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