Hadleigh Kingsway Cinema

Memories and Pictures from Alice Chafer

Alice started at the Kingsway Cinema in 1947 as an usherette, then she became an ice cream salesgirl and finally a personal assistant to Les Allen in the Office, typing, book-keeping, writing out programmes.

She remembers three managers: Mr. Forsythe was the first, then came Les Allen and finally Gus Keeling, who introduced wrestling, etc.

Mr. Lewis was Foreman: “We had to line up in front of him to make sure we looked proper.”

Cashiers were Lucy Gibbs and Pat King.
Projectionists were Alan Mowday and Charlie Barrell.

Monty Weldon was Doorman.
Mr. Coleman was Car Park Attendant.

And then there were the Usherettes: Stella Mitchell, Joyce and Edie Wing, Kitty Rawlingson, Pat Cooper, Freda Mowday, Mrs. Coleman, Joyce Kettering (Hill), Dot Matty, Cathy Robinson.

Staff remembered;    in no particular order:

Alan Mowday (Projection)
Charlie Barrell (Projection)

Mr. Coleman (Car Park Attendant)
Mr. Lewis (Foreman)
Monty Weldon (Doorman)

Joyce and Edie Wing (Usherettes)
Kitty Rawlingson (Usherette)
Stella Mitchell (Usherette)

Joyce Kettering (Hill) (Usherette)
Pat Cooper (Usherette)
Mrs. Coleman (Usherette)
Freda Mowday (Usherette)
Dot Matty (Usherette)
Cathy Robinson (Usherette)

Lucy Gibbs (Cashier)
Pat King (Cashier)

Mr. Forsythe (First Manager)
Mr. Les Allen (Manager)
Mr. Gus Keeling (next Manager – wrestling, etc.)

Upstairs at the Kingsway Cinema was a dance school led by Bob and Marion Barber.

Happy workforce building the Kingsway Cinema at their photo opportunity
Alice Chafer
The Kingsway in all its Glory
Alice Chafer
Hadleigh Kingsway Cinema Stage and Compton Organ
Alice Chafer
Hadleigh Kingsway Cinema 1935 interior
Alice Chafer
Hadleigh Kingsway Cinema Balcony
Alice Chafer
Hadleigh Kingsway Cinema, Yaxlees and Taylor Walker's The Crown pub (looking east)
Alice Chafer
Hadleigh Kingsway Cinema (looking west along the new road)
Alice Chafer
Hadleigh Kingsway Cinema Staff. (Ice cream sellers in white) (Click on magnifying glass to enlarge)
Alice Chafer
The Young Ones. Gunsmoke in Tucson. What Lola Wants. Anybody remember Randolph Turpin?
Alice Chafer
Monty (Doorman) and Miss Wing (with cigarette)
Alice Chafer

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  • I went to the Kingsway and saw the Spencer Davis Group and the Who. Keith Moon threw his drumsticks into the audience and I caught one. Still have it. Such great times there; shame all the iconic buildings are being destroyed.

    By V Drewer (24/01/2022)
  • Ah nostalgia! My mum and dad ran the pet shop (8 Kingsway Parade) and in their pre-war and wartime years had a song and dance act ‘Don and Doreen’, and Gus Keeling was their manager. When he was with the cinema mum & dad did two or three shows in the cinema, would have been in the 50s.

    By Don Thompson (28/06/2020)
  • Jack Banbury played the organ at the Kingsway until 1956.

    By Arthur Hardy (08/06/2020)
  • Is there anyway I could have a copy of the Kingsway cinema as I believe that the two little angels playing are my husband and his brother. I would gladly pay for the copy. I wish Hadleigh was like this now. Ruined by so called councillors who thought they knew best. Lovely array of shops then and you could browse away

    By Pauline Durkin (09/03/2020)
  • I was with Santoy dance school from 1957 to 1964; did many shows at the Kingsway. I would love to find some photos of dancers then.

    By Dulecia king (17/11/2019)
  • As a child I used to go to Saturday morning pictures for children. We lived and owned the Crown Cafe opposite.
    The fair would come each year on the green. The firemen used our cafe a lot as well as bus drivers.
    Later in life as a teenager I saw many live bands there including The Who etc.
    Good times.

    By Mrs Clark née Couling (24/07/2019)
  • The Who played two shows at the theatre on 25th of January 1967.

    By David Jones (06/06/2016)

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