Memories of the Picture House
The Railway and the Picture House
“I remember as a young boy in the Early 1940s going to the Picture House on a Saturday to the matinee. I think at that time the cost was a three-penny piece to get in.
As we queued in the foyer and before we paid our money there was usually a commissionaire position there; usually it was Mr. James Ramsay and to a lesser extent Mr. Angus McGougan.
In the early days they both wore a brown / khaki uniform with a khaki “cheese-cut” cap. But in in later years they reverted back to their own clothes. In the early 1940s Campbeltown had many service personnel stationed at NMS Nimord and HMS Landrail (the Fleet Air Arm) based at Machrihanish so cinema going was very popular. Sometimes if a good film was being shown we had to queue outside and in the adjoining empty waiting room if it was empty. And finally, Mr Ramsay before he worked at the Picture House, was the driver of the Campbeltown / Machrihanish railway train.”
Told by Duncan MacSporran, 11th August, 2017
Moustaches and Midwifes
“My uncle Donald who was the Engineer in the Net Factory was an avid film fan and had a permanent booking at the Picture House. There was two single seats at the back of the balcony and he had the one on the left hand side, I think it was ‘F6’. He was a confirmed bachelor and liked sit on his own! The only time he didn’t take his seat was if the British Star, Jessie Matthews was appearing in a film, he couldn’t stand her! With the advent of the Second World War he became an ARP Warden and also an ATB Instructor and that put an end to his visits to the Wee Pictures. He had never been to the Rex Cinema.
My granny did catering at a lot of functions in the town and I think I’m right in saying that she provided it for the opening of the Picture House; I’m just not certain. Later that same night she went to her cousin, Bella Wilkinson’s house to act as a midwife. Bella’s daughter was delivered safely and shortly afterwards Dr. Brown arrived in his evening dress as he had been at the opening ceremony.