Day out at the Curzon Cinema, Clevedon

Tuesday 10th May 2022

There was a touch of class about our visit to the Curzon Cinema. The 14 Clifton Rotarians and their partners were treated like royalty and given a tour of the fascinating building by Susannah, Hilary and Petra who introduced us to their world of film projectors, double “courting seats” and cinema organs (demonstrated by Bernie). 

 Restoration of the cinema began many years ago, rebuilding and enlarging was completed in 1922 and refurbishing has continued since then without interupting the showing of films. Work on refurbishing the balcony has commenced which, when complete, will increase the seating capacity significantly.

 The Curzon started life in 1912 as “The Picture House”.  At the Grand Opening on 20 April 1912 the audience paid 3 old pence to watch films with titles such as: “Mary’s Stratagem (a cunning plan)”, “Dall’s Girl’s”, and “My Sweetheart”.  The Censors would probably not have been troubled…..but who knows?  The proceeds were handed to the Lord Mayor’s Fund for the relief of families who lost their lives in the Titanic.

After a delightful lunch at the Teatro Lounge next door, we returned to a showing of Downton Abbey: A new era.  Maggie Smith was magnificent, the locations were spectacular and we all returned home in Seventh Heaven.

Everyone agreed that this was a truly nostalgic trip back into the 40's 50's and 60's, long before the days of 'Showcase Cinemas', when most of us were probably courting and maybe shared a sweetheart seat with our wives.

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