The Golden Age Of Folkestone’s Cinemas


80 page book written by Ricky Hart about Cinemas and Cinema Organs in Folkestone PLUS the story of his own home installation.

13 in stock

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The lovely seaside town of Folkestone once boasted many halls of entertainment, including four large purpose-built cinemas. Their era began shortly before the Great War with the screening of silent moving films – a wondrous phenomenon in itself. Going from strength to strength, the age of the ‘talkies’ brought new wonders, followed by proper full-colour films, then wide-screen and stereophonic sound. However, the real “Golden Age’ was undoubtedly the two decades between 1920-1940 when film-making and ‘going to the pictures’ reached unsurpassed heights of popularity.

Added to this, was the experience of live music, commencing initially with a solitary pianist accompanying the jerky, silent pictures on the screen, through to orchestral accompaniment and eventually the unique and wondrous sound and spectacle of the theatre or cinema organ. These astounding instruments, which possessed an enormous range of tones and sound effects, were capable of creating the mood music of their day. Their accomplished players enthralled audiences, who looked forward to seeing the organ console, often slowly rising out of the orchestra pit, bathed in a golden spotlight for an enjoyable interlude.

The author, Ricky Hart, charts the story of the town’s early picture palaces and their development through to the “Cinema Supreme’ of the 1930s. His personal memories and experiences are intertwined to provide us with a unique glimpse into that era when the ‘silver screen’ portrayed such wonders and provided escapism into so many worlds. More than this, though, Ricky describes his passion for the cinema organ which led him to rescue whatever he could when these fabulous instruments were being sent for scrap or consigned to the demolition contractor’s bonfire. Through his own incredible effort and determination he built his own theatre organ which provided him and his many friends so much pleasure over the years. Here then, is that story – The Golden Age of Folkestone s Cinemas.