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The Strand Cinema was opened on 21st July 1938. The cinema had a modern brick facade, and was set in formal gardens with trees surrounding it. The auditorium had a 40 feet wide proscenium
I did some Summer relief work this cinema in the early-1960’s. In those days you could travel from Swansea to Bideford by train. Whilst I was there it was a very busy cinema catering mainly for Summer holiday visitors. Staff told me that the Winter business was always very poor but this was made up by the strong Summer trade.
The projectors were the dreaded BTH machines which most projectionists hated. I did not enjoy the experience and was happy to leave at the end of my agreed time. The management offered me a permanent post as a second but there was no way I would have taken it if it meant living with those machines.
The Strand Cinema was independently operated throughout its life, and was closed on 2nd May 1981, and became a discotheque named Halley’s. It was demolished in January 1992, and housing built on the site.
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