The Grand cinema, Church Street, Frodsham opened around 1923 and continued until the 5th August 1961. It had five steps which led to a small entrance hall. to the right was the paybox and opposite was a staircase leading to a small balcoiny. On the walls leading to the balcony were posters of forthcoming attractions. There was no balcony waiting room. The cinema was built by the railway bridge and when a train passed over, vibration could be felt in the hall. Films were usually shown for three days, Mon Tues, Wed and Thurs,Fri Sat. There was no Sunday opening. Films would be screened in the evenings only, starting around five o’clock. The main feature would be shown twice, the second feature once. In the early days there were seperate performances on a Saturday, later becoming continuous. A children’s matinee was screened on a Saturday afternoon. The projectors were the popular Kalee type . In its early days stage shows were presented and there were dressing rooms provided for this. If you sat at the back of the balcony the clattering of the projectors could be faintly heard. The Grand never showed up-to-date releases, films were usually several months behind the big cinemas. The last man to manage the little, but atmospheric picture house was a man who lived locally. His first name was James so he became known locally as ‘Jimmy Pictures’. From the 1940s the hall was run by Byrom Picture Houses, based in Liverpool. The Grand was Frodsham’s only cinema, now there are none. It closed as a cinema with the film ‘Carry on Regardless’. For a short period it became a bingo hall but was eventually demolished to make way for a supermarket.
DAVID A ELLIS