Savoy Cinemas

7 Rolle Street,
Exmouth, EX8 1HP

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Screen 2, July 2012

The building that the Savoy Cinemas is located in, opened on 10th August of 1877 as Exmouth Public Hall and was designed by architect J. Johnson of London. Moving pictures were being shown here from at least 1910 and in 1930 it was re-named the Capitol Cinema. It is listed as the Savoy Cinema in the 1937 edition of the Kinematograph Yearbook with a seating capacity of 850. The proscenium was 26 feet wide, the stage 21 feet deep and there were six dressing rooms. During the early-1940’s a German bomb fell on the Savoy Cinema, but it failed to explode. By 1966 it was operated by the Miles Byrne circuit.

In 1979 plans were put forward to re-develop the Savoy Cinema and it was closed. An amusement arcade opened in the stalls area. In 1987 the South East Devonshire District Council took over the building and did some renewal work, including converting it into a twin screen cinema. It re-opened on 24th July 1987 with 230 seats and 110 seats with “The Living Daylights” and “Superman IV”. One of the cinemas was located on what had been the former stage. In July 1994 a third screen seating 100 was created out of a former cafe area. Today, this third screen seats 70 people.

The Savoy Cinemas is now operated by the independent Scott Cinemas Ltd. chain.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on February 28, 2008 at 10:42 am

ARIBA = Associate (or Articled to) Royal Intitute of British Architects.

DanHarris1982 on June 5, 2011 at 7:18 am

A complete front-of-house refurbishment was carried out during 2010, together with the installation of Dolby Digital 3D in screen 1. Further work is to follow inlcuding the renewal of the screen and sound system in screen 3, and the full conversion to digital projection in July 2011.

DanHarris1982 on August 26, 2013 at 1:26 pm

For further interest: The current Screen 1 is located in the former front stalls area – the screen sheet itself being located under the front of the circle, and the back wall being the former proscenium. The projection box is on the stage. Screen 2 is located underneath the balcony. The original balcony is still intact and can be accessed via the screen frame in Screen 1 – all of the seating terraces are intact, as is the barrel-vault ceiling. Sadly the original projection box is no longer accessible.

PhilipWW on April 5, 2018 at 1:18 pm

I have never been there but from the photos, which I presume are for Screen 1, the auditorium looks rather impressive with a large screen fitted with movable side masking for Scope presentations.

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