The Manchester Provincial Premiere

Elton Hayes and Joan Rice at the Odeon Theatre Manchester

Down the years we have discovered a lot of information about the film premiere of The Story of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men. This Disney live-action motion picture was first shown in front of a star-studded audience on the 13th March 1952 at the Leicester Square Theatre in London. There are now over ten pages of press cuttings and images of that glamorous event on this web site. But I was stunned to receive this message from Geoff Waite recently...
"Were you aware that the provincial premiere of Disney’s ‘The Story of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men’ was at the Odeon Theatre, Manchester? 
I am attaching a photo of Joan Rice with Elton Hayes at the Manchester premiere. On the back of the original photo it says ‘Provincial Premiere of Walt Disney’s Robin Hood at the Odeon Theatre Manchester. In aid of the National Advertising Benevolent Society. Left to right, Elton Hayes, Joan Rice, Lord Derby, Veronica Hurst, Mr Carpenter (Gen manager Odeon Theatre).
Unfortunately no date is given for the Manchester Premiere but presumably it was shortly after the Leicester Square Premiere on 13 March 1952. I wonder if any of the other members of the ‘Robin Hood’ cast attended? Veronica Hurst who is seen with Joan Rice and Elton Hayes was an English actress. I believe she is still around. 
Before Elton sailed for America on 8 May 1952 to promote the film for Disney there was a publicity tour of the U.K where he made several personal appearances at other film theatres, including the Cardiff Empire,  and the Gaumont Theatres in Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool."

This now raises the question, how many other towns and cities had provincial premiers of 'The Story of Robin Hood'?

Since receiving Geoff's email I have discovered that the Provincial Premiere of 'Robin Hood' in Manchester was during the midnight matinee on April 24th 1952 at the Odeon Theatre. If you have any more information about those Provincial Premieres, please get in touch.

This is a very exciting discovery and I would like to thank Geoff for sharing his photograph with us. The image is Geoff's property, so kindly do not use it without his permission.

1 comment:

Clement Glen said...

Special thanks to Geoff for sending the photograph. Please get in touch if you have any information about the Provincial Premiere's of The Story of Robin Hood.