Thursday, 15 October 2015

Another story from Tony Goulding ............ Cinema programme August 1981

To create a context for what follows and possibly stimulate a few memories of the era here is a summary of the screenings scheduled for the month.

Along with the perennial school-holiday fare of Disney cartoons and other family-oriented films two blockbusters, "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and "Superman II" were being shown.

Also on the agenda were these two perhaps less memorable offerings: - "Clash of the Titans" and “Hawk the Slayer." 

All films would have carried one of these classifications as set out in this notice in the programme.
The above recent find not only supplies a later name "The Shalimar" for the "Essoldo" Chorlton-cum-Hardy's last remaining cinema but also provides, by virtue of the advertisements it carries, a fascinating glimpse into the commercial life of the area at that time.

The back page has this interesting item;

"Johns Cycles" were still, in 1981, trading from the little shop on High Lane.

There had been a cycle shop at this location since at least the early 1960's when I used to pass it every day on my way to school.

The shop itself stood out as bit of an oddity being as it was so isolated from the main trading areas : the only other business with premises on High Lane I recall was the motor coach firm "York Motors" who operated from offices and a garage on the corner of York Road

On the inside of the back page, these two separate ads appear:-  
Two businesses occupying the same address - 66, Beech Road, whilst elsewhere the programme also carried this listing

"The Green House" located on the corner of Stockton Road.

The building which was home to all three is now shared between "Loop" [now closed] and "Thai Spice" and unfortunately the upper floor of what was once possibly quite a grand building is now virtually derelict.

Incidentally just a little further along Stockton Road was a large Builders merchant which remained there till well into the 1990’s.

To complete the picture of that end of Beech Road there was the "Box Factory" adjoining Acres Road.

The inside front page featured this advertisement for "Shaun's Garden Centre on Wilbraham Road.

Of particular interest is the inclusion of the guide to the location of "Shaun's" place of business.

From this we can deduce that enough people still had their shoes repaired to make the use of "Rushton's" as a landmark worthwhile. Indeed there was still a shoe repairer in Chorlton at the tail-end of the 1980's.

Shortly after my return to Manchester in June 1989 I used one in the row of shops which stood opposite were the Metro entrance is now.

In closing the impression given by both the document and the standard of the films being shown (both "Raiders of the Lost Ark " and "Clash of the Titans" were new releases ) is that this cinema was experiencing  a " last hurrah" prior to entering into a terminal decline later in the decade.

© Tony Goulding

Pictures; from the Shalimer Cinema Programme, 1981, from the collection of Tony Goulding

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