Last week’s feature on Storthes Hall psychiatric hospital at Kirkburton has continued to spark some special memories.
Here’s one from Dave Whitworth, from Mount, who reveals that the hospital had its own cinema – and the projection equipment sure was big!
He said: “In 1991, not long after it closed, I was a member of a small camera team from Huddersfield Video and Ciné Club (now Huddersfield Film Makers Club) granted access to film inside.
“It was quite fascinating to roam the seemingly endless corridors and explore the rooms and gardens (each with a lockable gate), somewhat reminiscent of the Marie Celeste. The ciné film we produced makes a valuable record.
“What was not mentioned in the article was that Storthes Hall had a cinema with a fully equipped projection box. The cinema was the ballroom which was used for other entertainments and also doubled as a church.
“As I seem to recall there was an altar hidden away behind folding doors at the far end of the room.”
He added: “In 1983, when we were making a film about the history of cinemas in Huddersfield we filmed inside the projection box during its last night of operation on Saturday, April 16. The film being shown was Popeye.
“The projectors were two old 35mm Kalee carbon-arc machines made by Kershaws of Leeds and in the capable hands of projectionists Peter Rattigan and Melvyn Dyson.
“The old machines probably dated from the beginning of the 1930s but were still able to show the latest widescreen epics.
“They were being phased out in favour of video due to smaller audiences and the high cost of hiring 35mm films.
“At this time there were only 800 patients at the hospital.”