Grease is the word for Mail readers’ movie memories

The West End cinema.

The West End cinema.

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From the Odeon to the Forum and the Essoldo to the Empire - you loved the good old days of the picture house.

And many of you miss the days of double sweeping staircases and Deco fittings at venues from an era gone by in Hartlepool and East Durham.

The Central Hartlepool Co Operative store, Gaumont cinema on Stockton Street and the Durham Paper Mills buildings in the background feature in this aerial photograph taken in 1924.

The Central Hartlepool Co Operative store, Gaumont cinema on Stockton Street and the Durham Paper Mills buildings in the background feature in this aerial photograph taken in 1924.

We asked for readers’ memories of the cinemas we loved and lost and you responded by the dozen.

One great memory came from lots of readers who said they queued for hours to see Grease - with one person predicting it wouldn’t be repeated on TV!

Another person said his parents even went on their honeymoon to a Hartlepool picture house in the days before foreign holidays became all the rage.

Many remembered the Fairworld and Brian Hart described it as a “fab place to go”.

Can remember saying to Gary -now hubby- when we came out that we would probably never see that on telly in our lifetime!!

Barbara Smith

Linda Robson liked the Odeon while Joan Western said: “I used to go to the Forum.”

For Bob Robert, the Empire in Lynn Street was the tops while Julie Hindmarch commented: “Odeon. The best when i was young many many moons ago.”

Carol Taylor also loved the Fairworld and said: “Used to go there long time ago went to see Grease there.”

Barbara Smith was another Grease fan and said: “Can remember saying to Gary - now hubby - when we came out that we would probably never see that on telly in our lifetime!! Bought a mirror key ring. Lol.”

Fairworld Cinema, Horden, in 1976.

Fairworld Cinema, Horden, in 1976.

Val Simpkin remembered the days of the “marvellous double sweeping staircase and fabulous Deco fittings.”

Eileen Flounders said: “Used to go to the Forum on a Saturday morning but my favourite cinema was the Regal or Essoldo as it was later called.”

Alan Turner added his views and said: “The Lex was great Saturday morning was for the kids it got packed.”

He remembered watching Flash Gordon, Hopalong Cassidy, cartoons, The Three Stooges and many more.

The former ABC Forum cinema in Raby Road, which later became the Fairworld, is pictured in 1992.

The former ABC Forum cinema in Raby Road, which later became the Fairworld, is pictured in 1992.

Others to contribute were;

Les Lord Wallis: “Odeon, Essolđo, ABC, Palladium.”

Martin Wright; “A.B.C”

Malcolm Lines: “Fairworld ABC. Or Forum as it changed its name”

Pat Foster: “Northers n West end”

Keith Denholm; “Forum, no question just for the interior alone, great memories of its like we will never see again.”

John Beha; “The Palladium - 3 double bills a week whilst I was on holiday.”

Shirley Donoghue: “I think I went to the FAIRWORLD to see Grease when it first came out and really enjoyed and still do after so many years. Although I have to say it’s a shame that Hartlepool Odeon has been left to go to rack and ruin I remember enjoying going there seats comfy people enjoying not like now, people talking on their phones gushers use to be able to stop that, the loudness of the film itself I don’t go anymore I don’t enjoy. The architecture of the Odeon inside and out are rarely see nowadays because a lot has been covered up or distorted historic Hartlepool is disappearing x.”

Eric McGibbon said: “My mother used to say the kids never used the toilets at the Northern, they didn’t want to miss anything.”

Joan Tunnicliffe “The Forum, I thought it was beautiful inside”

Sylvia Liddle: “I liked the forum, and the palladium on the headland.”

Les Lord Wallis “My parents went to the Paladium for their honeymoon. No fancy foreign holidays in the early 50s”

Shirley Howe “Had my first date with Bill here aged 15 years, happy days xx.”

Jeff Siddle “Tanner rush at the Essoldo. What a memory!”

Diane Tucker “I liked the odeon.”

Les Wilson “Watched jaws at this place yrs ago!”

Paddy Mcque “Watched Greece there, nicked in from the back up the stairs lol.”