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Leeds cinema uncovers antique 1930s “rubbish” from under floorboards

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Workmen have found a stash of movie going artefacts while restoring a cinema in West Yorkshire.

The workers were pulling up the carpets and flooring at the Leeds’ Hyde Park Picture House when they found cigarette packs, confectionary coins, “reserved” signs and film boxes from the 1930 and 40s.

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Though the found items hold little monetary value, they are able to reveal some insight into what a trip to the cinema looked like at the time.

“We have been finding stuff for a couple of weeks and we have recovered 10 or 12 interesting items so far, including confectionery and cigarettes,” cinema employee Ollie Jenkins told the BBC News.

Amongst those items are a pack of Wild Woodbine cigarettes, a “mummified” banana, and a box of Kodak 127 film. The cinema has been sharing some of the finds over social media.

“Hugely popular throughout the 20th century, particularly among the working-class and soldiers during both the First and Second World Wars, we think this packet was likely dropped in the 1930s/40s,” the team wrote about the cigarettes via Instagram.

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A post shared by Hyde Park Picture House (@hydeparkph)

The team will continue to share what they discover in the building during the refurbishment.

“As well as keeping hold of everything we find, we also wanted to share our discoveries with you, as we think they provide a really unique window into what audiences were up to in the cinema all those decades ago,” they wrote.

Building work on the cinema was paused on account of COVID-19, but since the refurbishment has resumed, it’s hoped that it will re-open in May 2022.

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