REGARDING the death of Millicent (Millie) Small.

In 1964 I was employed at the old Gaumont Cinema as a projectionist. That May, now 56 years ago, the cinema, that at one time was a theatre, was chosen as a venue for one month live shows.

The cinema’s screen was on a framework and on rollers. This made it possible to roll it to the rear of the original stage, for live performances.

That May in 1964, we put on a pop music extravaganza headed by The Hollies, with follow up acts which included Big Dee Erwin,Shane Fenton and the Fentones, Syd & Eddie (who went on to become Little & Large) and Millie.

The show was spotlight lit, had all the trimmings of backdrops, swags, and drapes, and of course the cinema curtains that were in situ.

Millie was the penultimate act, before the main act, The Hollies. She performed her hit “My Boy Lollipop” to rousing applause, bowed, and was about to sing another number, when across came the cinema curtains in the middle of her act.

Someone had read their cue sheet in error and closed the curtains on her. Apparently she went hysterical backstage. We heard about it after that evening’s performance, as the spotlight team (limes) we all had a laugh at the poor chap, if only he had not pushed the button.

The limes team were myself, John Yallop and Pat Hawkins.

Happy memories of the cinema that later became an Odeon,Top Rank Bingo Hall, and had its entrance where the Clipper now stands.

Alvin L Hopper

Walpole Street