On a visit to Keswick in April we came across this beauty: The Alhambra, 102 years old 240 seat cinema, built at a cost of £651/14s/8d in 1914. (£5/5shillings & 4d (pennies) short of 652 quid – the lot). It is run by one extraordinary man, Tom Rennie, showing a fullprogramme 7 days a week. Ours seems a mere, 47 staffed, shadow.
Paper tickets are in rolls on a long horizontal stick pulled by hand from under the counter to be torn above into ‘adult, junior, matinee’ etc. To the left (right) you buy your sweets from the same man. Then when it’s time, the same man, Tom, goes up to open the curtains to start the film… A magician, just as our chief, Alun Reece, was at the Rex in 1970s. The same humbling magic is still selling out Now! 102 years on, in a small town. We have copied the same canny programming. Magic indeed. Thank you Mr Rennie… Don’t miss.