The nostalgic sights and sounds of a ‘night at the flicks’ complete with usherettes made a popular return to Chester recently at a packed out charity event at Upton Village Hall.
Organised by cinema enthusiasts Peter Davies, David A Ellis and Roger Shone from website chestercinemas.co.uk, the evening celebrated Chester’s long lost picture palaces with an exhibition of memorabilia, photographs and newsreel footage as well as showing a main feature film, the Hollywood classic Some Like It Hot starring Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis.
A donation from each ticket sold for the event was made to The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Appeal.
Speaking about the success of the event one of its organisers, former Chester Regal ABC and Odeon projectionist Peter Davies said: “This was our first large scale event and we were delighted with the response from the public who braved freezing temperatures of something like -3 degrees to come and enjoy this trip down memory lane.
“The biggest round of applause wasn’t for the feature film but for our Ice Cream girls Julie Davies and Alice Witter who appeared at the interval with original cinema trays brimming with assorted ice creams.”
Recreating the original format which was traditionally used in picture houses throughout the UK, the main feature Some Like It Hot was preceded by vintage trailers, a presentation on Chester’s much missed picture palaces and a short newsreel which was filmed when the zoo first opened.
Peter added: “It was a unique opportunity to screen a comedy masterpiece with a large audience which created the atmosphere that made the evening such a success.
“Afterwards, many stayed to chat and say how much they had enjoyed the experience of watching a movie presented in the traditional way of how cinemas used to put on the programmes, and requested that we continued with the shows in the same format.
“The amount of voluntary help that we received to stage the event was amazing, and very much appreciated.
“We were also grateful to Floods Properties of Queensferry who sponsored the prizes for the raffle, with the proceeds also being donated to The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation.
“We’re looking foward to organising the next one now and we hope it will just as popular.”
A wealth of information, photos and memories of Chester’s long lost cinemas can be found at www.chestercinemas.co.uk .