Saturday, 20 September 2008

19th of August 1929 - The "Talkies" Arrive In Cambridge...

The first talking film (or "talkie") in Cambridge was shown at the Central Cinema, Hobson Street, on 19/8/1929.

"... and people said 'have you seen it yet? You must go and see it' - it was really exciting. And the actors had American accents - which seemed odd, because although Cambridge was pretty cosmopolitan, we were poor and didn't get to meet Americans in our daily rounds. I didn't mind because I was young and adaptable, but some older people found it difficult. There was quite a lot of talk about having films in the future with English accents! Nowadays we hear all sorts of accents and take it as natural, but the world seemed a much bigger place back then.

"I was excited to see the film and it was lovely... and now when I see a silent clip on the telly it seems strange, but really nostalgic...

"One of my favourite [silent] film stars was Tom Mix - he was a real adventurer, a real hero. Whatever happened to Tom Mix?!"

Mrs Hinchcliffe, May, 1987

I have been collecting material on Cambridge cinemas for some years and would like to organise a book on the subject. If anybody has any Cambridge picture house memories to share - perhaps you were employed at one of the cinemas, or have some interesting or amusing anecdotes to relate as a visitor to the "flicks" up to the 1950s - please drop me a line -

Thank you!

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