Buried mosaic welcome to old Portsmouth cinema is unearthed

INTRICATE Robert Jamess picture of the mosaic that was once at the cinemas entrance

INTRICATE Robert Jamess picture of the mosaic that was once at the cinemas entrance

The thick blue line of Portsmouth bobbies

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It was no more than an aside, but yesterday I mentioned the mosaic that once graced the entrance to the Fratton Electric Theatre.

I was not really expecting a response from readers, but I should have known better.

PICTURE HOUSE The one-time Fratton Electric Cinema in Goldsmith Avenue in its later life as the Royal British Legion club

PICTURE HOUSE The one-time Fratton Electric Cinema in Goldsmith Avenue in its later life as the Royal British Legion club

The ink had hardly dried on the paper when Robert James, of Milton, Portsmouth, e-mailed me this picture of the mosaic.

The 250-seat former cinema, pictured below, in Goldsmith Avenue, Fratton, opened in 1910 and closed eight years later.

Later is became the Royal British Legion Club, but when it was demolished the mosaic was covered over.

Robert says: ‘After demolition the mosaic remained for several weeks exposed to the elements and I managed to take this picture before it was covered.’

CHURCH Heres a glimpse of Portsmouths Anglican cathedral as it was before the Second World War seen from High Street, Old Portsmouth.
The wall at the front was taken down after the area in front of the building was bombed on January 10, 1941. The graves were dug up, remains interred in the crypt, headstones removed and the area grassed over.

CHURCH Heres a glimpse of Portsmouths Anglican cathedral as it was before the Second World War seen from High Street, Old Portsmouth. The wall at the front was taken down after the area in front of the building was bombed on January 10, 1941. The graves were dug up, remains interred in the crypt, headstones removed and the area grassed over.

Yesterday I said the building came down in 1972 for road-widening. However, James has recorded 1984 on the back of his picture.

DEMOLITION These are the remaining houses at the west end of Kingston Crescent, Portsmouth, in a picture I believe was taken about 1975, but stand to be corrected. Past the advertising hoardings is where Chapmans Laundry once stood. This part of the crescent is now a side road opposite the Admiral Drake public house. Was one of these houses your home and can anyone supply the numbers?

DEMOLITION These are the remaining houses at the west end of Kingston Crescent, Portsmouth, in a picture I believe was taken about 1975, but stand to be corrected. Past the advertising hoardings is where Chapmans Laundry once stood. This part of the crescent is now a side road opposite the Admiral Drake public house. Was one of these houses your home and can anyone supply the numbers?

GRAND At first glance you might think this picture was taken yesterday  if you avoid the cars. In fact it was four decades ago, in the 1970s.
The Garrison Church and houses in Grand Parade, Old Portsmouth, are the same but look along Penny Street. The dark building in the centre is the YMCA, a popular  stopping off point for backpackers and anyone who needed a cheap room.
To the left is where the statue of Nelson is now located after being moved from Pembroke Gardens (where it had been erected in 1951) in 2005.

GRAND At first glance you might think this picture was taken yesterday  if you avoid the cars. In fact it was four decades ago, in the 1970s. The Garrison Church and houses in Grand Parade, Old Portsmouth, are the same but look along Penny Street. The dark building in the centre is the YMCA, a popular stopping off point for backpackers and anyone who needed a cheap room. To the left is where the statue of Nelson is now located after being moved from Pembroke Gardens (where it had been erected in 1951) in 2005.

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