Windsor Kinema

Lower Windsor Road,
Penarth, CF64

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geoffjc
geoffjc on July 8, 2014 at 9:49 pm

The far side of the building shown above closely resembles the Windsor Kinema as built in 1914, on the site of a hall which was operated for a short time as a cinema by the Willmore Brothers. The old hall’s several previous uses are described in one of the “Penarth Walks” leaflets published locally some years ago, which also mentions the other garage nearer to The Dingle.

Penarthian
Penarthian on June 28, 2014 at 7:21 pm

edithpearce is correct; the building was once a Territorial Army drill hall. The photo is incorrect. It is that of a branch of Monty Smith, now run by his son Robert.

I have a Google map link to view the front of the old Kinema, and tried on numerous occasions to post it, but each time it’s posted, it ends up corrupted by a link to a Fox Theatre. Very frustrating.

But a view of the rear of the building can be seen here: It’s the large white building at the back of the photo.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/ben_salter/390430821/in/set-72157594469475002

edithapearce
edithapearce on October 27, 2013 at 10:51 am

I’ve not visited Penarth for more than fifty years. Therefore I was very interested in the photograph attached to this entry. It has given my aged memory a jolt and two things have crossed my mind.

Firstly, I can remember Alan Watts who ran the Washington telling me that the auditorium area of the Windsor had been a drill hall before his family created the cinema.

Secondly, looking at the photograph, I get the impression that the building behind the garage forecourt and front reception area may be the remains of the former cinema auditorium.

Gabby
Gabby on March 8, 2012 at 5:13 pm

As a schoolboy, my uncle opened a cinema in a shed in his back garden in Plymouth Road, Penarth in 1913. This was probably the first comercial cinema in Penarth as the tickets I have are priced at 1d and 2d. He later went on to work for his Family firm in Cardiff Docks during the 1920s. In his spare time he worked, without pay, as assistant manager at the Windsor Kinema and the Hippodrome. During that time he met my aunt who played the piano for the silent films. I have a number of photographs at these venues showing them on stage with my uncle playing the drums. Later he joined ABC and became manager of the Vandyke, and the Kings in Bristol before opening the new Regal cinema in Salisbury as manager. I have some very interesting photographs and momentos spanning his career which, when I have sorted them out, I will scan in and share.

geoffjc
geoffjc on March 27, 2009 at 4:38 pm

The closure of the Windsor Kinema in fact took place on 4th May 1958, announced a couple of days earlier in the local paper.The staff were moved to the Washington, just down the road.
The sale was reported in December 1958 and the site continues as a garage today.

geoffjc
geoffjc on March 27, 2009 at 4:32 pm

Examination of the local press reveals that the Windsor Kinema was built for Oliver Willmore and his company by local builder John Britton to a design by Lennox Roberston(sic) FRIBA, with seating for 800. The opening took place on Monday 2nd February 1914.
A picture of the building (“A Magnificent Structure”) is included in the report. Large windows could be opened to admit daylight and fresh air between performances in addition to electrically driven fans.
Ticket Prices in 1914 were;-Balcony (reserved) 1/–; Fauteuils 6d ; Stalls 4d; Pit 3d.
The Willmore Brothers had operated their Windsor Cinema for a while in an old building on the site.

geoffjc
geoffjc on March 26, 2009 at 9:53 pm

Additional details and confirmed dates can be obtained from local newspapers archived locally and from several books on the history of Penarth.It is thought that the Willmore Brothers opened the Windsor Kinema some years before the date quoted, and the building is pictured in a local paper dated 1927.
The report of the sale to a garage proprietor appeared in late 1957.