Leslie Daws at Tonic Theatre

Leslie Daws at Tonic Theatre

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Bangor, Bangor Boys Secondary School





06min 29sec







Digitised as part of the UTV Archive Partnership Project (ITV, Northern Ireland Screen and PRONI)


Department for Communities, ITV, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland

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Leslie Daws stands in front of the Tonic Theatre, whose organ has now found a new home at Bangor Boys Secondary School.

With school boys sneaking a peek through the windows, Louise McDonald, who used to play the organ at the Tonic cinema, chats about her time there. Rodney, who bought the organ for the school, gives a run through of the various parts to the organ, before a demonstration of the instrument is given.


The Tonic Cinema opened in 1936 with Ronald Colman in “The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo”. It was operated by John H. O'Niell.

It had a 49 feet wide proscenium, a stage 25 feet deep and five dressing rooms. The Tonic Cinema was equipped with a Compton 3Manual/8Rank theatre organ, with Melotone attachment, which was installed on 6th July 1936. It also had a restaurant and a ballroom attached.

From November 1936 it was under the management of Bangor Cinemas Ltd. and booked by Curran Theatres. They operated it until December 1956 when it was taken over by Odeon (Northern Ireland) Ltd. The Compton organ was sold for 150 GB Pounds and removed in 1969 to Bangor boys school. The Rank Organisation pulled out of Northern Ireland in 1974 and an independent company, Belfast Cinemas Ltd. took control. It was still being operated by them as a single screen cinema in 1980, but was closed on 29th October 1983.


A UTV Production



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