Walls come tumbling down at Barrow cinema
IT is now 25 years since the walls came tumbling down at a Furness picture house and almost 107 years since the first film was shown.
A demolition team was busy on the old Electric cinema, on the corner of Fell Street and Buccleuch Street in 1992.
An article in The Mail on Wednesday, August 19, noted: “It ended its life as a Winfield shoe shop and before then had been used as a community arts base.
“But it is as a cinema that many older Barrovians will remember the Electric – or the Fleapit, as many called it.
“The site will eventually be turned into a car park.”
The Electric was not noted for its cleanliness and also earned the title of the Bug House or Bug Hut.
It had been built as Barrow’s first purpose-built cinema and opened on September 8 in 1910.
The first film to be shown was Foolshead Distracted starring the French-born comic actor and director Andre Deed, who lived from 1879 to 1940.
Another of the early silent features to be shown – on November 18 in 1912 - was Gilbert M. Anderson in the Western film Broncho Billy’s Last Hold Up
The Electric was also one of the first in the country to have ‘two-seaters’ on the back row for courting couples but it wasn’t allowed to show films on Sundays until 1951.
It closed on June 20 in 1957 after the last film called The Wild North.
This featured Cyd Charisse and Stewart Granger as a French-Canadian fur trapper.