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Here we see a selection of pictures relating to the Scala Cinema that once stood on Mansfield Road
In 1926 Blidworth Colliery had a delayed start up following initial
difficulties in locating the depth of the coal seams on the site and it was not
until 1931/32 that the coal industry in Blidworth began to develop in a vigorous
way. Confidence grew significantly and families moved into the village and
surrounding area in their hundreds. Support businesses, retail, service and
entertainment activities began to flourish as a result and Blidworth became
almost self-sufficient with all its new facilities which included a first class state of the art cinema
being built in the mid 1930's
During its most successful period of 1940-1950 people would
travel from Mansfield and Ashfield to visit Blidworth Scala to see the latest
Hollywood blockbusters starring the big film star names of the day. As a
result of this other local cinema companies were forced to accept contracts not
to distribute their films to Blidworth within several weeks of screening it
This Photo should bring back a few memories for some Blidworth Folk.
The Scala was always very well managed and even catered for the
various shift patterns of the colliery. One highlight of the week was the very popular children’s Saturday
With the popularity of television in the mid 1950’s to mid 1960's the film industry suffered greatly and many cinemas closed
including the Blidworth Scala. At some point during the mid 1960's, the first few rows of
seats were removed and the floor was raised and leveled. These alterations
enabled a dancing area to be created and several people have mentioned that
jiving marathons took place with live bands playing. Gaming machines were installed at the front and even professional wrestling matches were held there. Sounds very much like a
good time was had by all. I wonder why it ever stopped?
The building was used as a Silverline Bingo Hall for a while in the 1960’s with
some degree of success until the larger companies offered better facilities and
larger prizes. The Rainworth Regent cinema closed its doors in January 1958 and
a few years later reopened quite successfully as a snooker club.
It was decided to try something similar at the Blidworth Scala
and after some internal alterations and an extension built to the front it duly
reopened its doors once again as a snooker hall and social club.
View of the inside of the snooker club taken in 1991. The stage and cinema screen can still be seen in the background. Leveling the floor to accommodate the snooker tables would have been no small task but the end result appears to be very satisfactory.
The Social Club did have several regular customers but the building finally became an eyesore as can be seen in one of the previous pictures. Sadly, as shown in this photograph it was then completely demolished. Several
quite attractive residential properties were built on the site.