The Yorkshire Film Archive collects, preserves, and shows film made in, or about Yorkshire. Our collections are non-fiction, dating from the 1890s to the present day, and providing a rich and visually compelling record of all aspects of lives, cultures, landscape, industries, major events and everyday activities, many of which are available to watch, free of charge, on our website.
This film is part of Free
The Last Reel
Teenage members of a York cine club document the last hurrah of a much-loved picture house – in CinemaScope!
From the collection of:
The Tower was York’s first permanent cinema, opening in 1908 on the site of a former chapel. Although it survived a hit by an incendiary bomb during the Baedeker raid on York in 1942, its eventual demise was caused by the redevelopment of the city centre: the cinema was demolished to make way for a shopping arcade. The last reel was a double-bill: “Frankie & Johnny”, starring Elvis, and “The Swingin’ Set” featuring The Animals and Nancy Sinatra, amongst others popular singers.
There are a couple of surprising facts about this 1966 film, made to mark the closure of York’s Tower Cinema. Firstly, the age of the filmmakers: a group of friends aged 16 and 17. Secondly, they chose to film in CinemaScope, a process using two lenses of unequal magnifications to produce a widescreen effect, more commonly associated with professional productions. Sadly, the soundtrack to the film is missing, but the group – still friends, and scattered around the globe – are hopeful that it’ll turn up one day.