Tyne and Wear HER(12845): Westerhope, Stamfordham Road, Picture Palace (Orion) - Details
Title of image: Orion Cinema, Stamfordham Road, Westerhope
Additional info: Print black and white
Location/Collection: Newcastle Libraries/Newcastle Local Studies Theatres Collection
Accession number: NCL 068892
Provider: Newcastle City Library
Copyright: All rights reserved, if you would like a printed copy of this image please contact Newcastle Libraries.
Westerhope, Stamfordham Road, Picture Palace (Orion)
Opened in August 1912. Designed by Lemington architect H.F. Burrows. The owner was Samuel R. Piper, former deputy at North Walbottle Colliery. The cinema was basic - it had 434 stalls and a tiny balcony seating 16. Piper died in 1927 and the cinema was taken over by his son Robert, then Mary Ann Piper. The balcony was enlarged and a small shop and rewind room added. Percy Longhorn, a cinema sound engineer, took over in 1932 and installed an Electrocord sound system. From 1938 Leslie Longhorn and his wife ran the cinema. It was redecorated and renamed the Orion. It closed as a cinema in January 1970 and was converted into a bingo club.
Frank Manders, 1991, Cinemas of Newcastle, page 121; Frank Manders, 2005, Cinemas of Newcastle, page 131, 136, 137, 160; J.T. Allison and A.D. Walton, 1989, Bygone Westerhope, 19