Do you have a memory of the Royal Court Theatre that you’d like to share? Tell us below!
My personal story of the Royal Court Theatre concerns my parents rather than myself. I believe it was the place where my dad had his first job, as a pageboy. Both my parents have past away, my mother in 2012 aged 92 and my dad in 2014 aged 94. He was employed by the Worsick family that had connections with several cinemas and theatres in the Northwest and they had their booking office at the side of the Royal Court. Both my parents worked at the Royal Court my mother as usherette and eventually my dad rose to the dizzy heights of projectionist. Like many other young men he went off to fight in WW2 and when he returned he didn’t continue to work as a projectionist and went to pastures green but was always regaling us with his memories of all the old cinemas in and around town.
I worked in the projection box @ the Court in the 50s.I was the chief projectionist at the County cinema in the 60s.I have hundred of memories of cinema life during that time. The Court cinema was the first in Wigan to show films in CinemaScope and stereophonic sound the very 1st film was The Robe.20th Century Fox.then they were the 1st to show films in Vista Vision Paramount pictures White Christmas. Happy days 3 performances Matinee 2-15 1st house 6-15 & 8-30.
I saw many a film there calling at the toffee shop which was on the left hand side of the building.In about 1962 went to see Cliff Richard and the Shadows with a friend of mine and we shared his glasses because we were up in the gods and I was more short sighted than I thought!!In 1967 I played in the ballroom at the rear in my first band the Kibbos which became Rainbow Cottage I stayed with this band for 13 years with many happy memories especially of our first gig at the Court ballroom
This is where my mother an father worked, he was the projectionist and she was an usherette. My dad was born in 1919 started out when he was quite young as a bell boy whose job it was to help people out of cars and horse drawn carriages. Very few cars in those days. He worked for a company that owned or ran several picture houses in the North West, i think they were called Worsick. I think the box office was in the little alleyway at the side of the building. He worked as a projectionist at a number of Wigan’s cinemas including the County Playhouse across the street.
Around 1965 when I was 9 my friend and I went to see That Darn Cat and also the Beatles in Help. For both films there were very long queues - all down the length the Street - but that was common, especially during the school holidays. We felt very grown up out on our own, particularly watching the Beatles film. Whenever the older girls sitting nearby started screaming, we joined in, not knowing what on earth we were screaming about! I also vividly remember watching Jason and the Argonauts with an aunt when I was younger. It was a thrilling film then, and even now with all the sophisticated CGI I still enjoy the terrific "old style" special effects such as the relentless skeleton army! It was always a real treat to go to the Court Cinema, although I could seldom afford anything from the tempting sweet shop next door! It's such a shame this beautiful building was neglected and I wish you well with the renovation.
Hi first of all i am made up that this building has been saved and is being brought back to former glory, i am now 54 years of age and remember my Grandma taking me to watch films here when i was a child, built into the corner of the building was a sweet shop that was like walikng into Willie Wonkers chocolate factory this sweet shop carried on trading for some time after the Cinema closed down in the mid 70s, yesterday thursday 28th of march 2019 i was chatting in the cafe in Adsa Wigan to a friend about the Royal Court Theatre when a man said sorry to but in but he over heard us and that his name was John part of the Old Courts team he went on to invite me down to have a look around the theatre in a few weeks time pending on me sending a message to the old Courts, i am made up that i can have a look around this wonderful building Wiganers have not a clue what a Gem we have in the town. Over the years i have seen shows on tv coming from Theatres up and down the country that have the splendor of the Royal Court and thought what a shame ours is lost as i assumed at the time that the building had been gutted with the different uses its had over the years ie bingo hall night club etc to find out that the theatre is mostly intact is un real i absolutey love the giant ceiling rose and the plaster work, hope you get the funding and work can start i am really looking forward to being shown around. Regards Gary Barnes
It was the Court Cinema at the time, I must have been about 7 or 8 years old; so circa 1969; and my parents took me to see "Carry on Camping;" which had not long been released; as a special birthday treat. All was well, ( the usual "double-entendre," employed by the Carry On team, was way above my head at that age, although I could tell my father's ; to me, oddly muffled guffaws; were receiving scowls of disapproval, from my mother!) until the scene where Barbara Windsor ,has an embarrassing moment, with an ill-fitting bikini top, whilst doing her morning exercises, ...I didn't see the rest of the film as my mother escorted both my father and I from the building...just about then...with one of her "heads!!".....A much more naive and innocent age!!....Ha ha ha ha...Happy memories................
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