Theatre and Cinema

Thomas Leyland.jpgThe Electric Cinema was on the corner of Fall Lane and Weirside. New houses now stand on the site. In 1911, Thomas Leyland, pictured left, arrived in Marsden in his caravan with his Electric Bioscope and Theatre of Marionettes. He settled with his family in Marsden, giving puppet shows and showing silent films in a tent. He opened the brick-built cinema in 1918, and it seated 550.

He died in 1949, and the cinema was then run by his daughter, Laura Beardsall. She ran it with her two nieces until ill health prevented her. In 1975, heavy snow caused the roof to collapse, and the building was demolished.

Marsden Parish Church Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society

Operatic programmeIn 1925 the Church Council decided to form an Operatic Society, which might help to pay for the new Parochial Hall. The vicar's wife, Mrs Spencer, suggested a performance of "The Mikado", and the society was formed in February 1926.

The society celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1976 with performances of Showboat, and still continues to produce shows.

See their latest news on their Facebook page.

1971: Nationwide: Electric Cinema

BBC Archive

#OnThisDay 1971: "By day, she leads an ordinary suburban life. At night, she enters the celluloid world of make-believe." Aunt Laura was keeping family-friendly cinema alive in Marsden in her Electric Theatre.

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