Film memories

PUBLISHED: 15:55 14 February 2008 | UPDATED: 06:55 30 May 2010

Great Dunmow Museum curator Steve Schorah with a copy of the Dunmow Broadcast from 1953 featuring the Kinema programme for June  Picture:MICHAEL BOYTON

Great Dunmow Museum curator Steve Schorah with a copy of the Dunmow Broadcast from 1953 featuring the Kinema programme for June Picture:MICHAEL BOYTON

FOLLOWING the breaking news a fortnight ago that Dunmow was to have its own cinema, the Broadcast office has been inundated with letters from past users and even a past manger. Peter Baines was born in Dunmow and lived there until 1957 saw the cinema or K

FOLLOWING the breaking news a fortnight ago that Dunmow was to have its own cinema, the Broadcast office has been inundated with letters from past users and even a past manger.

Peter Baines was born in Dunmow and lived there until 1957 saw the cinema or Kinema as it was known then go through many changes.

He said: "My parents were licensees at The Angel & Harp in 1948 about this time I was a part- time cinema operator at The Kinema before taking over as chief projectionist, when Motor Cycle Racer Ken Willis terminated his employment to continue in the Motor Cycle Trade."

In 1951 Mr Baines, who now lives in Paisley, became the manager of the Kinema and was instrumental in installing 'cinemascope' at the Dunmow cinema.

With the help of his wife, he designed a method of changing the screen size from normal to wide screen and to cinemascope, resulting in a considerable saving for the owners, Mr N Floyd and Mr F Baldrey, who were also directors of Hasler's Corn & Seed Merchants on Haslers Lane.

Mr Baines said: "As manager I carried out quite a few advertising tie-ups with local traders to generate an interest in forthcoming programmes.

"One of the highlights of my career was the publicity gained for the film Made in Heaven, a story of the Dunmow 'Flitch' when several past winners of the Flitch were invited as guests to see the film, resulting in considerable press coverage."

Ray Bullock of Chelmsford Road, Dunmow, said: "The Kinema is where I met my wife. She was a local girl and I was based in Dunmow during the Second World War. I remember the place being extremely popular with everybody.

"The POW's were marched down there in the afternoon for a showing, and then every evening soldiers from the US and UK forces jostled to get a seat."

Burt Pickford, 88, who has been heavily involved with Dunmow's Historical Society revealed it was nearly 78 years since he last went to the Kinema.

He said: "I can still remember the first film I saw, it was Murder in the Red Barn, a British film melodrama starring Tod Slaughter and Eric Portman, directed by Milton Rosmer and based on the true story of the 1827 Red Barn Murder in Polstead, Suffolk.

Mr Pickford said: "We had to drive our horse and cart into Dunmow from Little Easton where I still live. We would park it and tie up the horses before going in to enjoy a film."

# DO?YOU?have pictures of the old cinema and memories? If so we would love to hear from you. E-mail us at editor@dunmow-broadcast.co.uk

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