Monday, 10 December 2012

The Trocadero

This stunning photo shows the junction of Scraptoft Lane and Uppingham Road in the late 19th century. Behind the people in this picture now stands the Shell petrol station  and before that, the Trocadero cinema and bingo hall once stood.

The junction of Uppingham Road and Scraptoft Lane

Now an extremely busy junction with cars queuing every minute of every day, you'd be forgiven if you didn't  recognise what you were looking at. The sign behind the horse cart says "Uppingham 7 miles," directing people down what we today call 'Uppingham Road.' The road behind, going away from the picture, is Scraptoft Lane - then just a mere tree lined track way.

Many readers may remember the old Trocadero, which would be built on this site in 1931. Originally it was a cinema, ballroom and cafe, built at this location because of the close proximity to the old tram terminus in Humberstone. It was a cine-variety theatre with variety acts on stage before the feature cinema presentation.

The Trocadero in the glory days

The 'Troc' as it was known to locals was built by Bert Cole, a local builder and entrepreneur and cost around £60,000. With 2,131 seats it was opened with Lord Mayor Councillor H. Carver JP in attendance, as well as British film star Dodo Watts. The opening film was 'Toast of a Legion,' a musical comedy in technicolour.

Sadly, The Trocadero burned down in September 1967 and was subsequently replaced by a petrol station.

On fire: The Troc burned down in September 1967.

By Matthew Sibson

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