Pearl Picture Palace, Willington Quay.

Grand opening programme for the Pearl Cinema, Potter Street, Willington Quay in 1910.
Grand opening programme for the Pearl Cinema, Potter Street, Willington Quay in 1910.
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It is to be assumed that the souvenir tissue paper flyer with the grand opening programme for the Pearl Picture Palace in Potter Street, Willington Quay, on Monday, November 21, 1910, was scented with ‘Petal Dust’.

Apparently used by Queen Alexandra, the fragrance was advertised on all sides of the programme.

It is mentioned as a ‘flowered serviette’ on the write-up in the Wallsend News on its 50th anniversary.

Opera singer Miss Adie Kaye, from London, was engaged for the opening with the Pearl’s resident orchestra.

Edward Wilcock, then general manager, was formerly musical director at the Borough Cinema in North Shields, then known as Black’s Picture House.

Lovingly referred to as the ‘lopodrome’, the Pearl entrance fee was 2d or two jam jars for the padded front forms or 6d for the more comfortable tipping seats.

It was the first cinema opened in Wallsend and was one of the remaining two in December 1960 when it introduced ‘Housey’ sessions three times a week.

It was reported in June 1966 that the cinema had become a bingo hall, the seventh and last cinema in the area to close.

The Royal closed in 1957, Queen’s Hall became a motor showroom in 1958, The Tyne was demolished in 1959, Howdon Lyric became a supermarket in 1960 and the Gaumont closed in 1960 to become a bingo hall with the Ritz following suit in 1962.

In May 1971 a fire destroyed the former Pearl, used for storage by General Foam Products, North Shields.

If anyone has further information please ask for Discover at North Shields Customer First Centre on (0191) 643 5270 or email discover@northtyneside.gov.uk