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Firms: Willmott & Smith
Previous Names: Albany Road Cinema, Penylan Cinema
Built on a corner site with a small entrance decorated with two statues and surmounted by a globe, this cinema is fondly remembered by many.
Opened on 27th August 1914, when “every patriot should patronise this British-owned and controlled cinema” (in the words of the advertisement of the opening), the interior was attractively decorated in classical style with eagles and the initials “PC” near the domed roof, which could be opened for ventilation (at a time when most patrons would be smokers). The firm of Willmott and Smith were named as the architects, though original plans do not appear to be available.
The name Globe was adopted from about 1931 when sound was installed and the cinema was later acquired by local owner Rex Willis and operated with the Coliseum and Rialto, (both of which had opened by 1914), often showing the same programme as one of these. In the post-war era the Globe specialised in “continental films”, usually subtitled, and was adapted for CinemaScope with a screen surrounded by plain board and without masking. The statues at the entrance were hidden behind boards advertising the programmes.
Bingo was tried for a short time in 1961 in an effort to follow the success of the game at the Coliseum, but films returned, gradually including more mainstream material often in double bills at very reasonable prices. It is understood that a dedicated team of long-serving staff operated the Globe into the 1980’s when local students formed most of the regular patrons.
When the Capitol Cinema closed in January 1978, some seats were acquired and fitted into the Globe, but otherwise it remained, in the words of one patron “a step back into the days of the Bioscope”, and acquired the status of a Grade II Listed building. Despite attempts to save the Globe Cinema, it closed on 25th May 1981 and an appeal was held to lift the Listed status of the building, which was granted in late 1986 and the building was demolished in 1987.
It was replaced by a group of shops above which was a small cinema, christened the Monroe by Brian Bull, who operated this plain but well-equipped auditorium for some years. It was taken on for a while by Chapter Arts Centre, then a Bollywood venture, but has remained closed for several years.
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