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I used to be a projectionist in Pwllheli before my retirement, I remember in 1960 going on a coach trip to Cardiff, setting off after 10.00pm Saturday evening. I did not even have time to pop home after finishing work, It’s not the easiest of journeys down to South Wales even now, but much worse back then.
After travelling all night we were all very tired after walking around all day Sunday,there was no hotel involved on this crazy trip.the bus was not due to set back for home until quite late on Sunday. In the end we all landed up in the Olympia, mostly just for the rest. the first thing I noticed was the location of the box as described mickrick,the first i’d seen in that position. The film running was ‘Hercules Unchained’ starring Steve Reeves not that we cared much of what was on offer. Smashing cinema I visited it a couple of times after that, when more awake !
Here’s a photo from 1996.
Another photo here.
Here is a photo from 1991.
Please try again here for the photo.
When the Palladium converted to Cinemascope in 1956, the work was done over the course of a weekend, they started after the last show on Saturday night and completed it in time for the first show on Monday.
Pwllheli cinemas were closed on Sundays anyway in those days, so they did not lose on any performances. The new screen was wall to wall & in front of the procenium arch, also there was no need to lose any seats for the conversion. The old Kinematograph Cinema Directory is incorrect in attributing the Palled with 800 seats, as it was always 702. I have the old monthly programme, when i find it I’ll know the exact date.
Here is a photo from 1991 during the supermarket years, It’s not the same without the name Palladium on that white wall.
This is a not very sharp photo, as it was taken from a moving coach, I only just noticed it as we were passing, if the camera was not already in my hand I’d of missed it.
I’m only including it as the building was still open at the time, albeit only for bingo. I think it was around 1999.
Forgot to mention I’m from Wales,rather to far for me to check it out myself.
Can anyone help me ? when on holiday in 1992 in Southern California we stopped at a market which was held in a drive in theatre. I noticed that the projection booth’s port holes were just that,I mean ROUND windows.
This place is somewhere between San Diego & the Mexican Border,I have photos and when I find them I’ll paste them on here.
Here’s a rather hazy photo.
Here’s a photo from 1993, when the Palladium was a supermarket.
Here is a photo of the Ritz which I took when on holiday from Wales in 1990, great double feature on at the time.
I once saw the British comedy “whoodunit” there, Margaret Rutherford as Miss Marple in Agatha Christie’s “Murder At The Gallop"
This is a photo from 1992
Next time I’m in Barmouth or Abermaw to give it it’s Welsh name,I’ll try to take a better photo of the White. It’s only an hour’s train ride from Pwllheli, but it won’t be until the summer.
It,s probably obvious due to the size of the building but there was no balcony, I remember this vividly although I was only 11 at the time as I had never been to a single floor cinema before.
Here’s a night view of the Vine from 1992
Glad to see that this cinema has been listed, I remember being in Barmouth as a kid on probably a Sunday school trip, and my sister took me to see “White Christmas” ( in the middle of summer"!!). A friend who used to work in the Barmouth area told me that the hand winch for the screen masking which changed the format for Cinemascope was in full view inside the auditorium, and one of the usherettes used to operate it, to loud applause ! The building now seems so small from the outside, it’s hard to beleive it used to be a cinema.
The Palladium Pwllheli also did not have to have it’s seating reduced.
Pange’s comment above that he was technically not old enough to work during the run of “Alien” reminded me that soon after I started as a junior projectionist,I was told by the chief that I could not work during the run of the “Little Hut” which had an X certificate, it starred David Niven & Ava Gardner.
Now this was 1958, and fifteen year old’s were much more naive than today’s youngsters,so I stayed home on the first evening of the film’s run. only to find that when I turned up to work the following morning it was a big wind up.
So everyone had a big laugh at my expense, the cinema in question was the Town Hall Pwllheli,which is still open under it’s new name Neuadd Dwyfor.
The equipment at the Majestic consisted of two Kalee 12 projectors and the wonderfull Peerless magnarcs lamps,and as already mentioned above Western Electric sound system.
I was told that the equipment may have still been there at the time of the fire, even though it’s function during the last few years was that of a nightclub. I have no way of knowing if this was true.
Like the circuit’s other cinema in Pwllheli, the Majestic had a cafe which was a very popular and pleasing meeting place.
The late John Hughes Palladium’s chief projectionist was an excellent self taught tv engineer, probably the most knowledgable in town.
He could be quite witty, he once told me during the run of ‘The Longest Day’ “another week of this and I would have been suffering from shell shock” !.
Although i’m from Pwllheli in Wales and still live there,I have many relatives in Liverpool and had been to many of the city center cinemas by the time I was 11 or 12 during the 1950’s.
These included all three in lime Street as well as the Tatler,also The Palais De Luxe & the Clayton Square News Theatre.
But alas not the Gaumont,well not that I can remember anyway, here is a not to sharp a photo from the mid nineties.
The trees were'nt very big when I took this photo in 1990.
This is a photo taken 1990.