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Visit biografmuseet.dk about Danish cinemas


Demonstration of Our Faith in the Future
The Drake, Plymouth, England.
Kinematograph Weekly, 12. June 1958

The 70mm Newsletter
Written by: James Pattinson, Managing Director, 20th Century-FoxDate: 01.03.2011
P. SKOURAS said in the early days of CinemaScope, that Twentieth Century-Fox would not build theatres except in important situations where we found there were not adequate outlets for our product. Such was the case in Plymouth.

Here is an obvious new community centre of which the cinema should be the focal point and we, therefore, decided that we had a duly to the people of this well-known cinema-going city, as well as to ourselves, to provide them with the opportunity of seeing our pictures under the most favourable conditions, and, consequently, we decided to build The Drake.

We think The Drake is the finest cinema in Western Europe and many of its outstanding features are described elsewhere in this special supplement to the KINE WEEKLY.

The aim in designing The Drake was to match up to the conception of the showman's ideal form of presentation. We aimed at nothing less than perfection in public entertainment.

The theatre was, therefore, designed around the screen. We think that it is the first cinema which started with the screen as the central idea.

Every other modern facility has been introduced to match it; in comfort, presentation and service, and all these fall more naturally into the concept of what a modern cinema should be, once we had conceived the theatre screen as the fourth wall of the auditorium and begun to work out our ideas from there.

We have built the theatre round the screen and it is equally true to say that the new centre of Plymouth is being built round the theatre, for, although The Drake occupies a site in one wing of the development area, its position and prospect is such that it immediately becomes the focal and gravitational point of the community.

Another, and perhaps the most important, reason why we built The Drake, Plymouth, was as a demonstration of our faith in the future of the cinema industry.

We hope to provide a service for this great community matching The Drake's splendid geographical position. We shall strive to give the citizens of Britain's most famous seaport the best in entertainment value at all times.

More in 70mm reading:

The Versatile Projectors, Screen and Sound

The Technical Side. We Aimed at Perfection

In harmony with the new City

Demonstration of Our Faith in the Future

The Saga of Todd-AO

DP70 / Universal 70-35 / Norelco AAII - The Todd-AO Projector

Internet link:

They did the work

Electrical, heating and ventilating consultants. - Hart, Moss & Partners.
Quantity surveyors. - Tucker & Huntley.
General contractors. - A. N. Coles (Contractors), Ltd.
Heating and ventilating. - John Evans (S & R.), Ltd.
Electrical installation. - Troughton & Young, Ltd.

Glass doors. - Ellmore & Co., Ltd.
Panelling, paybox, sales kiosks, etc. - Ellmore & Co., Ltd.
Stonework facings. - South Western Stone Co., Ltd.*
Steel reinforcement. - Trussed Concrete Steel Co., Ltd.
Structural steelwork to roof. - Blight & White, Ltd.
Facing and structural bricks. - Western Counties Brick Co., Ltd.
Fibrous plasterwork. - G. J. Green & Sons
Canopy, etc. - Rae Stage Equipment, Ltd.
Aluminium roof. - L. Whittaker & Co. London), Ltd.
Metal lathing and bracketing to ceilings. - Campbell Denis, Ltd.
Model of Golden Hind. - Keystudios, Ltd.
Decorative painting works to auditorium, foyers and queueing area. - Modernisation, Ltd.

Terrazzo, etc. - Bristol Art Floors, Ltd.
Decorative balustrading and handrails. - Thomas Haywood & Sons, Ltd.
Acoustic wall tiling. - Newalls Insulation Co., Ltd.
Vacuum cleaning plant. - British Vacuum Cleaner and Engineering Co., Ltd.
Windows. - Woodrow Metals, Ltd.
Timber doors. - Gliksten Doors, Ltd.
Portcullis shutters. - Dennison Kett & Co., Ltd.

Door furniture. - James Gibbons, Ltd.
Panels to corner over main entrance. - Kendells Flooring, Ltd.
Sanitary fittings. - B. Finch & Co., Ltd.
Iron stairs. - F. A. Norris & Co., Ltd.
Fire equipment. - John Taylor Dunford & Co., Ltd.

Glass domes. - Pugh Bros., Ltd.
Lightning conductor. - J. W. Gray & Son, Ltd.
Vitreous enamel plaques to elevations. - Defiant Enamel Co., Ltd.
Rainwater heads. - Lion Foundry Co., Ltd.*
Lettering. - Drakard & Humble, Ltd.
Extending ladder. - J. H. Heatham, Ltd.
Paint. - International Paints, Ltd.
Seating. - W. W. Turner & Co., Ltd.
Rectifiers. - Hackbridge & Hewittic Electric Co., Ltd.

Neon installation. - Neon Ideas, Ltd.
Decorative lighting fittings, etc. - F. H. Pride, Ltd.
Curtains, curtain controller, etc. - GB-Kalee, Ltd.
Interchangeable letters to canopy. - Cine-metals, Ltd.
Emergency lighting. - Chloride Batteries, Ltd.

Water heaters. - Simplex Electric Co., Ltd.
Hot popcorn dispenser. - Instaprint Camera Co., Ltd.

Decorative panels to canopy, mirrors to toilets. - The London Sand Blast Decorative Glass Works, Ltd.
Powder room tables and mirrors. - Osborne Garrett & Co., Ltd.
Safe. - John Tann, Ltd.
Settees. - Muckley & Trew, Ltd.
Category board. - Bennet & Co.
Chromium plated coat racks. - John Wilkins & Co., Ltd.

Coat hangers. - Rowland Griffiths, Ltd.
Projectors. - J. Frank Brockliss, Ltd.
Sound system. - Westrex Co., Ltd.
Screen frame.- Andrew Smith Harkness, Ltd.



Outside the Drake, showing the model of the Golden Hind on the fascia.

Europe's most up-to-date cinema, the Drake, Plymouth, built by 20th Century-Fox, was opened last week by the Lord Mayor of Plymouth, Ald. G. J. Wingett.
Peter Bland, manager of the Drake, the Lord Mayor, J. F. Pattinson, the Lady Mayoress, and John Ware.

Among those who attended were Vice-Admiral Sir Richard Onslow, C-in-C Plymouth, J. F. Pattinson, Larry Kent and other executives from Soho Square, Sam Eckman jnr., representing Magna Film Corporation, Richard Todd and Jackie Collins.
Sir Richard and Lady Onslow arriving.
Richard Todd and Jackie Collins looking at the souvenir programme.
A general view of the scene in the foyer.
Richard Todd received by the Guard of Honour on arrival.
The Hawaiian band that played in the foyer 
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Updated 21-01-24