Children’s Matinée

  • Theme - Leisure
  • Year - 1914
  • Location - Colchester
  • Filmmaker - Mr Ager Jnr


This film shows a young, excited audience outside the Vaudeville Cinema in Colchester, before the children's matinee on October 3rd 1914. On the walls you will see film posters about the destruction of the Belgian city of Louvain - a stark reminder of what was going on in the world at the time. Louvain had been the target of mass destruction by the German army over 5 days in August 1914. With the outbreak of the First World War a few months before, the prospect of a ‘treat’ of an afternoon at the cinema for these children certainly brought smiles to their faces. As the majority is urged to queue patiently by cinema staff, many take the chance to play to the camera.

This film was shot on 3rd October 1914 and, not surprisingly, the Matinee film show was a popular event at the Vaudeville Cinema in Mersea Road, Colchester. It is not clear what films they would have seen that day, but this film was part of a marketing ploy by the owner, David Ager. By filming the queues of young film-goers, word was that they could return to the cinema the following Saturday to see themselves on screen! This was quite a common practice in many cinemas in the early days.


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