Film ID: NEFA 14247 Video of 14247 A Day in Houghton-le-Spring A DAY AT HOUGHTON-LE-SPRING 1930s Visitor TabsDescription Local topical newsreel showing street scenes around the town of Houghton-le-Spring near Sunderland, a gathering of elderly residents, and a garden fete at the local vicarage. Title: A Day in Houghton-Le-Spring. Street scenes on Newbottle Street filmed from outside M. T. Davidson’s shop (25-31 Newbottle Street), looking first north then south. View of the Grand Theatre on the corner of Grey Street and Newbottle Street. Title: 92 and still going strong. A group of old men and women embrace and shake hands with one another. The women then line up and pose for the camera. A family poses outside their one storey home. A policeman walks down the road just in front of a couple who walk with linked arms. As the couple approach the camera, the woman wipes her face with her skirts. Title: Garden Fete at the Rectory. View of the front of the Rectory. Staff and guests or visitors line up outside the front of the building to be photographed. A man in the centre of the picture is holding a dog. The fete is being set up in a garden. Bunting and Union flags hang from posts. A string band plays on a stage. At a coconut shy-type sideshow game, a man knocks off two objects. Context A showman in Houghton-le-Spring A man about town portrait of Houghton-le-Spring’s very own cinema mogul in the 1930s. A fascinating local celebrity portrait of a consummate showman and entrepreneur: the charismatic bowler-hatted gent with the walking cane prop is John “Jack” Lishman, the man who built the Coliseum cinema and new art deco Grand picture palace on Newbottle Street in Houghton-le-Spring, on which the camera lingers. John Lishman helped to transform Houghton’s Newbottle Street into a thriving shopping and entertainment centre in the early decades of the1900s. The opening scenes of life on the street are a record of his ‘empire’. His original business, a drapery, furnishing and undertaking store, became Doggarts department store. Lishman and partner Norman Robinson opened the purpose-built, modern Coliseum opposite Doggarts on 3rd August 1921, designed by Newcastle architects Percy L. Browne and Glover. The art deco Grand was built on the site of the Old Gaiety Theatre, opening on 21st April 1930, here advertising American blackface radio comedians Amos ‘n’ Andy in their first film release.