Bellshill cinemas led the way for film in Lanarkshire

The former Alhambra cinema in Bellshill led the way in Lanarkshire for the 1920s film phenomenon known as ‘the talkies’, when it was the first local cinema to screen ‘The Jazz Singer’ in 1929.

The George, also in Bellshill, was the first in Lanarkshire to show films in the wide-screen Cinemascope format.

A new exhibition on local cinemas tells of these and other local stories is open at the Summerlee Museum of Industrial Life in Coatbridge.

Titled ‘Summerlee presents . . . Cinerama!’, the exhibition explores Lanarkshire’s place in cinema history through images, artefacts and exhibition tours.

Extensive use is also made of North Lanarkshire Council’s nationally significant archive of cinema equipment to chart the development of the film industry.

Curator Jenny Noble said: “The exhibition will allow visitors to see and understand the massive impact the moving image had on 20th century popular culture and how Lanarkshire embraced the new medium with gusto”.

The free exhibition runs from 10am-5pm each day until January 8 and will include a series of tours, weekend workshops and activities.

Thanks to CS Films Ltd free matinee screenings of the Lanarkshire-filmed classic ‘Gregory’s Girl’ will take place on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Places are limited and must be booked in advance on 01236 638460.

Full story in September 8 of Times & Speaker