Peter Tuffrey is saddened when looking at old, surviving cinema buildings. They have become ugly, disfigured structures, struggling for an alternative use in a street or landscape. Yet, who in the first half of the twentieth century could have predicted that 'going to the flicks' and the theatre would be largely superseded by television? In South Yorkshire, where industry was once rampant, there was a great need for entertainment. Therefore it was only natural that the new film industry should spawnpurpose-built cinemas in great numbers across the entire South Yorkshire area. In the late 1950s and early 1960s cinemas and theatres started introducing bingo part-time, and then full-time. For a period this was a moderate success, but not many survive as bingo venues today and full-scale demolition has taken place. A small number of venues have become snooker halls, but conjuring up uses for large buildings is a major problem and continues to be so for those still hanging on to survival. So, arguing that it is fascinating to look back at these old buildings in their prime, Peter is pleased to offer South Yorkshire's Cinemas & Theatres. It will remind older readers of those former halcyon days and give younger ones a reflection of how people once entertained themselves.
Peter Tuffrey was born in Doncaster in 1953. He studied Fine Art at Doncaster College of Art from 1970 to 1971 and then at Leeds University until 1974. He held the position of Keeper of Fine and Decorative Arts at Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery 1975-1995, was a freelance writer 1995-2000 and PR Media Consultant for Doncaster Rovers 2000-2002. He was Area Manager for the Music Ground Group of Companies 2003-2010. He is now working as a freelance writer. In his spare time, he has built up a massive photographic archive of the region's towns and villages. With this he has produced over fifty publications. He has also written many articles for local and regional newspapers. He lives in Doncaster.