Entertainment in Atherton


The Atherton & Tyldesley Botanical Garden Club, which is today a social club, was formed in 1850, and organised lectures, study groups and rambles on Chat Moss for its member


A Dance With The Raggle Taggle Gipsies

For several days during February 1869 a number of Gipsies pitched their tents behind the Wheat Sheaf Inn, Atherton. They style themselves as the Loyal Tribe of Gipsies from Epping Forest and the only true tribe in England. They number about 50 males and females and are very clean looking. On Friday night the 15th February they held a ball on the green award around the tents which had been enclosed for the occasion. The band of the Leigh Rifle Volunteers added to the entertainment. It was well attended.



Drill Hall/Volunteer Hall

Pringles Animated Pictures at the Drill Hall Atherton 1906, Universal Picture Co. 1909, a further application for a cinematograph license was made by Fenton Cross in 1910

Sovereign Picture Co. at the Volunteer Hall Atherton re-opened for the winter season, pictures changed each week 1909

Kings Cinema Kings Hall

Located on the juncture of Market Street and Bag lane and opened by Joseph Parkinson it was a short lived venue for films 1910-1914 seating around 600 persons. An application was made for a cinematograph license by Hope & Garstang in 1910, they did not re-apply for a license in February 1914

Atherton Church House

Located on the north east side of Bolton Old Road they were showing films here before 1910 when Mr, Hope applied for a license  and after 1914 a cinematograph license was transferred from Harry Turner to Harry Cowburn

Gem Electric Palace Cinema

Opened on the 29 June 1912 and located on the north side of Bullough Street, the proprietors were Swails and Lowther. It closed around 1926 and after lying empty for some time, it was converted into a mini market retaining the Gem name. At a later date it was used by Monks as a funeral parlour.

Palace Cinema

Eagle Picturedrome Co. Ltd. of Wigan opened the Palace in July 1912 on the east side of Market Street, it served the public for 45 years and closed in August 1957. It then became the Caroline Club, and on the 11 th October 1962 the Keg O Kee Club opened with a Grand Gala night


Savoy Cinema

A second cinema was opened in the town by the Eagle Picturedrome Co. Ltd. on the 17 January 1927, and located on the east side of Market Street about a hundred yards from the Palace. It closed in August 1967 and opened later in the same month as a Bingo Hall, in turn it was taken over by Riley's as a snooker hall



Atherton Skating Rink

 Atherton Skating Rink re-opened in November 1909 and was fully heated throughout. Admission was: Mornings 3p Skates 3p, Afternoon 3p Skates 3p, Nights 3p Skates 3p own Skates 6p.


Atherton Sports Festival 1875

Atherton Sports Festival took place on the 17th June 1875 included in the events were a boys race, 150 yard hurdle, bicycle race, a sack race 80 yards over hurdles and a mens over 50 race. all the races were handicapped.


Running Match at Atherton

 A running match took place at the Atherton football ground on the 17th October 1907 over a mile on level terms between Joseph Yates and William Platt both of Atherton for £50. The distance was five times round the enclosure. Yates took the lead over the first lap, then Platt took up the running. At the third lap Yates again took the lead, and running strong he had Platt in difficulties. Platt gave up at the last lap and Yates won the race.


Grand Military Tournament

 These military tournaments were held up and down the country as a covert precursor to WorldWar1 which started just over two months later on the 28th July 1914, and the carnage that followed. Many impressionable young men would have enlisted at these venues only to be slaughtered in the trenches over the following four years.

 A grand military tournament was held at the Atherton Football Field on the 23 May 1914 under the patronage of Lord Roberts V C. There was a gymnastic display, tent pegging, tilting the ring and other mounted events, sword fighting, bayonet fighting, boxing, wrestling, tent pitching and racing. Reserved seating 1/6p other popular prices, men, women and nurses in uniform free.