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VE Day announcement – the first time to be heard by the public in 75 years.

Today marks the date 75 years ago, towards the end of World War Two, when fighting against Nazi Germany in Europe came to an end. Years of carnage and devastation had concluded, and millions of people took to the streets to celebrate, but also to mourn the loved ones they had lost.

The 75th anniversary provides an opportunity to reflect on the sacrifice and bravery of the people who saw us through that terrifying period. To mark this momentous occasion, we have released the below video which features the VE day announcement played in the Gaumont cinema Coventry on this day 75 years ago. This is the first time it has been heard by the public since that day.

Gaumont owned over 300 cinemas across the country and it is likely that this announcement aired in a majority of them. However, this clip is the exact one which played in Coventry before airing the film ‘Madonna of the Seven Moons’ featuring Phyllis Calvert. The record was kindly donated to us by a family member of an employee of the cinema at the time. The Gaumont cinema is now the Ellen Terry building of Coventry University – where fittingly students are still taught media related subjects today.

An excerpt from the announcement can be found here: “We are interrupting our programme for a piece of news for which we’ve all been waiting. The management announce, with due thankfulness, the official confirmation that hostilities in Europe have ceased.”

Overlaid on the video is a variety of images from Coventry Archives, including a Coventry Telegraph article which evidences the films which were being played in cinemas across Coventry on the day and a selection of photographs which show those buildings when in operation.

Other cinemas featured in the article include:

  • The Empire, which is set to re-open soon in its original location with the support of City of Culture 2021.
  • Opera, which once occupied the area between the Old Grammar School and Coventry Transport Museum.
  • The Globe, which is now the Kasbah nightclub situated on Primrose Hill Street.
  • Scala, now offices on Far Gosford Street.
  • The Forum, which has since been a bowling alley and is now a church.
  • Savoy, which is the bingo hall on Radford road.
  • The Rialto is also featured which hosted a VE Day Dance

We hope you enjoyed listening to this memorable audio clip and finding out a little more about what took place on this memorable day 75 years ago.