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Author Topic: Gaumont/Odeon, Rochester  (Read 23656 times)

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Offline Signals99

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Re: Gaumont/Odeon, Rochester
« Reply #27 on: June 26, 2013, 22:32:36 »
Lyn L, that must have been some first date. Spartacus lasted a couple of hours  :)

Offline Lyn L

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Re: Gaumont/Odeon, Rochester
« Reply #26 on: June 26, 2013, 18:54:34 »
Had my very first date with my hubby there  :) 1962, I think the film may have been Spartacus but can't really remember now  :)
Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life tryi

Jim Bell

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Re: Gaumont/Odeon, Rochester
« Reply #25 on: June 26, 2013, 18:33:22 »
I was "Trainee Assistant Manager" at Rochester Odeon when I first joined The Rank Organisation (1968?)
Had to go on stage Saturday morning pictures to talk to the kids.
Mainly had to duck the ice cream cartons thrown at me.
Later went on to cinemas in Hackney, South Harrow, Southend-on-Sea, and New Victoria in West End (now Apollo).
A great job...before videos came on the scene.
Met lots of stars at Film Premieres, and attended Royal Premieres at Odeon Leicester Square, and Marble Arch.
Brilliant times. Great memories.

Offline Signals99

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Re: Gaumont/Odeon, Rochester
« Reply #24 on: February 18, 2013, 11:26:18 »
Thanks guys for the info on the organ, great stuff, just had a blogg from the son of someone I knew who worked there. Just love to be part of it all. Thanks a million

Offline ann

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Re: Gaumont/Odeon, Rochester
« Reply #23 on: January 16, 2013, 10:37:18 »
I used to go to the children`s Saturday morning pictures there in the 50's.  Then by the time I was a teenager in the 60's I used to go to see the groups play there, I think on Friday evenings.  I too recall Billy Fury, also Marty Wilde.  Remember my friend and I on our way home from school (Medway Tech. for Girls) trying to sneak into the cinema through a side door. I suppose we thought we might find the 'pop stars' in their dressing rooms. Anyway we were soon caught and turfed out.

Offline Rochester-bred

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Re: Gaumont/Odeon, Rochester
« Reply #22 on: January 15, 2013, 17:24:58 »
Upstairs in the ballroom, on a Saturday after the morning show was over, local groups would play and us teenagers in hot pants etc (those where the days) would dance away to the music . :)
***I am still the child within***

Fred the Needle

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Re: Gaumont/Odeon, Rochester
« Reply #21 on: January 15, 2013, 16:15:03 »
Saturday morning pictures around 1960 was 6d to get in and 6d for an ice lolly. As I only got 1/- a week pocket money that was it for the week. I seem to remember it cost 9d to go upstairs, couldn't afford it so never went. Good memories.  :)
p

I can remember doing the Saturday mornings and that was 6p but the rest of the week it was an expensive cinema costing over a shilling i remember paying 1 shilling 3 pence but it was a posh place with nice seats unlike the cheaper Empire

Spot on both of you (if my memory serves).  I think it was 1/3d to get in to the stalls for a "proper" film, not the Saturday morning stuff.  Became the Odeon after it was the Gaumont.

They also had live shows there in the days when pop groups played one song if they'd had one hit, 2 if they'd had 2 hits etc.  I saw Freddie and the Dreamers, Billy Fury and a few others there when I was about 11 or 12.

Offline Rochester-bred

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Re: Gaumont/Odeon, Rochester
« Reply #20 on: January 04, 2013, 17:26:52 »
My mum used to take lemonade bottles back to the shop to get some coppers back and she used these to get into the pictures as a youngster, Oh how I loved my saturday mornings show  :)
***I am still the child within***

Offline pr1uk

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Re: Gaumont/Odeon, Rochester
« Reply #19 on: January 04, 2013, 15:37:53 »
Saturday morning pictures around 1960 was 6d to get in and 6d for an ice lolly. As I only got 1/- a week pocket money that was it for the week. I seem to remember it cost 9d to go upstairs, couldn't afford it so never went. Good memories.  :)
p

I can remember doing the Saturday mornings and that was 6p but the rest of the week it was an expensive cinema costing over a shilling i remember paying 1 shilling 3 pence but it was a posh place with nice seats unlike the cheaper Empire
To be contented in life you must learn the difference between what you want and what you need
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Offline Barrowboy

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Re: Gaumont/Odeon, Rochester
« Reply #18 on: January 03, 2013, 11:19:17 »
Bryn, you are absolutely correct regarding the Majestic (Odeon) Compton. Perhaps the most famous organist at that cinema was "boy wonder" George Blackmore. Although classically trained - he was an organ scholar at Kings, Rochester - he learnt to play the Majestic Compton and was resident organist for many years. When Stan Port installed the ex Canterbury Odeon organ in his home nearby on Star hill, George Blackmore gave the opening concert. I enjoyed listening to many Sunday afternoon concerts at Stan`s house. Sadly, after Stan`s death the organ was sold and is now broken up.

petermilly

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Re: Gaumont/Odeon, Rochester
« Reply #17 on: January 03, 2013, 10:58:16 »
Saturday morning pictures around 1960 was 6d to get in and 6d for an ice lolly. As I only got 1/- a week pocket money that was it for the week. I seem to remember it cost 9d to go upstairs, couldn't afford it so never went. Good memories.  :)
p

Offline Rochester-bred

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Re: Gaumont/Odeon, Rochester
« Reply #16 on: January 03, 2013, 10:42:40 »
Bryn Clinch, thank you for the link, the picture took me back to a time when it was exciting to go to the pictures a real treat and also it didnt seem expensive even to the less better off people back then, unlike today. I too remember as a teen the back row was where we all wanted to sit for a little innocent smooching, waiting for the break and a drink of orange 'kiora' I think was the name, and a little tub of ice cream off the lady, I still remember the advert of S.R.B. which they used to sing "Sausage in the Roll in the Box for me " oh what great times we had.
***I am still the child within***

Offline Bryn Clinch

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Re: Gaumont/Odeon, Rochester
« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2013, 09:16:40 »
Barrowboy will correct me if I`ve got this wrong!

The organ wasn`t a `Wurlitzer`, it was a 3 manual, 11 rank `Compton`. It was in the Majestic/Gaumont from 1935 - 1961; at a church in Orpington 1961 - 1981; a Concert Hall In Middelburg 1981 - 2005; a Street and Fairground Organ in Haarlem from 2005. Hopefully it`s still there and in use.

Edit: Just found this, everything you`d want to know with interior photos of the Gaumont:-

http://www.comptonhaarlem.nl/engels/history.htm






Offline Signals99

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Re: Gaumont/Odeon, Rochester
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2013, 00:08:51 »
Hi ref/Majestic Rochester. I remember it well. I courted a young lady who was employed as an usherette for some years. As I remember, Joyce was her name. I got to know the staff reasonably well - the doorman was a Mr Taylor, lived in King St Rochester.
The managers name was Tim, a nice guy. Happy days.

Question! What happened to the mighty Werlitzer organ when it finally closed, anyone know.???????

NCR

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Re: Gaumont/Odeon, Rochester
« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2011, 22:44:46 »
Also worth recalling how the Medway Towns populace with it' s harder edged view of life nearly sank classic British film "Brief Encounter".

Referred to, by many critics, as Britain's last display of rectitude, stiff upper lipness and generally "doing the right thing" before we all sank into debauchery :). Except perhaps for the folks of Medway - long used to the kind of behaviours witnessed down the Brook on any night?. Perhaps, this was terribly quaint and certainly not relevant to a Medway audience (or any other Naval or Industrial town). A number of the audience treated it as a comedy.

Anyway "We" almost killed the film on a preview arranged whilst David Lean was shooting Great Expectations in Rochester - convincing the poor chap he had got the tone wrong and the film would bomb in a post war Britain that had already seen much loosening of moral constraints in the war. However, Arthur Rank - never shy in giving Team GB a moral lesson if he felt it was in our benefit persevered with it's release and the rest is history...

I guess a proportion of Medway residents had long given up pretending to uphold standards! :) We'd had a lot more practice over the years as a naval town.

I dedicate this Rochester Gaumonr/Odeon story to anyone who ever grew up in Medway feeling a bit out of sync with the rougher element. Call me a softie but I love the film!.  

 

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