Friday 20 April 2012: The Metropole in Gateshead.
The Metropole Theatre was the largest Gateshead theatre, opening in 1896 and seating 2,500. The original door can still be seen today - its on the far left of my photo. This was one of the first buildings to have the electric light and the power was supplied direct from a gas engine. If the engine stopped, the lights went out immediately. The theatre was built on the site of Johnson's Quay. Sydney Bacon, who was the manager from its opening went on to found the Sydney Bacon chain of cinemas.
The Metropole had a marble staircase, brass handrails, and a ceiling of elaborate plasterwork. Touring companies provided most of the plays and as these declined in number the building became the Scala Cinema in 1919. A large orchestra and later a £3,000 organ played music for the silent films.
Its in use today as a pub - but the upper floors appear unused.
Another rainy day and I was tempted to stay indoors but I needed to go to the Post Office. Neil has run out of contact lenses so I had to quickly post him some to Australia, Had to figure out where to send them and how to send them. In the end I have sent them to the backpackers hostel he has just moved in to and sent them by Airsure as I can track the progress online. Would have liked to have a signed for delivery but there would be no way Neil would be available to sign for a parcel as he only uses the hostel to sleep in and is never there during the day. Cost about £9 to send the parcel. And I had to buy the contact lenses. Neil isn't cheap to keep - even when he is thousands of miles away.
Am slowly and surely getting to grips with new computer. I made the photo smaller before uploading and it worked fine tonight. What a relief.