Come and See - Michael Chaplin

Come and See Tyneside Cinema Michael Chaplin edge

Come and See - The Beguiling Story of the Tyneside Cinema by Michael Chaplin is launched to celebrate 75 years of the Tyneside Cinema. It unearths some Peter Yates stories of old, both from his time painting the ‘Light and Shadows’ Mural in the Tyneside Cinema’s Electra Theatre in 1976 and from his post war Paris experiences meeting Georges Braque and Le Corbusier among others.
Come and See Michael Chaplin Peter Yates
Image from Come and See of Peter Yates, self portrait c1940

Michael writes: “The book started as a little web project, but has grown and grown, and gradually turned into an illustrated 160-page book, beautifully designed by David McClure. The reason it took off is very simple – it’s a wonderful story”

The book picks out the multitude of colourful characters from the cinema’s past. Peter Yates was one such character, a lover of film and member and supporter of the Tyneside Cinema. After a fire in 1974, the cinema was refurbished and Peter’s contribution was the mural Lights and Shadows on the Wall, which stretched the length of the Club Cinema, later to become the Electra. The mural depicted a series of ideas and images taken from the history of cinema. It began with a Victorian Zoetrope machine which simulated a man running by turning a slitted drum and ended with Marilyn Monroe and other 20th Century icons from the silver screen.

Peter Yates painting at the TyneSide Cinema Peter Yates Mural at the Tyneside Cinema
Peter Yates painting in the Club Cinema, 1975

Michael Chaplin’s chapter on Peter Yates is titled “The Song is over but the Chords go on vibrating”. This is a reference to a piece written by Berthold Lubetkin in 1985 for Sally Ann Yates to support a retrospective exhibition of Peter Yates paintings at the RIBA in London.

‘Some years ago I was talking with Le Corbusier about Peter Yates 
with whose work he was familiar, this boy can see things said he, 
but to me it seemed more relevant that Peter could do things. 
In his paintings he prodded the depths rather than depicting the surface.
Simmering passions behind the stony immobility.
Cathedrals like rocks and rocks like cathedrals. From the vision of 
his beloved Durham locked in the mist of time to the Ultramarine 
rhapsody of Cyclopic Islands.
By staking claims on the distance he excites the imagination.
Simplicity, directness and purity give his work the power.
That was Peter Yates my friend the poet architect.
The song is over but the chords go on vibrating’.

Berthold Lubetkin, 1985

Michael Chaplin’s book
Come and See is available from the Tyneside Cinema and from Amazon

Tyneside Cinemal Mural Electra Peter Yates
Peter Yates’ mural ‘Light and Shadow’ in the Club Cinema, 1975