I don’t know about you, but I have always loved going to the cinema. Yet shamefully in years gone by I have almost abandoned this film themed treat, for the comfort of watching movies ( whilst munching on kettle chips) all snug on the sofa at home.
As a child and teenager my memories of the Pictures, meant a trip into Clitheroe to the Civic Hall Cinema ( a long time closed now) where you would sink into red velvet covered seats and queue in the aisles for sweets and ice creams, sold by usherettes. The very same usherettes ( quite stern old ladies) would shine torches at you if you were misbehaving during the film ;). I for one was always mesmerised , as soon as the red velvet curtains swished open and the familiar Pearl and Dean music filled the theatre, I was engrossed in movie heaven. Modern film multiplexes just don’t have the same appeal. I was intrigued then, when I heard that the market town of Longridge near Preston still retains its original old cinema. A trip to this iconic building was a must! I immediately booked a matinee showing of the new Mary Poppins film for myself, my sister and my nephew and niece. 🙂
The Palace Cinema is apparently one of the oldest surviving cinemas in the North West and is tucked away between terraces on Market Place. When I told my niece and nephew we were looking for the Palace, I think they envisioned a colossal castle, not a cute little Picture House. We parked on a nearby street and followed a few families , who looked like they were heading somewhere welcoming and warm.
I had booked our tickets online and simply showed my phone to one of the attendants. However you can purchase tickets at the Palace as well. After bagging our seats ( they are the original red velvet covered ones 🙂 ) in the packed auditorium, my sister and nephew headed to the foyer to buy drinks and popcorn. I was pleasantly surprised that paper straws were provided with our cold drinks and that they are served in paper cups and recyclable cans. Tea and coffee in china cups are £1.
Before the feature started an apologetic attendant told us that the adds, trailers and National Anthem wouldn’t be played that day, as they had got lost in the cloud. This did make me chuckle. Its sweet that the National Anthem is part of the whole cinema going experience here. Soon we were all lost in the whimsical and splendiferous Mary Poppins Returns, which is well worth seeing by the way. 🙂
The Longridge Palace retains all the charm of a vintage cinema with quirky touches and modern ideas , such as mother and baby screenings, film and book club evenings and adjoining café and bar.
Palace Cinema ~ Market Pl, Longridge, Preston, PR3 3RR
We really enjoyed our trip to the Palace. I definitely hope to return, as I loved the whole cosy and nostalgic experience.
Do you have an old original cinema near you? Maybe its time to pay it a visit!