3rd February 1942

Tremendous snow fall during the night. Banks 2’6” deep against the Castle door. Roads are in a terrible state. Coal-carts coming up from the station to Magdalen St. with two horses. There was some snow all day until the afternoon, when it began to thaw again.

Went to the cinema this evening, being suddenly tempted, when I ought to have been working.


Barbara Critchley said...

Would E J Rudsdale have gone to the cinema in Mersea Road (which was hit by incendiaries in 1944) or to the Gaumont in Crouch Street, which is currently under threat of demolition?

E J Rudsdale said...

Hello Barbara, Thanks for your query. E J Rudsdale mostly visited the Crouch Street cinema, which is now threatened with demolition. He usually refers to it as the Regal in his journals. He also went to the Hippodrome in the High Street to see films.
It is a great shame about the threat to the Crouch Street cinema. I used to enjoy seeing films there because it still felt like a proper old cinema with its balcony seats. I expect many other people have happy memories of visiting it too. CP

Jane said...

Whereabouts was the Cinema in Mersea Road? Thanks, Jane

E J Rudsdale said...

Hi Jane - thanks for your query.
The Vaudeville Electric Theatre (later known as the Empire Cinema) in Mersea Road opened in 1911 and was demolished in 1971. There is a fascinating film in the East Anglian Film Archive of children visiting the cinema in 1914 - possibly EJR was among them! See: http://www.eafa.org.uk/catalogue/539
It looks to have been quite a substantial building but I don't know the exact location. I've just found that there is a history of Colchester's cinemas by Bernard Polley, including maps in Essex Record Office (ERO T/P 805/1). Do let me know if you find out more. If anyone has further details, do get in touch. Thanks CP

Jane said...

Thanks for that. Will check that out!