Sanders, Harold 1898


Harold “Harry” Sanders was born in Wales in 1898 and worked as cinema manager in a number of cinemas across England and Wales from 1913-1963. Highlights of his career include a two-year stint of cinema openings from 1935, and during his time working for Grenada, Grantham winning 8 publicity prizes and 40 commendations. Sanders’ innovative cinema management is apparent in his introduction of community singing in cinemas on Sundays and in his early career highlight of being the first cinema manager to show a Flower Show in a cinema (1926). In November 1927 Sanders was also awarded third prize in “The Cinema” 100 Guineas Silver Challenge Cup Competition for his promotional work around the film “Tramp, Tramp, Tramp”.

In 1913 Sanders secured his first job in the cinema industry as a part-time rewind boy at the Gem in Maesteg, South Wales and by 1920 at the age of 21, he was manager/operator and film booker running three cinemas in North Wales.

In 1923 Sanders took over management and film booking of E. Grattan Milley’s Beehive Cinema in Bolton and supervised the running of the Co-op Picture House, Kirkham. In 1926, he worked as manager of the Palace, Walkden and in December that year transferred to the Carreras’ Picture House in Balham. In 1927, with the Carreras, he took over management of King’s Cinema, Bristol. In 1928 Sanders spent time in Cardiff as general manager of two Carreras Cinemas, The Coliseum Canton and the Penylan Cinema, before moving back to London to open the Lido, Islington which changed hands from the Carreras in 1930 to Mr Ben Rose and Sanders continued to work there as general manager.

In November 1935, when Rose sold the Lido to Odeon, Sanders moved to Union Cinemas and took over the Regal in Uxbridge. In 1936 he was moved to Folkestone and then Aldershot in 1937.

In December 1937 Sanders was offered the position of manager at the State, Grantham. In 1949 Grenada took over the State and Sanders stayed on. This is the cinema that Sanders then worked at for the majority of the rest of his career until his retirement in 1963.

After retiring as cinema manager Sanders worked for a further 15 years for Grenada’s TV rental business. He contributed many of his memories of his life in cinema to local radio nostalgia programmes.