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Family Notices





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II LEDBURY'S NEW PICTURE PALACE. I Particulars of the Building. [SPECIAL BY U.L.] Not since the Roval Hall was built has so much interest been centred in the erection of a new building as in the new Picture Palace, now rapidly approaching completion, on the site of the old Bank House premises in Homend-street. For a town of its fc ize the form of entertainment known as "pictures" was a long while in finding a permanent homo in Ledbury, and although it is now nearly two years ago since cine- matograph pictures became a permanency in the town, it is gratifying to note that interest in this form of amusement, enter- tainment and education, for the cinemato- graph artist furnishes all three, shows no sign of waning, and undoubtedly the variety of the subjects treated and the comparative cheapness to patrons is responsible for the popularity which films have gained over classes and masses alike. I THE NEW ERECTION. The Ledbury Picture Palace, which has risen out of what was formerly known as Bank House, is now nearly ready for opening and the following particulars of the building will be of interest to the crowds of patrons who are eagerly awaiting its re-opening. In the first place it has been planned to meet the requirements of the Cinematograph Act- a very important point, let me add-and patrons will enjoy a feeling of the utmost security. The pit occupies a space 32 feet deep by 47 feet wide and is 35 feet high to the apex of the roof. Five steel principal rafters carry the timbers and boarding of the roof, which is covered with Eternit slates. The pit stalls occupy 50 feet by 16 feet and the floor of this portion is stepped to permit an uninterrupted view of the pictures from each row of seats. The walls round the pit and stalls have a boarded dado 4 feet 6 ilil high, slightly stained, and varnished, and above this they are plastered and colour washed. The balcony has an area of 50 feet by 20 ,feet with stepped floor the same as to pit stalls. Fibrous plaster work of artistic design will be fixed to the framing of balcony front. There are 3 pairs of swing doors, fitted with panic bolts, giving means of access, or exit, to the pit. The entrance to the balcony is from the upper one of these in Bank Crescent, which its provided with a porch, and there is also single door out of the pit stalls, which affords a fourth exit. It will, therefore, be seen that ample means of rapidly emptying the building in case of emergency have been provided. The stage is at the Homend-street end of the pit and will be enclosed with panelled and moulded wood work below its floor, which is 4 feet above the pit. A fibrous plaster moulding, about 15 inches wide, with egg and tongue" enrichment, ornamental corners and centre shield ornament, will surmount this, and form a setting for the picture screen with its dark frame. The operating chamber is entirely outside the building, and the floor is covered with sheet iron, while asbestos sheets are fixed to the wall in front of the bioscope. The openings admitting the projection of light are fitted with an automatic shutter which can he instantaneously closed, and thus absolutely prevent any smoke or flame pene- trating the building. The public will there- fore judge that everything possible has been done to ensure safety from fire. Another important feature in buildings of this kind is ventilation, and this is obtained by the insertion of 16 inlet tubes of large size round the walls, and four of Boyle's latest pattern air pump extractors, with 27 inch heads, are fixed on the lidge, two over the pit, and two over the balcony. In addition there are four semi-circular windows in the west wall of the pit. at a height of 16 feet from the floor, each one of which has its centre light hinged at the bottom to fall inwards. Round the balcony also four windows have lights to open above the transom. The heating is derived from a sectional boiler fixed in a chamber beneath the operating room, from which pipes are carried to radiators placed along either side wall. Lavatory accommodation is provided for with fittings of the most approved pattern. The entrance from Homend-street is by a short flight of granolithic steps with wrought iron guard rails at top, to a roomy vestibule. Wrought steel collapsible gates at the street line secure this entrance. The lighting is electric, and the arrange- ments in this respect are ample in all parts. The work has been carried out in an expeditious and thorough manner by Messrs George Hill and Sons, builders, Homend- street, Ledbury, from plans prepared by and under the supervision and direction of Mr John Powell, Victoria-road, Newtown, Led- bury. OTHER PARTICULARS. I The owners of the building are a small syndicate of three local gentlemen, who pur- chased the whole block of property known as Bank House, and the lessee and manager of the new entertaiument resort is Mr L P Hoult, who for the past twelve months has been the manager of the cinema at the Royal Hall. When Mr Hoult came to Led- bury we had bad a matter of nine months' experience of pictures, and it is too well- known to need repetition that from his ad vent he did everything possible to provide picture-goers with the best pictures to be obtained and introduced many improvements which made for the further comfort of the patrons. Like the rest of us who are in business or professional life, Mr Hoult is in the game for profit, and he recognises that a dissatisfied public bring no grist to the mill, and at all times he has naturally endeavoured to satisfy his patrons. And in his preparations for the opening of the new abode of cinema in Ledbury I venture to say that be has done everything that is possible in this respect. A good, smart operator is another valuable desideratum in pictures, and in Mr A Twelvetree, who since last August has been the operator, Mr Hoult has an able lieutenant. The attendants will be as before, and in due course a capable pianist for pictures will be introduced. For some weeks past Mr Hoult has been busily engaged in booking the best films for showing at the new picture palace, and from a glance at the programmes which have been booked for some months ahead the picture- going public of the district can rest assured that some fine exclusives by the leading firms will be screened for their benefit. And if my engagements permits, I for one, intend to be present at one of the three opening performances on August Bank Holiday, when ",The Last Days of Pompeii," adapted from Lytton's novel of that name, is to be the attraction. And here's wishing the owners, manager, and everybody concerned with the new project, an uninterrupted run of success. As to the seating arrangements they will be found to be superior to anything yet before experienced in-a public hall in Led- bury. The pit seats are padded leather, and the pit stalls and balcony plush spring tip- ups, so conductive to comfdtt. The hall is capable of seating about 500 people in comfort, all with an uninterrupted view of the screen. The best seats in a cinematograph display are naturally at the rear, and in the new building this has been made certain. The space devoted to each of the various priced seats seems to have been very admirably proportioned, and certainly nothing better than the higher-priced seats can be imagined. The pit stalls are very sensibly arranged, and there is such an abundance of pit seats that there will rarely be any necessity to stand unless there is a very full house.