Trip down memory lane takes us back to Sunderland’s long-gone cinemas

This week’s nostalgia picture special is about the cinemas of Sunderland over the years.

Once upon a time, Sunderland had so many cinemas it was probably difficult to name them all!

Queues outside the Cannon to see one of the top films of the summer of 1989 - Batman, featuring Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson.

Queues outside the Cannon to see one of the top films of the summer of 1989 - Batman, featuring Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson.

In the summer of 1929, the first picture house in Sunderland to screen a talking film was The Havelock. It was, of course, The Singing Fool, starring Al Jolson.

This cinema closed in 1963, by which time it was known as The Gaumont.

Fast forward to 1999 and this was the year the ABC in Holmeside had its final screening.

How many of us remember spending our Saturday mornings in the cinema? Meeting friends, at an already decided time and place (no mobile phones then). A quick chat to catch up, then off to watch an idol on the screen.

Chipper Club members at a preview of the Walt Disney classic Snow White and Seven Dwarfs at the Odeon Film Centre, Sunderland, in December 1980.

Chipper Club members at a preview of the Walt Disney classic Snow White and Seven Dwarfs at the Odeon Film Centre, Sunderland, in December 1980.

Of course, when we were older, the cinema was the place to go on a date.

Take a look at one of our photographs published here – showing the ‘lovers’ seats’, as they were described when they were installed in the Odeon in 1975.

If any readers remember them, let us know. Email chris.cordner@jpress.co.uk