Author Topic: Palace Theatre  (Read 11447 times)

Johned

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 80
Palace Theatre
« on: 13:00:47, 12/12/10 »
Perhaps someone can put me straight; I went to a variety show at I think the Palace Theatre in Belgrave Gate about 1954/55.  It could have been the Floral Hall but surely that was a seedy old cinema.  The star was the larger than life Fred Emney and he introduced Miss UK who was one Violet Pretty (later Anne Heywood the Holywood star).  Also on the bill was Britain's strongest man whose name I forget.  He, I think, was a steelworker turned showbiz personality.  The final act was a tableau of Greek Gods, Godesses etc and for those days it was very risque and the artists were near nude and under orders not to move.  However, it nearly brought the house down, there was this strong man painted with some sort of suntan lotion, a magnificent specimen of humanity and some clot in the audience shouted an obscenity.  With that, the strong man deserted his post, came to the front of the auditorium and had to be restrained by Fred Emney from going down into the pit and sorting the hecker out!  Happy days!

Dennis Neal

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 64
Re: Palace Theatre
« Reply #1 on: 18:37:38, 12/12/10 »
I left Leicester early in 1954 but the only theatre I remember in Belgrave Gate was The Opera House. The billing sounds about right as  the place was very run down and seedy.
Dennis

Johned

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 80
Re: Palace Theatre
« Reply #2 on: 20:34:08, 12/12/10 »
You may be right Dennis Neal, my memory is not what it was - tempus fugit and all that!  I was stationed locally at that time for National Service and when funds were low patronized the suburban fleapit cinemas but on payday treated myself to the Savoy or Odeon but, on occasion, the theatre.  One memorable night in the winter of 1954 I queued to see Ted Heath & His Orchestra with Lita Roza, Dickie Valentine, Denis Lotis and, I think Eve Boswell at the De Montfort Hall.  The queue seemed endless and about six deep, a daunting prospect but somehow we were all admitted, Health & Safety would'nt allow it these days.  Standing at the back, sitting in the centre aisles and standing in the side aisles; a marvellous atmosphere!
To think, within such a few years the great bands had gone to be replaced with spotty youths strumming guitars, some with no musical knowledge whatsoever! 

Dennis Neal

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 64
Re: Palace Theatre
« Reply #3 on: 10:04:32, 13/12/10 »
I spent many hours sitting in the gallery (The Gods) of the Opera House as a kid. The best seats we could afford, just wooden benches in reality.
I have many happy memories of the DeMont. Met my wife there in 1949 at a dance. Poked my nose in one morning about 10 years ago and it seemed to be just the same.
Leicester itself has changed so much since I left that I no longer know my way around.
Dennis

flyer

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 211
Re: Palace Theatre
« Reply #4 on: 22:27:20, 19/12/10 »
I left Leicester early in 1954 but the only theatre I remember in Belgrave Gate was The Opera House. The billing sounds about right as  the place was very run down and seedy.
Use to go to the Palace as many times as the films some realy great shows the other two in Belgrave gate were the Floral hall and I think the Savou(spelling not right?)which up till the 50s was the class of Leicester

Dennis Neal

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 64
Re: Palace Theatre
« Reply #5 on: 10:16:21, 20/12/10 »
That was the Savoy, which along with the Odeon were the top cimemas of the day.  There was also the Picture House in the town centre but was rather tatty: from memory, it was near the Grand Hotel.
 
Dennis

Rodders

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 34
Re: Palace Theatre
« Reply #6 on: 10:53:42, 20/12/10 »
I always considered the Cameo on High St to be a seedy type cinema. 
Also was it the Knighton one which stood in Welford Road at the corner of Keble Road that was called Kinema instead of Cinema ?


Dennis Neal

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 64
Re: Palace Theatre
« Reply #7 on: 13:55:41, 20/12/10 »
Don't remember the Cameo but do recall a Kinema somewhere.
The back of the Melbourne was in Hart Road where I lived, used to go to the twopenny rush on Saturday mornings - never an empty seat, latecomers standing in the aisles - no Elf 'n Safety then. Cowboy serials, Laurel & Hardy, Bengal Lancers etc., great stuff. We used to spend the rest of the week re-enacting the parts - bodies everywhere.
Now a Mosque, I believe.
 
Dennis

Rodders

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 34
Re: Palace Theatre
« Reply #8 on: 14:57:10, 20/12/10 »
Indeed Dennis, the old Melbourne is now a Mosque, just one of many in the area.
On an aside, if you need any information or Pics of the changes to what landmarks you knew in Leicester, I will be only to happy to oblige.

Regards.
Rod.

Johned

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 80
Re: Palace Theatre
« Reply #9 on: 15:07:19, 20/12/10 »
Our local was the Ritz in South Wigston but much preferred the Magna in Wigston Magna which seemed a bit more upmarket and probably because you could get a great pint of Shippos' in The Railway in the vicinity plus a convenient fish & chip shop nearby.

Dennis Neal

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 64
Re: Palace Theatre
« Reply #10 on: 19:05:30, 20/12/10 »
Thanks for the kind offer Rod.
I have a young man in Hart Road to thank for going out on 1st Jan 2000 and taking photo's of many of the places I had mentioned on another site. Many were just the same as remembered from my childhood.
Dennis

flyer

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 211
Re: Palace Theatre
« Reply #11 on: 15:58:28, 24/12/10 »
I always considered the Cameo on High St to be a seedy type cinema. 
Also was it the Knighton one which stood in Welford Road at the corner of Keble Road that was called Kinema instead of Cinema ?
On opening around 62 it was the finest place's  in Leicester we took our children to see their first movie there ,big soft seats quite ahead of the time's

jazzaroo

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 127
Re: Palace Theatre
« Reply #12 on: 22:52:43, 08/01/11 »
my mother used to take me to the palace in the late forties/early fifties, I saw many acts there and i remember it with affection, as for the floral hall, what a scary place that was, you had to walk down a dimly lit tunnel that used to remind ne of a London undergound station to enter the cinema through a curtain, it remains the darkest cinema that it has been my experience to visit and did attract some very strange people.

jazzaroo

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 127
Re: Palace Theatre
« Reply #13 on: 19:44:04, 09/01/11 »
HI again, my local cinemas were tha aylestone, the ritz and the magna,like you i preferred the magna and i had some hilarious times there in the fifties and sixties, one such occasion was when they were showing alfred hitchcockis THE BIRDS, halfway through the film some joker released his pet jackdaw into the auditorium which as you can imagine caused a bit of panic
 perhaps it was you ?

shirley

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 25
Re: Palace Theatre
« Reply #14 on: 23:37:46, 10/01/11 »
 ;) if my memory serves me right the opera house was in silver street. A very imposing building with huge pillars supporting the front.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

To reply please join us (it's free) and help create a useful online community for the people of Leicester.  Already a member? Login here.