Will Onda ran the Longridge Palace Cinema in 1913-14!

The Longridge Palace - was once part of Will Onda's enterprises.

The Longridge Palace Cinema near Preston is now one of the oldest cinemas in the North West. This amazing little cinema is a source of great pride in Lancashire but also shrouded in some mystery as to its origins and past ownership. Imagine then how surprised I was when I discovered it was connected to Will Onda. I was browsing through a a copy of the Kinematograph Yearbook from 1913-1914 and the Longridge cinema was listed as being owned by Will Onda’s Prize Pictures! This is fantastic news as it now means there is a building still standing where Onda’s films were shown. The yearbook lists the capacity of the Palace as originally being 800, hard to imagine now.

I am hoping that more copies of this directory exist and we can track how long Onda was connected with the Palace. A trip to this cinema is long overdue and I now have another reason to pay a visit.

For details of the cinema see their website.

The Kinematograph Yearbook is available from the BFI website and is a great little source of information on early cinemas and exhibitors.

Onda and out … for now

About Emma Heslewood

I am a historian and museum curator with broad interests including early topical films, social and industrial history, numismatics, archaeology and WW1. I am an expert on the life and work of the Victorian acrobat and topical film maker - Will Onda.
This entry was posted in Cinemas and theatres, Film Research, Onda Research, Preston Film Service, Will Onda and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Will Onda ran the Longridge Palace Cinema in 1913-14!

  1. rachel says:

    Fantastic detective work! will come with you for a visit to Longridge cinema, they still serve tea in mugs i believe!

  2. Fascinating stuff, Emma. Pleased to see you mention the cinema!

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