Cat no. 226504

British Cinema History Research Project Oral Histories: Ella Mallett (music accompanist)


Recorded 15 June 1988

Ella Mallett (15 April 1894 - ?)
Interviewed by Roy Fowler

Ella Mallett was employed at the New Gallery Cinema, Regent Street as part of the orchestra from May 1914 until the advent of sound. From 1930 she worked at the head office of Bloom's Cinema Circuit, until her retirement. She is interviewed at the Cinematograph Trades' Benevolent Fund rest home, 'Glebelands'.

In this interview, Mallett talks to Roy Fowler, primarily about her memories of working at the New Gallery, accompanying silent features. She recalls spefic films such as 'The Battle of the Somme' (1916) and 'My Lady's Dress' (1917), and the musical effects used for these films. She talks generally of her memories of the New Gallery staff and of cinema-going in the silent period. She also discusses the history of the CTBF and the atmosphere of 'Glebelands' where she spent her retirement. While it is brief and a little sketchy (Mallett was 94 when the interview was conducted) this interview gives a remarkable insight into the life of a cinema musician.

(Lawrence Napper, BCHRP)