Homage to historic cinema at Tyneside care home

A care home in Tyneside revived a historic cinema – long since it was demolished and replaced by the care home.

The Rex was brought back to life by staff and residents at Willowdene Care Home.

The home is located on the same plot where the cinema once stood, so it was decided to pay homage to the previously popular venue.

The home’s activities coordinators Amanda Rowden and Christine Chandler, alongside deputy manager Cheryl Kennedy, all dressed in authentic 1950s dresses for the occasion.

South Tyneside Council Mayor Councillor Ken Stephenson and Mayoress Cathy Stephenson officially opened the event and stayed for afternoon tea with residents.

Michael Beaney, home manager of Willowdene Care Home, said: “A visitor mentioned he thought that the old Rex cinema used to be on the site.

“When we checked with our residents, they confirmed it and began to reminisce about the times they’d been to the pictures.

“We decided that it would be a great idea to dedicate one of our movie afternoons to The Rex cinema, which residents remember from their youth. So we made our own pop-up version.

“Everyone thought it was brilliant. Especially with the staff dressed up and carrying snack trays. They remembered how it used to be at the movies when the usherettes would bring round the choc ices during the intermission.

“We’d like to thank Mayor Cllr Ken Stephenson and Mayoress Cathy Stephenson for coming along and helping to make it an extra-special occasion.”

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