Happy days of the Rex

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I am writing in response to Gordon Summer’s letter (News Post Leader, July 4).

This is not the first cinema in Cramlington. The George V was the name of the cinema in Klondyke when it was first opened.

However, following the death of the King, it was renamed The Rex.

My late father, William Bowers, started work there as a re-wind boy when he was 14-years-old. He worked at Shankhouse colliery during the day and at the cinema in the evening.

Eventually he was promoted to chief projectionist and ran the day-to-day working of the cinema, travelling twice a week into Newcastle to collect the feature films.

When war was declared in 1939 he was 17-years-old and he joined the Royal Navy.

Because of his cinema experience he was in charge of a unit where merchant seamen were trained to identify enemy aircraft with the use of films.

As a boy I can remember that Friday night was ‘Rex night’ and the cinema was always full.

Happy days.

I wish The Vue every success and let’s hope it plays to full houses.

Bill Bowers

Cramlington