Thursday, 3 December 2009

The Forum in Devonport

Passing the Forum in Devonport today, it's hard to imagine that it once formed part of the busy and popular, Fore Street. The heavy bombing during the Second World War and the demolition afterwards, has left the now bingo hall almost on an island with constant traffic passing all day long.
The Forum was once a popular and busy picture house. The cinema, which seated 1,800, opened on the 5th August, 1939. It's first film was 'Honolulu', which was shown at 5pm, which starred Robert Young and Eleanor Powell.
It was built by Charles Tyler of Swansea and was run in conjunction with the nearby Hippodrome.
Due to the heavy bombing in the war, Fore Street was partly cleared away and taken over by the dockyard and the cinema was never fully restored to its former glory. Television also played a part in dwindling audiences. The cinema stayed open until 14th May, 1960 and soon after, it opened as a bingo hall. Bingo seemed to lose favour for a while but now appears to be as popular as ever.
The photos show the bomb damaged Forum, Fore Street (including David Greig)as it once was, and the Navy helping to clear rubble, shown passing the damaged Forum.

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