the cinemas in Stamford

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Thread Topic: the cinemas in Stamford
Topic Originator: Joan
Post Date August 17, 2005 @ 4:34 PM
 the cinemas in Stamford
 RE: the cinemas in Stamford
 RE: the cinemas in Stamford
 Picturedrome(Doddies) gates?
 DODDIES/Gates on top step?
 DODDIES Bogey Hill "falls" for seat prank
 DODDIES smoking & all grown-up
 CINEMAS/will you take me in?
 CINEMA/can you take me in?
  the cinemas in Stamford

August 17, 2005 @ 4:34 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

There used to be two cinemas in Stamford The Central Cinema and the one we fondly called "Doddies".  The Central was a plush cinema with an upstairs with upgraded plush seats and a hushed atmosphere when you went in.

Doddies was along the street from The Central and was a bit more basic.  The floor was wooden and the seats left something to be desired.  Doddies used to have a Saturday morning showing with such things as an episode of Captain Marvel, or Hopalong Cassidy.  Maud Hall used to be at the pay desk in Doddies.  She was a large lady with large glasses.  The tickets used to come out of a brass desk a bit like magic when she pressed the button.  I think the pay desk was made of wood and had some sort of curtains inside.  Perhaps someone else can remember exactly how they were?

John Riley
August 10, 2008 @ 1:22 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

I remember the Central - queueing up from about one o'clock on Saturday waiting for the doors to open at about 1:45.  Sometimes the queue would stretch right down to Red Lion Street if it was a very popular film.  Young people might not realise that there was then only one "theatre" in the building, unlike the multi-screen establishments which are the norm these days.  I think I used to pay 1/9d in the 1960s.

I was interested to read about "Doddies", as I have a little journal which my grandmother kept in 1918 when she was courting; on three or four occasions she talks about "going to Dodmans", and I wondered what this meant.  Would this perhaps have been in the Corn Exchange building?

Clem Walden
August 10, 2008 @ 7:23 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Joan, "Doddies" was known to me & my mates as the "Bug house" remember Maud well, & also the manager "Sheriff Smith" as we would call him, "Captain Marvel" on Saturday afternoons "Shazzam" was always a treat, remember playing Captain Marvel in the old spinney near the old Fane school with a few school mates, got behind a tree & told my mates to stand in the middle of the spinny,as I was going to turn into Captain Marvel, had my mum's pinny tied around my neck, (the day before I had been down the green lane & took  some "crow scarrers" off a fence in old Wooleys farm fields)  took all the gunpowder out wrapped it up in newspaper, when I got behind the tree I placed this package at my feet & set light to it shouting "shazzam" there was one hell of a "flash" I ended up setting myself on fire, my mates started to laugh, then realised I was in real trouble, ended up down the Hospital with several minor burns, I was about eleven/twelve years old at the time, "Captain Marvel" fond schoolboy memories.

May 20, 2009 @ 1:29 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

I had a query from a lady today, The Corn Exchange (since called the Picturedrome, Doddies) may have had some gates at the entrance external to the wooden doors.   The people restoring the Corn Exchange are trying to remember how it was originally. Does anyone remember those gates?  When it was the Picturedrome, my friend thinks that once the  queue assembled  for opening time  and the time arrived for them to be "let-in", those at the front of the queue had to stand back for the gates to be opened.  This meant that the early arrivals were then overtaken by those further back, as these gates prevented  them from moving forward.  Anyone out there remember standing in the queue at that time, or remember seeing those gates?

clem walden
May 23, 2009 @ 2:24 AM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Seem to remember those gates, believe they were positioned on the top step, unfortunately cannot be exactly sure of the type of gates, but believe they were steel folding type that joined at the centre like criss cross xxx. As you stood facing the gates the left hand side would always be opened first, and people would normally queue on the right,  once the first gate was open on the left there would be a rush from the rear of the queue by those that knew the system, and many at the front of the queue would loose out, feel sure the position of these gates may still be evident, perhaps if one looks at the top of the last step the old fixings etc may still be able to be seen? Would have to say I was very young at the time and do not remember those gates being in use after 1950/3? perhaps others may have a better memory than I. Or someone out there may have a photo? Think Mike Lee may have a little more factual information about the gates as he has been involved with the Corn Exchange project for many years. and he and his team have done a great job for the overall benefit of Stamford and its populous.

Clem Walden
May 24, 2009 @ 1:15 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Seems my memory may be failing? was told there were no gates as such? just a large screen from floor to ceiling in the centre like a large window  on each side there was an entrance door left and right, the fixings are still evident so i understand. perhaps someone could confirm this?
Kate:  I had a look this p.m. and could see some fixings on the left hand side at the top step as you suggested.  

Clem Walden
May 24, 2009 @ 11:11 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Kate; Wonder if anyone out there remembers the front row seating in the late 40s early 50s at the "Picturedrome" (Doddies) it was a long platform type bench seat with a back rest that occupied the whole center area and it was not fixed to the floor. Those who came in late when the film was running had difficulty to focus as it was rather dark, people would walk to the front Row and feel for the back rest, then slide their hand along it to get into the position they wished to sit before sitting down. A childish prank myself and others would play if we managed to get into "Doddies" first was to make for the front then turn the front platform round (so it was back to front) we would then sit on the second row so we could observe those who came late feeling for the back rest then trying to sit down only to end up on the floor.
I remember one night Fred Hill "Bogey" who would always bring his dog "Lassie" to "Doddies" getting caught out by our prank and ending up on the floor, we all had a good laugh we thought it was funny. But poor old Fred went mad and Mr Smith the Manager came down and threw us all out. Childish pranks. Is anyone else guilty of turning the old platform bench seat round in "Doddies"?

Clem Walden
May 28, 2009 @ 12:41 AM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Memories of Doddies the "Bug House" as it was known by many locals back in the late 40s and 50s. Saturday nights on the back row was the place to be if you wanted to observe all the smoke swirling up through the light beam of the powerful film projector. Everyone seemed to be smoking in those days they even had ash trays on the back of the seats. Those that had girl friends or were out with someone elses girl friend all made for the back row. The swirling smoke was not of much interest to them. As you entered Maud would be on cash desk and the"Sheriff" Mr Smith the Manager would lurking about or walk up and down the isle that were on each side with his big torch at the ready, making sure we were all behaving ourselves. When the film ended and the lights came on the place was full of smoke I spent many healthy Saturday nights at the "Bug House" those that did not smoke got their fair share of unwanted inhalation. Wonder if anyone else remembers all the smoke, or watching John Wayne in the film "Stage Coach" or the great "Spencer Tracy" in "Bad Day At Black Rock" the old Bug House "Doddies" had some great films which would be categorised "U" "A" or "X" if it was a "U" you could go in on your own, "A" you needed an adult with you, "X" was for adults only? But with a long pair of trousers on and a fag in your mouth you stood a  chance of getting in for all categories unless Maud or the Sheriff knew who you were. Great days, Great films, fond memories of many Saturday nights spent at the old "Bug House"

June 23, 2009 @ 3:33 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hi Clem, did you ever have to stand outside the Central or Doddies asking an adult to take you into an 'A' film? I remember standing outside with Eluned (Baker also of Worcester Crescent) many times, trying to get into see a particular film...sometimes a kind soul would oblige.
How old did you have to be to get into an 'A' film, was it 14 or 16?, I know it was 18 for an 'X'

clem walden
August 9, 2009 @ 12:27 AM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hi Chris, yes I well remember standing outside asking someone to take me in and very often "Mrs Stubs" took me in, you may recall her husband who would deliver wood and also be round the town giving rides on his pony and trap, I am not sure about the age limits but think it was 16 for an "A" film and 18 for an X anyway from the age of about 13 I always managed to get in somehow? must be honest the X films in those days were little different to the "Us" or "As" perhaps they had a bit more violence, or Jane Russell may have had a low cut dress on? I do remember going to see one X film called "The Snake Pit" would have to say I never understood why it was an X film then, and having recently watched this old black & white film on TV I still do not understand why it was ever rated X. How things have changed some of the films on the TV today would never have been shown at all, one could say the same about some adverts? still I suppose in this world today its good that individuals have no need to stand outside the cinamas asking the question you & I once asked: "Can you take me In MR or Mrs" whatever it was at the time regarding their gender

November 22, 2010 @ 1:21 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hi-Betty, hope all is well with you. Doddy's? was is not known as the "Bug-House" it was to me and maybe your brother Gerald and many others that are that little bit older? Anyway Doddy's or the Bug-House did have some great films back then. Those that had good stories, not all this HI-TECH MODERN STUFF, that have no real film stars in them:- In those days of long ago we had James Stewart, Errol Flynn, Roy Rodgers, James Cagney, Burt Lancaster, and Doris Day "for you girls" with Carry Grant. I remember "Jean Simonds" in a film I went to see at Doddies (the bug-house) "can't remember the name of the film. But after seeing it I had fallen in love "Jean" I was only about 11 or 12 at the time I thought about her for months. and went to see the film about 3 times "Jean" was my secrete sweetheart in those days?