Before we citizens of St Albans start to think of champagne-fuelled conga-ing up and down London Road, it is good to reflect that we have not only retrieved a place of entertainment for ourselves, but a significant chunk of cultural history....the site of some of the earliest film making ever. This is where Arthur Melbourne-Cooper made at least 6 films in 1908-1910, including the wonderful sounding Cats' Cup Final, starring toy tabbies bought in Hamleys and brought back to St Albans in a basket on the train.
When I e mailed the de Vries's (authors of the recent book on Melbourne-Cooper)to tell them about the Alpha's renaissance they said:
Both Cooper's daughters, Audrey and Ursula who have helped us so much with our book, would be very pleased to hear this.
All the more reason to feel proud of what we've done.