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Photos of Wigan
Photos of Wigan

Photo-a-Day Archive
Photo-a-Day Archive

Photo-a-Day  (Saturday, 16th September, 2023)

The Royal Court Theatre

The Royal Court Theatre
At one time King Street was one of the smartest streets in Wigan. It’s a mess now, but if you raise your eyes and look up you will see quite a few buildings that are well worth saving including this one. It was very popular when it was The Court Cinema.

Photo: Dennis Seddon  (Sony DSC-WX500)
Views: 1,571

Comment by: Garry on 16th September 2023 at 01:14

Something you don't see, your right Dennis a beautiful building.
But what a mess at walking level, very Untidy looking and cheap.

Comment by: Aspuller on 16th September 2023 at 07:45

Yes it was one of the busiest and nicest streets in Wigan Town.
Now sadly the scruffest with hardly nothing to show only junk food outlets and clubs.
No real shops anymore, just like the rest of Wigan.
Wigan has become a place for homeless folk sprawling about on pavements, too many junkfood and barbers shops, the place doesn't feel like our Wigan anymore, a very messy place.

Comment by: Irene Roberts on 16th September 2023 at 07:47

I remember going to The Court Cinema with my friends as a young girl and I even went on my own four times on the trot to see Mary Poppins, trying to learn the words to "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious"....(you couldn't "Google" it back then!) It wouldn't be safe now for a young girl of ten or so to sit alone in the pictures....come to think of it, it probably wasn't safe then although I wouldn't have realised it, but I lived to tell the tale. There was a popular toffee shop next door. I wonder what those majestic buildings think of the goings-on down King Street these days? I still wouldn't feel safe!

Comment by: Arthur on 16th September 2023 at 07:48

What we need is proper leaders at Wigan Council who have pride in the town.

Comment by: Gary on 16th September 2023 at 07:52

As a youngster I liked going to the Court with mum and dad because its
curtains moved up the screen. The County curtains did the same. The Ritz and Princess went from side to side, like the ones at home and therefore not as interesting!
Mum used to tell me about the queues from the County entrance back around the side and across the railway bridge, a metal foot bridge, there in my time, which gave access to King Street from Wigan NW station. She said the longest queues were for the Wizard of OZ.

Comment by: Wiganer on 16th September 2023 at 07:53

One Question, why are we losing all our great shops, to be replaced with rubbish corner type shops that only sell junk.........

Comment by: Alan on 16th September 2023 at 07:57

It says on the advertisement board, " Visit Wigan".
to visit WHAT?
The only place I would visit would be Wigan Park.

Comment by: Malc on 16th September 2023 at 08:02

We are slowly being taken over and losing our ID.

Comment by: Veronica on 16th September 2023 at 08:13

I can’t stand the street as it is. The ugly frontages of most of the buildings makes the street look really seedy and a ‘no go area’. How has it come to this? The only people you see are the ones who get off the bus at the top of the street. It’s a disgrace..
Yet you can see the remnants of what once was….

Comment by: John on 16th September 2023 at 08:45

Why is every centre window broken and boarded up...anyone know?

Comment by: RON HUNT on 16th September 2023 at 09:13

John The windows were stained glass and were removed and put in storage during the so called refurbishment. (Which as I forecast 5 years ago) WILL NEVER HAPPEN.. It appears the company concerned have now run out of money.

Comment by: John on 16th September 2023 at 09:17

Thanks for that Ron.

Comment by: Sandra on 16th September 2023 at 09:18

Wigan Council has a lot to answer for.

Comment by: Maureen on 16th September 2023 at 09:49

King St was.. once upon a time the King of streets but unfortunately has gone the same way as the rest of our lovely town has gone.
I know I’ve told this story before but here goes..when I was about fourteen there was a film I wanted to see at the Court, my Dad wanted to see it as well, so off we go and as we’re stood in the queue a girl at the back of us who happened to be in my class at School said”Maureen McGovern I’m going to tell your Mam of you”was I proud to turn around to say it was my Dad..he was a very handsome.man.
I have a spooky tale about the Court Cinema but most people would not believe it… so I’ll leave it for another day.

Comment by: Alan H on 16th September 2023 at 10:38

The Court Cinema was the first in Wigan to have a CinemaScope screen. The first film it showed was The Robe, a biblical epic . They also had an organisms who used to rise up from what was the orchestra pit from when it was a theatre. If my memory hasn’t failed me, I think he only had one leg.

Comment by: Tommy T on 16th September 2023 at 10:38

First, I'd like to say thanks to Dennis for putting another PIC showing past and present.
Why is it that everything today has to be colourful or diverse, there is nothing nice about about the bottom half of this photo, it's cheap 21st century rubbish and put there to please people of low intelligence.

Comment by: Irene Roberts on 16th September 2023 at 10:56

Maureen, you told me the spooky story some years ago and I DO believe you and I think you should put it on here.

Comment by: DTease on 16th September 2023 at 11:22

Alan H, I went to the Court Cinema many times, but I don’t think I ever had an organism in there!

Comment by: Rob. on 16th September 2023 at 12:08

Many have Dtease, especially on the back row seats. Lol.

Comment by: Elizabeth on 16th September 2023 at 12:10

Yes Veronica,I couldn't agree more,it's beyond awful now.I spent a lot of my working life in this street and find it hard to believe how it has gone so downhill,it used to have a lot of solicitors and insurance offices,plus just one or two bars.The sweet shop near to the Court was just known as 'Frank's ' when I worked across the road.Maureen,you should put your story on for us.x

Comment by: DerekB on 16th September 2023 at 12:16

AlanH-You are correct, the organist did only have one leg.

Comment by: Poet on 16th September 2023 at 12:21

Alan H , that's a hilarious image you portray . A one legged organist rising from the pit. Brilliant . Reminds me of Terry Jones , the nude organist with the grinning teeth in Monty Python .

Comment by: Veronica on 16th September 2023 at 12:22

“An ‘organism’ is any animal, plant or fungus, protist, bacterium, or archaean .” I don’t think any of them can play a trumpet Alan H. It just shows how ‘spellcheck’ can cause artificial intelligence….
It wouldn’t be nice having an ‘organism’ watching the Good Lord carrying His Cross in the film ‘The Robe’ Dtease either. ;o))

Comment by: Helen of Troy on 16th September 2023 at 12:50

I agree with all the comments , not that I know King St well but I can believe its as you say....But wait Wiganers I have good news & article I saw on Google foretold that WMC have plans...not for poor old King St but Eckersley Mill....they are going into partnership with ?? & are going to make into a thriving hub of sorts. It will be born new again says a Mr M. Watch this space !!

Comment by: Maureen on 16th September 2023 at 12:55

Right thank you Irene.. I will.. it would have been somewhere in the late eighties early nineties when me and my Mam had just come out of Trustees bank , we were walking past the Court Cinema… I said to my Mam, “I just want a toot through the doors “ which were still intact then…then I said to my Mam “ look here Mam” and stood there near the door where you would walk once you’d paid was the doorman who must have passed over years earlier, he stood as he always had legs astride.and wearing as he always did a black suit whiter than white shirt and a black dickey bow, he never looked at us it was as though we weren’t there.. the Cinema had been closed since the early seventies, I don’t think my Mam could believe what she’d just seen…I wonder if anyone would know him.. he was on the small side and balding.. I’ve thought hard about putting this story on again in case any of his relatives recognised who he was, but at least it will prove that he loved what he was doing.

Comment by: Maureen on 16th September 2023 at 13:46

Yes Elizabeth, it was Frank Hilton that owned the sweet shop and before that it was Westheads who also had a sweet shop in the market about eight years ago .. and a relative of the Westheads also had a sweet shop at the top Beech Hill shops.. she doesn’t sell sweets any more but has left the sweet shop as it was, and lives at the back of the shop…ta ra flower.

Comment by: Cyril on 16th September 2023 at 14:15

True Dennis, with King Street once being Wigan's premiere street there are some very good buildings full of architectural features, sadly a lot got demolished too, hopefully The Court will get to be fully refurbished as was planned.

Alan H, here is a photo of the organ and James Abbot the organist, and a comment by Albert S about the accident that James came to lose his leg, photo by Ron/Adrian Rose and from the Album: https://www.wiganworld.co.uk/album/photo.php?opt=5&id=32652&gallery=CINEMAS&page=1

Comment by: Pat McC on 16th September 2023 at 15:18

There are some very funny quips today - thank you - had a good belly laugh. Maureen - did you used to live in the Newtown/Wallgate area? My husband says he knew a Maureen McGovern.

Comment by: Irene Roberts on 16th September 2023 at 15:24

Thankyou Maureen....I think any relatives of the doorman would be happy that you had seen him, and the fact that your Mam saw him too proves that you weren't imagining him.

Comment by: Maureen on 16th September 2023 at 16:07

Pat,I lived in Great George St which of course is in Wallgate,

Comment by: Elizabeth on 16th September 2023 at 16:20

Thanks Maureen for that story,i do remember you telling me about it now,still makes hair on the back of my neck stand up.xx

Comment by: Maureen on 16th September 2023 at 19:27

Pat there was also Irene McGovern, she lived at the very top of Queen St..we started School on the very first day together and remained friends until she passed away aged Seventy…your hubby might have known her as well.

Comment by: Dave on 16th September 2023 at 22:35

Why do only women see ghosts ?

Comment by: Maureen on 17th September 2023 at 04:08

That’s a good question Dave, I wish I knew the answer.??

Comment by: Veronica on 17th September 2023 at 06:20

That’s a good question Dave. Perhaps because we look into things deeper and see beyond the obvious. We also have a sixth sense….and we see what we want to see and no further..

Comment by: Maureen on 17th September 2023 at 10:20

That’s so true Veronica.. that explains exactly why in a full maternity ward of babies when a baby cries in the night we instinctively know that it’s our baby that’s crying.

Comment by: Maureen on 17th September 2023 at 21:12

Pat how does your hubby know me. What is his surname , I will understand if you don’t want to say.

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