Chips with gravy while you queued for the cinema in Sunderland

The Cannon cinema.
The Cannon cinema.

Who remembers the days when the queues for a film were so long, you would pop over the road for a bag of chips first.

It’s not that long ago in Sunderland and we re-lived those days when we posted an appeal for memories of the Cannon cinema.

The Odeon and ABC cinemas at Holmeside.

The Odeon and ABC cinemas at Holmeside.

Around 80,000 people spotted it on social media.

Nearly 1,000 of you liked it and more than 330 left comments, while more than 400 of you shared it.

And what a great set of comments you left us, in the latest of our recent takes on the old cinemas of Wearside.

Paul Chastanet said: “My uncle (Albert Gibbons) used to have the butchers over the road, I remember popping in there for my pocket money, going next door to the Bakers Oven for chips and gravy before standing in the long queues over the road on a Saturday afternoon to watch the film of the week!

Queuing for what seemed like hours and having a mate run across to the Baker’s Oven for chips and gravy. Every time. Good times!

Tara Elliott

“I think my first film was Kindergarden Cop back in 1990......I was 10! A far cry from Dubai, where I find myself these days but fantastic memories and wouldn’t change them!”

Tara Elliott recalled: “Queuing for what seemed like hours and having a mate run across to the Baker’s Oven for chips and gravy. Every time. Good times!”

Stuart Wilson said: “Remember it really well from it being the ABC. Many happy Saturdays spent here seeing films which had an intermission lol!!

“Also, when Star Wars was released, remember having to queue all around the building at least twice (if I remember correctly that is)!

PARK LANE, SUNDERLAND APRIL 1965 OLD REF NUMBER 32-3790 Books Fashions.   Biz bar, next to lamp post, end near the cinema - owned by Notarannis. Biz bar was on the ground floor. Park Lane Club above which later became Finos.   nightclubs

PARK LANE, SUNDERLAND APRIL 1965 OLD REF NUMBER 32-3790 Books Fashions. Biz bar, next to lamp post, end near the cinema - owned by Notarannis. Biz bar was on the ground floor. Park Lane Club above which later became Finos. nightclubs

Maureen Henry reminded us of the other names that the building once had. “It was the Ritz before becoming The ABC. My mother worked there about 1950.

“She sold sweets what was known as the dog end . Also had the ice cream tray.”

Paul Forth remembered a trip to the Cannon and said: “I went with my Nana to see Memphis Belle, I won the tickets out of the Sunderland Echo actually, lovely memory, back when going to the cinema was a real treat and what a movie!!”

Ann Work had some wonderful recollections of a trip to the pictures. “I remember going to see Psycho there, and it was the first time you could only go in to see it from the start, as at that time cinemas had continuous rolling viewing.

“You could actually stay in all day if you wished, so this added to the excitement of seeing it.”

She remembers the looks on the faces of people who came out of the ‘first house’. “If you were 2nd house, people were coming out after seeing it, with horrified looks on their faces. Ooh.”

Dane Clark remembered seeing Rocky 3 as a 9 year old in there, “then shadow boxing down Homeside on me way for the bus.”

Thanks also to Ian Bittel who said he and his friends “made the Echo front page when we were at the front of the queue for Batman.”

And Lesley Mathison gave us a different memory of a trip to the movies. “Those were the days when people cheered when the film started!”

Laura Gallagher recalled: “Went to see Jurassic Park. Took a coupon from Echo and got a free toy. Best day everrrrr.”

Micky Thompson’s memory was a little more of an unfortunate one. He said: “Went to see titanic and lost 4 teeth eating peanut brittle.”

Thanks to John Davison who said: “In my day, (many years ago) it was the ABC next to Notarianis Biz Bar in Park Lane.”

Shane Hill told us his first and last experiences of the Cannon. “First ever film at the age of eleven, I watched with my mates was Mannequin. The last film I watched there was Anaconda.”

Craig Laws told us: “That’s my handy work on the canopy.”

Among those to like the post were Jean Oliver, Dale Harvey, Amanda Halley, William Stephenson, Dawn Wilkinson, Sophie Jane Gardiner and Brenda Allen. So did Dorothy Seth, Jean Libralon, Edith Rhodes, Kerry Legard, Linda Currie, and Audrey Ayre.

And we loved Helen Rennison’s memories of going to see Jaws “when mam had told him not too. I bit a hole in my purse with fear, and refused to have a bath that night coz the shark would get me.”

Vicky Collier recalled “queuing miles down the road, getting our sweets, and then they would come round with those little tubs of ice cream xxx.”

Such wonderful memories and we thank everyone who shared them.