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This Kinema is something of a rarity. It has bags of charm and Americans would term in "quaint". It shows new films but in olde-worlde surrounding. The main cinema reatins many original feature such as an organ and coathooks!
The second screen (Kinema too) is wildly decorated as cross between a homage to the Dambusters squadron and an Italian Bordello.
Article for Lincolnshire Life, August 1983
by David N. Robinson.
77 years ago the Kinema at Woodhall Spa - unique among the cinemas of Britain - showed its first film, silent of course. It had started life as a concert pavilion looking out over Tennis Courts, Croquet lawn, Gardens and bandstand in the Spa grounds between Victoria Hotel, then in its Edwardian heyday, and the newly built, Petwood House. World War I changed many things, but little changed in Woodhall and its Spa until the palatial Victoria Hotel was burnt down on Easter Sunday 1920.
Two years later when Captain Archbold Weigall returned to Petwood from being governor of South Australia, he and lady Weigall saved the Spa Baths from being closed down. The same year (1922) Captain (later Major) C. C. Allport converted the concert pavilion into the pavilion cinema. The moving picture was the new entertainment of the age, and Woodhall - where people came for rest and recreation - was not to be left behind.
The conversion was achieved very simply - by building onto the north end of the pavilion a corrugated iron shed and projecting onto the transparent screen from the back. The rock-steady picture was described by a film producer in the 1920s as the finest projection he had yet seen in Britain, Canada or America. Moreover, Woodhalls cinema was then only the 68th cinema to be opened in the whole country. And the rear projection system - which is what makes the Kinema unique - is still used today.
Sourbugger adds : I have no idea what a rare original rear projection unit is, but it sounds a bit like upmarket mooning to me
Updated Nov 9, 2003
Address: Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire
It's all changed ! Again. It's now back to a traditional 'English' type restaurant with 3-course sunday dinners at about ?15.
The afternoon teas (after all it was a tea house) have all stopped. Looks like a nice modern restaurant though - will check it out soon.
The place was built in 1907 for the Spa visitors taking their constitutional walks. The spa is sadly long gone but the Tea House remains.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Address: Follow the signs from the village centre
Phone: 01526 354455
In line with most of the hotels in Woodhall spa the Golf Hotel offers a very reasonable lunchtime menu of a main dinner and sweet for about a fiver.
The hotels ceratinly know their market : cost conscious pensioners, who don't want any of "that foreign muck".
Despite these reservations, somewhere like the Golf will often serve a perfectly adequate and well presented traditional square meal in nice clean surroundings.
The Hotel itself is a rather interesting place which was for some time a girl's boarding school. I'm however glad to report that when it became a hotel the School cook and dinnerladies were not re-employed by the new management.
After a series of owners, and an even longer series of different managers, the place is finally now settling down and is being re-vamped piecemeal by it's new owners Principal hotels.
I wish them good luck, with seven acres of grounds it could be turned into something special.
update ; october 2005 : the hotel has just opened a spa complex, drilling down to the water source that the original spa was taken from.
Favorite Dish: Roast dinner on Sundays
Updated Oct 11, 2005
Address: The Broadway, Woodhall Spa
Right in the centre of the village at the roundabout stands an antique / junk shop.
The owner tends to leave all sorts of watering cans, baskets, old signs, toys, chairs , buckets and God-knows what else outside his shop.
It's either a mark of the quality of his goods, or the nature of Woodhall residents and it's visitors that nothing ever seems to go missing (but how would you tell ? - ed)
Many in Woodhall see his shop as an eyesore and constantly complain about the unsightly junk. Many others see it as a harmlessif somewhat eccentric place to browse and pick up that very unusual gift.
If you ever wanted a full indian headress or an old petrol pump then this is you place !
What to buy: You never know what's in there - always worth a look.
Written Nov 10, 2003
The par3 golf course at Bainland park (see other tip) is worth a visit. It maybe not the best kept of courses, and its not cheap at ten quid at weekends, but with a little effort you can almost imagine you are playing across the gorse and heather of a Scottish links course.
I last played there in November 2003, and hit my ball off the first tee straight into the remains of the previous night's bonfire / fireworks party. My ball was scorched !
I was latter informed on the misc. Forum that you can claim relief for scorched ball under the rules of the Royal and Ancient.
Equipment: Eqipment can be hired - or use your own.
Written Nov 10, 2003
Address: Bainland park, Woodhall Spa.
Jubilee park offers a Lido (outdoor swimming pool) in the summer months.
It's fully heated and has a nice grassy area next to it. I'm sure it must cost the local council a fortune to keep it running as it rarely seems to fill up when I've been there (or is that the reason? Ed.)
Equipment: Trunks, and an ability not to drown.
Updated Nov 9, 2003
Address: Jubilee park, Woodhall Spa
I enjoy a game of golf every now and then, but this place is way above my league.
There are two courses at Woodhall, which is also the home of the Amateur wing of British Golf.
I'm more used to hacking around municipal courses where there dosn't seem to be much difference between the fairway and the rough because there are so many divots - and no one bothers to replace them
A round here will set you back a good sixty quid in 2004 - so make sure your up to par !
I like the fact (from what I've seen of the course by walking) that the course has a very 'natural' feel to it, which means that you feel you are playing through a real landscape rather than a manicured man-made creation.
If you are the golfing type then there is also a cheaper second course (still 45 quid a round) and some others nearby - such as two at Skegness.
Updated Nov 9, 2003
Favorite thing: The most important memorial in Woodhall is to 617 Squadron or "The Dambusters".
The memorial is in the centre of the village. If you have never heard of this famous raid during WW2 then it is well-worth getting copy of the classic film on Video / DVD.
The music on the film is also very famous and was popularised a a few years ago when a 'pastiche' was made of the movie for a commerical for Carling Black Label lager.
You will also find other places worth visiting in the area (see tip in Accommodation) and local aviation museums (more tips on these to be added soon).
I'm actually writing this tip on Poppy day (Remenberance Sunday) 2003, so it feels quite fitting to remember the brave pilots who took part is what nowadays would be called a 'suicide mission' as well as the civilians affected in Rhur valley.
Whether or not the raid actually made much difference to the war is debateable, but the ingenuity and resolve of the Dambusters is something truly admirable.
Written Nov 9, 2003