This film is part of Free

Tynemouth Carnival August 1930

A windfall of faces and fancy dress at Tynemouth Carnival for the cameras of cinema showman Dixon Scott.

Non-Fiction 1930 10 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for North East Film Archive


The Tyneside cinema pioneer Dixon Scott struck gold with the spirited ritual and revelry of Tynemouth Carnival in 1930. The rude and rowdy jumble of paraded costumed characters and lookalikes include a rendezvous with Charlie Chaplin and Little Titch performing his madcap ‘Big Boot Dance’. Ever the showman, Scott adds a sprinkle of promotional stardust with the arrival of a Joan Crawford impersonator in a caged, jungle float at his new Princes cinema in North Shields.

The spanking new, palatial Princes opened in October 1929, built by Dixon Scott Junior (founder of Newcastle’s first News Theatre, now the Tyneside Cinema). His first successful venture in 1910, The Kino Picture Hall, Jarrow, was inspired by his wife’s enthusiastic visit to a bioscope. The Princes embraced the ‘talkies’, one of which included Hollywood starlet Joan Crawford’s first sound outing, ‘The Untamed’. Early on, Dixon saw the attraction of showing local footage of events like Tynemouth Carnival, which took place between the General Strike and the start of Britain’s Great Depression. People dug deep for the few pennies entrance fee to glimpse themselves on the big screen and escape hard times.