everybody has a story to tell about their life

Rivoli Cinema

Janet Chadband and Dennis Knight, 2013

Janet: Rob and I wanted to go to the Pictures one night down the Rivoli.

Barbara – Interviewer: Where was the Rivoli ?

Janet: Behind the Pea Pod Gallery, where the cottages are now. And they didn’t want to let us go for some reason. Anyway we kept on, can’t remember what the film was, and they said right you go down the second field and clear that of mangels (mangolds) then you can go Pictures. It was in the winter, pitch dark, pouring with rain and rather than back down and let them win we went out there, we slipped, we slid around, we pulled up all the mangels topped ’em and caved ’em up and we went to Pictures. Well, I slept all the time, I really didn’t want to go by then ‘cos I was really exhausted, soaking wet, late for Pictures.

Barbara – Interviewer: So was the Pictures on every night then?

Dennis: Twice in the summer, once a week in the winter. Fridays and Wednesdays.

Barbara – Interviewer: How many did it seat then?

Dennis: Depended how many you could get on a wooden bench. Proper seats at the back, wooden benches in the front, just a wooden bench and a special chair for Edgar Bate ‘cos he had one leg shorter than the other.

Barbara – Interviewer: There couldn’t have been many villages that had their own little cinema.

Janet: Ya there was Delabole had Picture House didn’t they.

Dennis: Picture House purpose built.

Janet: There used to be a stove in there (Rivoli), used to light the fire and old Rosie used to sit there didn’t he. Edgar Bate one side and Rosie the other and if there was any hanky panky or looked as if there might have been any Rosie would be there with his stick.

Dennis: I was you know mischievous and old Roseveare he got so fed up with me he said right, you sit beside me every week. Bleddy lovely, my seat was reserved and warmed. Dances, our dances were up there.

Janet: The only thing was the concrete flood wasn’t very slippery was it.

Dennis: That’s right but Charlie used to put the bleddy chalk down didn’t ‘e.

Janet: Well it didn’t work very well.

Dennis: We were up there one day, about 15 years old, started to feel your feet, you know, Carnival dance or something like that and every Monday in the summer there was dance. Mrs Brimacombe’s Band or Mrs Singer and anyway we was there one night, course the likes of Mike Scott and Jack Spry, they were all older see, they would never come near the dance hall ’til about half past ten when the Pub kicked out. Well of course they got there and there was a chap called Brew, Brew Kerslake do you remember him from up St Breward he was a wicked bugger he always had mischief. Course Charlie Lobb, he had a garage, North Cornwall Transport, well if you got garages you got car tyres and if you stand a car tyre on his end the tyre is always full of water isn’t it. Course Charlie Lobb put all this french chalk on this concrete floor to make it slip so you could dance on it. Now outside the Rivoli there was this leanto where you could get in there to shelter before they opened the doors, anyway Brew Kerslake and they all come up from the Pub, dancing away and the last goes for a bale out, course in comes Brew with a bleddy great car tyre rolled it right round the dance floor, water every bleddy where. Then it fell over on its side, splott, water everywhere. Charlie Lobb is going bleddy mad.


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