Film ID:
NEFA 21356

T.F.S. JUBILEE (1934-1959)


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This film celebrates the work of the Tyneside Film Society (TFS) on their 25th anniversary. It was commissioned from members of the Newcastle and District Amateur Cinematographers Association (ACA) with producer Heini Przibram from the TFS.

Title: The Tyneside Film Society Presents

Title: T.F.S. Jubilee (1934-1959)

The commentary states that the Tyneside Film Society (TFS) celebrated their 25th anniversary on a Sunday in May 1959. The mayoral car (Reg. No. OBB1) pulls into the forecourt at Newcastle’s Mansion House in Jesmond. The Mayor, Dorothy Ann Fitzpatrick, gets out of the car at her last engagement in office.

Distinguished guests, including the Tyneside Film Society committee members, arrive at the Mansion House to receive the accolade of a civic recognition for the first time. Inside the Mansion House, members of the TFS committee arrive, including Heini Przibram, representatives of Newcastle University and the People’s Theatre Art Group, with which TFS amalgamated in 1944. The Lord Mayor speaks to the guests.

Archive footage produced by the Newcastle & District ACA follows documenting Newcastle upon Tyne street scenes filmed between 1929 and the early 1930s follows. General view of trolley buses, a cyclist, pedestrians and roadside barrow stall, customers in flat caps on a bustling Market Street, looking towards Pilgrim Street and the corner building of Carliol House. General view of Grey Street (?) looking towards Grey’s Monument, a trolley bus and barrow cart in the street. General view of the Paramount Cinema (later the Odeon) on a busy Pilgrim Street, advertising the film “The Lives of a Bengal Lancer” (released in 1935) starring Gary Cooper. Next, there are various shots of neon signs at night in Newcastle including the Queen’s Hall on Northumberland Street, the premier Gaumont theatre in Newcastle. Buses drive along the street at night. The cinema advertises “Sanders of the River” (released 1935) starring Paul Robeson. A few cinema goers walk past the ticket booth into the cinema.

Young men and women hang around on the steps of the People’s Theatre, based in a disused chapel in Rye Hill, Newcastle upon Tyne.

Still of text and photo of Ernest Dyer, a history master at Heaton Grammar School and the first Chairman of the Tyneside Film Society.

Still of Tyneside Film Society’s first programme on January 28th 1934, which is opened to reveal the list of films screened, including René Clair’s 1930 musical comedy ‘Sous les Toits de Paris’, ‘a favourite with our audiences’, and Walt Disney’s children’s animation ‘Flowers and Trees’.

Graphics of audience numbers for the TFS from 1934 – 1941 follow.

General view of the marquee (signage) of Newcastle’s News Theatre at the top of Pilgrim Street.

A projectionist threads up some 16mm film.

The movie theatre auditorium is almost full for a screening inside the News Theatre.

Graphics of audience numbers for the TFS from 1944 – 1957 follow, when it had a membership of 800.

General view of the exterior of the Tatler News Cinema on Northumberland Street, Newcastle upon Tyne.

The commentary states: “In 1957, with growing membership, [TFS] felt it was time to look for a new home.” Shot of an advertisement for a TFS private show.

Cinema goers enter the art deco News Theatre foyer and ticket office, one by one. The commentary explains about the diversity of the TFS audience, listing jobs from nurses to university professors. Inside, the cinema auditorium is jam-packed with people there for a TFS screening. The commentary explains that they needed to expand again: “We took on the News Theatre as well. The membership went on changing.” Shots of the cinema audience waiting for the film to start.

Graphics show the new peak in audience numbers for 1969 as 1600 “which makes us the biggest film society in the country outside of London.” Overhead shot of the cinema audience.

Inside the projection room, a projectionist winds on a film reel.

In the cinema, a French film is playing on screen.

A projectionist prepares a film reel to be taken to The Tatler News Cinema “a quarter of a mile away” as they would share the films. He takes out a 35mm film reel. A projectionist at the Tatler waits anxiously for the reel at the back entrance of the cinema.

Back at the News Theatre, a film reel is rewound. A messenger waits to provide the shuttle service between the two cinemas. The reel is bagged and the messenger takes a bike to the Tatler on Northumberland Street. The messenger arrives at the back door to the cinema. The commentator states: “Only once has it failed to get through on time, and that was in Festival of Britain Year, 1951, when a military parade held up the traffic.” The messenger races up the stairs and hands over the reel to the projectionist, who begins to lace up the projector.

On the cinema screen, a French film plays.

Shot of a spinning globe. A succession of TFS screening leaflets are piled one on top the other, illustrating films on the programme from around the world.

A TFS committee meeting (3 men including Heini Przibram, and 3 women) is in progress. The table is littered with books and promotional material as they discuss future programmes of film.

The commentary now states: “The North East group of the British Federation of Film Societies [BFSS] hold viewing sessions from time to time and anyone is welcome to attend.”

Newcastle ACA members gather at their headquarters at Ships Entry, Newcastle upon Tyne. Men and women are seated for a screening. Heini Przibram addresses the audience.

The TFS committee select their delegates for the national BFSS viewing sessions.

Delegates enter the British Film Institute (BFI) National Film Theatre on the South Bank, London, for the 35mm national BFSS screening programme. Between performances people mill around outside the entrance.

Delegates also gather inside the Institut Français (French Institute) in South Kensington, London, for the 16mm film sessions run by the BFSS. The film society delegates chat to each other beside a notice board advertising the film programme.

Back with a TFS committee meeting, Heini Przibram reads aloud from the society’s magazine, ‘Screen’, issued free to members. Close-up of a leaflet published by Screen of the 286th programme, dated Sunday 22nd November, 1959, where the TFS was showing ‘The Magnificent Ambersons’.

A man browses the posters on the Public Announcements board, checking out the People Theatre Arts Group poster advertising events, including the Monday lectures.

Members attend a Monday night lecture in the News Theatre. The screening room is full. A TFS officer in a pinstripe suit introduces the event – a programme devoted to the Free Cinema movement. An excerpt of Karel Reisz’s documentary ‘Mamma Don’t Allow’ about a jazz club in North London is shown.

Paddy Whannel, Education Officer at the British Film Institute, introduces the Free Cinema films. A man in the audience questions him during the session.

An excerpt of ‘The Immortal Land’ by Basil Wright is shown. Filmmaker Basil Wright speaks to the TFS audience at the News Theatre.

The American avant-garde filmmaker and film historian Jay Leyda is introduced to the audience. Still of Soviet film director, Sergei Eisenstein. Leyda talks to the audience about ‘Kino-Pravda’ and about the film that could have been Eisenstein’s masterpiece, ¡Que viva México! He perches on a cinema seat in the front row as he speaks. An excerpt of ¡Que viva México! is shown.

A pianist is playing piano at the cinema for the silent classics programme. An excerpt of René Clair’s silent film comedy, ‘The Italian Straw Hat’. The pianist is lit by a spotlight at the screening.

Another outside speaker, Mr Eberhart of the Department of Extra Mural Studies, King’s College, Newcastle, introduces the Secretary of the British Board of Film Censors (BBFC), John Trevelyan, who talks to the audience about censorship.

Young children file into the cinema with their mothers and fathers. The audience of children and their parents attend a special TFS matinee screening for children. The children stare at the screen. An excerpt of a classic kid’s film, ‘Soapbox Derby’ (1958) made by the Children’s Film Foundation, is shown. The children clap enthusiastically.

Two women look at a display of cartoons from the ‘Punch Cinema Exhibition’ in the Green Room of the People’s Theatre, Newcastle. A TFS display called ‘The Changing Scene: A Kodak exhibition’ is on show. The theatre audience crowd around looking at the exhibition.

When there are no performances in the evening, The Green Room is used for the administration of the TFS. Volunteers work on a mail-out of leaflets at a large table. General view of the box office staff at the People’s Theatre. A membership application is checked. A woman is handling applications by phone. Three people queue at the box office to apply for TFS membership and to buy tickets.

General view of a TFS cinema audience. Close-up of a questionnaire handed to members. Portrait shots of people in the audience. Some are laughing and enjoying the film on show. One man has fallen asleep. A woman blows her nose. Two young men decide to leave the cinema, not enjoying the film. Overhead shot of the cinema auditorium.

Shot of Heini Przibram shaking hands with the Mayor in the upper stalls of the News Theatre (later opened as the Tyneside Cinema) at the TFS Silver Jubilee performance. She is a guest at the screening of ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’. The copy is from the Newcastle Corporation’s own archive, ‘a gift from the film’s distributors nearly 30 years before’. General view of the film screened at the News Theatre.

The Lord Mayor, Dorothy Ann Fitzpatrick, speaks to TFS guests at The Mansion House. Guests sit at small tables laid for afternoon tea. The Rector of King’s College, Newcastle, and President of the Arts Group, speaks on behalf of the TFS.

General view of the suburban Lyric Cinema, Heaton, advertising Steve McQueen in ‘The Blob’ and ‘I Married a Monster from Outer Space’. Shot of a ‘Sold’ sign: the buyer is The People’s Theatre. A man is pasting up a poster for The People’s Theatre Arts Group – New Arts Centre – ‘The refurbishment is hoped to be ready in 1962’.

Close-up of an architect’s design for the conversion of the People’s Theatre. Still of the architect’s illustrations.

The next shots record the film crew making this documentary. Some members of the Newcastle ACA are filming the illustrations for the production of the TFS Silver Jubilee film commission. George Cummin is directing, counting down the shot. The photographer is Reg Hall who checks his cine camera after completing a shot. Keith Venn takes down his lighting. The commentary states: ‘The London sequences were shot by Don Levy at the Cambridge Film Society’. Portrait shot of George Cummin, director of the film, and Secretary of the Newcastle ACA at the time. George Cummin moves over to talk to Heini Przibram of the TFS, who produced the film. Reg Hall winds on his film as they chat together. The three discuss the production.


Commentary written by Allan Haydock (Tyneside Film Society)

Spoken by Rosamonde Crabbe (People’s Theatre)

Music Arranged by Joe Chapman (Tyneside Music Society)

Credit: Film Extracts by Courtesy of:

Contemporary Film Ltd.

The British Film Institute

The Children’s Film Foundation

Avon Distributors Ltd.

Monsieur Alexandre Kamenka

Title: The End

For the Time Being