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7 Magdalene Street

History of 7 Magdalene Street

1911:

Alfred James Pointer, 42, proprietor of assembly rooms, b Cambridge

Agnes Jane Shenton, 39, b London

Eric Claude, 11,

Hadley Edward, 8,

Frank Albert, 7,

Jack, 1,

Harry Rede Tottenham, boarder, 54, widower, private means and examinations, b Bucks

Ada Elizabeth Hawkes, 16, b Bluntisham

24/4/1940:  A.J. Pointer cinema pioneer; took over Victoria Assembly Room in Market Hill which he ran as a roller skating rink, converting it into Cambridge’s first cinema in 1910, had previously used Alexandra Hall for occasional picture shows. In 1916 he took over the Kinema, previously a variety theatre which is now the oldest cinema in Cambridge. Victoria closed 15 years ago and when new Vic re-opened under a company he handed over control to his son, Eric. Personally directed Kinema till last year when son Frank took over; had been occasional films at Midsummer Fair but Pointer responsible for first regular showings at Alexandra Hall, now YMCA and comfortable seating was not one of the main attractions. Performances were shorter but comprised nine or 10 items such as five ‘comics’, one ‘coloured trick’, one news film of racing and two dramas. Early films were crude affairs and constant flickering made it seem as if picture taken in heavy downpour of rain. Early films – old Victoria cinema was called Electric Theatre and run by a Mr Jordain. Mr Pointer owned Victoria Cinema and in 1929 Pointer & Co formed for purpose of building and running a modern cinema; attached was Still and Sugarloaf. In 1935 Cambridge Holdings Ltd was formed to acquire cinemas in Cambridge who wanted to acquire Victoria Cinema and restaurant. They paid Pointer & co for £30,500. (Cam. News)

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