the link to this site, and I watched, with great pleasure all four of the videos, and I felt like a kid again, great to see. Shame it had to go.

GARY

 

Hi, i`ve seen your video, a good while back I found out about it from Frank Manders, historian (Newcastle City Libraries) I`ve also got a magazine piece from Making Better Movies.. I knew of John Tessa, heard his name mentioned before.. I worked at the Queens and Odeon Newcastle till closure.. been in the business for over thirty years.

NEIL

 

Glad to see this website exists; I just typed in Royalty Gosforth out of curiosity. What a fascinating glimpse into it all. I lived as a kid in Wideopen, and loads of my teenage Fridays evenings were spent in the company of Mandy, Nicky, Ali, Chris, Dawn, Steffa and Helen watching the latest release.

We always sat at the back amidst the double seats but I, alas, never semed to do much snogging. Funniest memory was one week when we got the bus down, went to (I think it was called) Eblett's Newsagents opposite - or was it Punshons?? - and bought our supply of sweets for the film. Halfway through, I remember Helen exclaiming loudly "Sh*t - I've lost me blobs!!!" She was referring (of course) to the tubes of Trebor boiled sweets of those days...but the comment was the cause of much mirth for a long time hence; she obviously hadn't thought of what she was saying before it came out.

I remember my mam sneaking me in to see Rollerball starring James Caan one week when it came out; it was a AA I think, which had a 14 year old limit on it, although I was only 12 at the time.....tsk tsk; the film had a stunt double for James Caan in, who was Courtney Hildyard, the boyfriend of Ann at the RVI with whom my mam worked at the time.

His name wasn't even on the credits..bah. Very sad to see the place close, but over the moon to discover this piece of history dedicated to it; congratulations! :-)

DAVE BISWELL

 

This brought back many memories. The Royalty was almost part of our family - my dad taking his girlfriends there in the late 1930s.

As a 7 year old I was dragged along by my big sister to see 'Hard Days Night' in the 1960s. A complete sell-out, the audience comprised almost 100% teenage girls shrieking and screaming - the soundtrack was inaudible. After several attempts by the theatre manager to quieten things down, he decided enough was enough. The film was stopped and we were all sent home! no refunds no nothing.

My friends & I were regulars at the Saturday afternoon matinee. All rubbishy American B movies and old cartoons, but we loved it. Only once I went alone (never again!), and this strange boy sat next to me. As soon as the lights went down, he commenced shouting foul language - for no reason! I was terrified the staff would think it was me, but thankfully they realised who it was. He must have been a serial offender.

Lots of visits with parents to see James Bond films, and many of the Carry Ons. Even some of my early courting was carried out there.

My last visit to the Royalty involved taking a girlfriend to see "Gone With the Wind". Must have been 1977. I *really* didn`t want to see that film, but she was set on it. I had to meet her straight from work, it was absolutely *pouring* with rain and I was starving - no time for a quick meal. Bah. Inside we found our seats and settled into what was now a cold, damp auditorium. In front of the screen there was quite a considerable stream of rainwater, pouring in from the roof. The film was so long they had an interval. At last! Food! No hot dogs on offer that day. The best I could manage was a bar of fruit and nut, and a bottle of sparkling Vimto. Rock on. Still, the girlfriend must have appreciated my efforts? Nope - she dumped me not long after that.

Its an absolute tragedy that a building such as this was allowed to have been destroyed. Shame on the owners for taking the "quick buck" and selling the land for retirement homes. More and more our towns and cities are becoming clones of one another. The Royalty was a building that really set Gosforth apart.

ERIC

 

Great to see a REAL cinema again, sad how things have changed, but cinema is a business, and must change to survive, nice to see a record of how the projector worked. Site well recommended

CARBONENDS

 

Fantastic website. Went to the Royalty almost every week as a child and loved every minute. Even went to see Bad Manners with my dad which was an eye opener for me as a ten year old, also my dad!!

JOEL

 

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