Showing 176 - 200 of 210 comments found
Hi SeanP, Unable at the moment to transfer my video on line, hope to do so soon.
The Cinema Directory for 1958 has The Pavilion listed along with the Lyric & The Public Hall, I can only assume they had not deleted it from their listings as there are mistakes here & there in the book.
However it states that the building was on Church street, if that is of any help.
I also remember the school trips to the cinema, another one during the same year as The Conquest Of Everest (1953) was the Coronation Of Queen Elizabeth II, not a film to hold the attention of us under 11’s.
I remember this cinema being featured on Barry Norman’s Film (not sure of the year) programme,with Katie Derham taking the Rex’s projectionist on a tour of the new Warner (now Vue) multiplex in Leicester Square. Is he still involved with the cinema I wonder?
Just had another look at my video,there was an organ as verified by Element54,could not tell the make of the instrument. I never saw the Monico inside or out except for photographs but I had no reason to make this up.
Just had a look in my book ‘The Kinematograph Year Book’ for 1958, and Theatr Gwaun is listed as The Cinema (Westerb Electric) sound. proprietors Williams Bros, 3, Main street.
Just viewed Theatr Gwaun on Google Street, and was wondering from the design of it if it started life as a chapel? The projection room was obviously added on later, also is the fire escape from the box the only access into it. I’ve seen on the Welsh news that council funding is to cease shortly, but nice to see that volunteers want to keep it going.
The projection room is very small at this cinema,but quite pleasent to work in,especially during the summer when you can go for a break on the spacious flat roof, with a grand view over cardigan bay of Harlech and Barmouth.
There are no steps from the box to the roof, just open the door and your on it,the box was built on the flat roof in 1930 to accommodate the advent of sound and for many years one had to access the roof to get in,there’s now a covered landing to enter.
This is not the first time I’ve read about projectionists finding BTH projectors being difficult to operate. I worked on BTH for many years and found them so easy and simple to lace up and operate.
Maybe it depends which model one has worked on, our’s were BTH Type A, I’ve helped out a bit at cinemas with Cinemeccanica machines and found them difficult to thread the film around the sound head with all those rollers.
This bar on cinemas by the bigger circuits was very unfair,they often booked films they were unable to fit in just to prevent the independent hall from screening it.
Then when the film had been out for a considerable period it was available for the independents, we at our indpendent cinema often had to show pictures which were released as the supporting half of a double feature as the main film.
good thing that these were often westerns with stars such as Audie Murphy as cowboy films were very popular in those days.
Peter Moore had already installed projection and sound equipment at the Empire, for all I know they may well still be there,I think it was going to be a no frills set up as the screen was a painted wall.
I also remember an item on the Welsh News on tv that some local organisation (I do not think it was the council)were looking into the possibility of carrying through with the venture,but nothing came of it.Shame really I suppose funding was the main stumbling block.
Glad to see the first contribution on these posts has been corrected,I only mention this otherwise my comments that it was not demolished would not make sense to someone reading them for the first time.
As I mentioned previously I viewed this cinema externally before and after closure, but could not recall on which street it was situated.
I’ve been on Google Street and found it on Great Oak Street,more or less opposite The National Milk Bar.
There are two establishments underneath a butcher’s shop & the Spice Club Indian Restaurant, one would never guess it was once a cinema but try looking around the corner of the building to see where the projection box was situated of which I mentioned on my previou post.
Best of luck Heather,as I mentioned in my previous post I was quite fascinated with this theatre,I’m sure the locals are looking forward to the opening.
I doubt I’ll be in that neck of the woods again, although I do intend visiting the states again next year,I’m a retired projectionist in a small town in Wale. Hope all goes well for you.
The B A sound heads at the Guild Hall were installed at one of the circuit’s other cinemas, namely the Palladium Pwllheli.
The projectors during Mr Bob Piercey’s time were 2 Kalee 12 projectors, which he worshipped. The ones donated by Barclays Bank which Mr Roe referred to are Cinemeccanica Victoria 8 machines.
Although the new projectors had arrived Bob did not have a chance to work on them as he passed away at the age of 80 before they had been installed.
He was quite a witty character, he once remarked during the seventies that if he had to show any more Italian movies he’d soon be eating nothing but spagetti !There were in those days quite a lot of dubbed Italian pictures being released in this country such as “Hercules Unchained” “Revolt Of The Slaves” etc. Many had an American star and he or she were the only ones with their lips in sync.
Have to say though although these films were not very good they were certainly spectacular and colourfull.
The Palladium was probably struggling like most cinemas when it closed, but it i’m not sure it would have closed when it did, that is 7 years before the rest of the curcuit.
It did not close only to stand empty for years like many others, they had an offer from Kwik Save supermarkets, probably an offer they could not refuse,the local council looked into the possibility of purchasing the building, but as I understand it they can have grants for refurbishing a building they own but not for buying one.
The council were already running the Town Hall cinema in the town, and would have replaced it with the palladium. However even if they could have bought it I don’t think they would have, as most councillors in those days like many other people thought that cinemas were things of the past. Who would of forecasted today’s multiplexes springing up everywhere ?
Forgot to mention that one of our old BTH projectors along with it’s sound head and arc lamp is on display in the foyer of Neuadd dwyfor. I erected it myself before my retirement, I also found this machine very easy to lace up compared to many other type of projectors.
I worked on BTH projectors from 1958 until 1990, when we had to have them replaced after the mechanism on one of them broke beyond repair, ,and had to be replaced by a Westar projector and tower.
I loved our old (Type A) BTH machines which were installed ten years before I started as a young apprentice,they never gave any trouble and films rarely broke even though copies in those days were often in poor condition.
My particular cinema was The Town Hall Cinema in Pwllheli,now renamed Neuadd Dwyfor (Dwyfor Hall)It’s still open and is run by the district council.
I should also mention that BTH had excellent service engineers, one in particular was an absolute genius I thought.
I’m from Wales UK,I spent two nights in Hot Springs with my wife in 1993, we saw “The Fugitive” at this cinema. I can see why they gave it it’s name, but still it’s a bit of a mouthfull isn’t it ?
According to the Cinema Directory for 1958 Cinema was the actual name of this venue. I remember viewing it externally and the projection room was erected outside the building high up on two girders embedded into the back wall.
I think it was constructed with metal sheetings,and the steps up to the box were outside,I don’t think you could enter from inside the cinema.The last time I saw the building the projection room was gone, but you could see where the port holes had been cemented over.
I imagine it did not have a balcony as the cafe was underneath.The sound system was Gyrotone.
The Palladium converted to Cinemascope in 1956 one year after Pwllheli’s other cinema The Town Hall (now Neuadd Dwyfor)and in order to ensure that they had a bigger screen than the opposition they did something different to their other cinemas,they erected the screen in front of the proscenium arch.
The screen curtains reached from wall to wall, which I thought was rather untidy,(but then some would say that I would say that as I was a projectionist at the other cinema! !)actually I grew up a stone’s throw from the Palladium and thought the world of the place.
The first Cinemascope film to be screened at the Palladium was ‘Ferry To Hong Kong'starring Curt Jurgens.also 1956 was the year Palladium celebrated it’s 21st anniversary.
I remember standing outside the Gem while passing through Panguitch in 1992,while on holiday in the States from Wales.It sort of reminded me of the one featured in the film ‘The Last Picture Show'by Peter Bogdanovich.
It was closed even back then,so I’m surprised it’s still standing empty after all these years,glad it’s at least still standing but for how long again I wonder ? I’ll have to dig up the photo I took of it as it always rather fascinated me for some reason.
I remembered today that Llandudno used to be in Caernarfonshire in the period I stated that the Plaza was the only first run cinema in the county.the Odeon Cinema in that town was also bound to have been of equal status.
The Plaza did not close in 2001 as Mr Turner suggests,they struggled' on for quite a few years after Llandudno’s Cineworld opened.I myself saw ‘The Last Samurai'there in 2003,and I remember taking my daughte to see Eddie Murphy’s 'The Haunted Mansion’ that same year.And then again ‘Wimbledon’ in 2004.
I don’t recall what I saw there after that.The Plaza was considered to be a very important first run venue years ago,it was the only cinema in Caernarfonshire to run all films for a whole week up to the late sixties.other cinemas ran their programmes for two & three days until those days.
I took some photos at the start of demolition but at the moment Cinema Treasures are unable to take them.I’m sure Bangor being an university city with quite a large catchment area could support a small (say a 4 screen multiplex)if some cinema exhibitor looked into it.