Northampton Chronicle & Echo, 21st July 1960, by Alexander Gordon
'Teenbeat' shows pack the Royal
Market-Day in Rushden, Saturday, September 23, 1911: crowds were flocking in from, the surrounding villages; and this market day there was an added attraction—a brand new cinema was being opened opposite the Queen Victoria Hotel.
This was "one of the finest cinemas in the country," the Royal Electric Theatre. So, right from the very start, the Royal, built by the late Mr. Albert Franklin, who was determined that the cinema should be one of the best that skill and money could provide, played to packed houses. On the opening night all 500 seats were taken, and many people were standing.
Patrons who cared to pay the extra price for a seat in the circle were delighted with the comfortable tip-up armchairs "of the latest and most comfortable type."
The Stage of the new cinema was one of the largest in the country, measuring 53ft. by 29ft. This was ample room for the many acts which appeared at the Royal's popular variety nights. It is claimed that even an elephant has performed on the stage. Now the stage has had to be blocked off behind the screen, to prevent draughts. A small stage has been built in front of the screen for the performers at the cinema's fortnightly "Teenbeat" show.
The Royal was modernised four years ago, and new projection equipment was installed, to show Cinemascope films. The cinema now seats 860 people, but, unfortunately, packed houses are rare. In common with most other cinemas the Royal has been hit by the slump in picturegoing. However, under the guidance of manager Mr. J. W. Enoch, the cinema is packed every other Saturday for the "Teenbeat" shows. These are "rock" shows aimed directly at the teenage customer.
Every "Teenbeat" night, there are different local "beat" groups starring, and so far this has proved very successful.