Amazing photographs have emerged of inside one of West Lancashire's earliest cinemas.

The photographs taken by photographer Graeme Murray show the remains of the original Derby cinema boarded up and tucked away upstairs in the Stanley Institute.

The building is now known as the Stanley Club located on Liverpool Road in Burscough.

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The cinema showed 'animated pictures' as early as 1907 and its 466 red foldable seats, though in a slight state of decay, are in relatively good condition.

A photograph taken from the back of the theatre also shows wooden framing from where a screen used to be.

Amazingly, its original carpet still visible under the dust and decay.

The Stanley Institute building is an extensive one and has had various extensions and purposes over the decades.

It has seen life as a boarding house, school, meeting hall and, for the last 20 years, a private members club.

It opened as a proper functioning cinema on December 11, 1913, when it was established by Mr John R. Horrocks who rented the Constance Derby Hall from the Stanley Institute.

Its first full movie program included very early movies such as The Battle of Paardeburg, The Band of Music, Quick the Plumber, Delayed Letter and Pooluck's Picnic.

The cinema opened each weekday at 7pm with performances starting at 7.45pm. There was also a grand children's matinee every Saturday at 3pm.

In 1915 it became known as the Cinema, Burscough Bridge and this year was when the "serial" became popular and a drama called 'The Trey O' Hearts' was screened for the first time there in 15 parts.

In the 1930s it is believed a British Talking Pictures (BTP) sound system was installed, marking the advent of the "talkies", and in 1947 it was given the title Derby Cinema which it is commonly know as today.

It also earned the nickname 'The Bug House’ over the years.

Around this time the seating had been reduced slightly to 466 and around this time its proscenium was recorded as being 22ft wide.

The Derby Cinema closed in 1965 where it has remained in this condition ever since.

There is still significant community interest in the theatre and because of its relatively good condition, there are talks about restoring the cinema back to its former glory.

Some who have been lucky enough to see what's through its doors have reported several ghosts with one believed to be an old chairman of the institute.

To find out more about the Stanley Institute, please visit the Stanley Club website here.

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