Regal Cinema

50 Woodfield Street,
Morriston, SA6 8AA

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Regal Cinema

Located in Morriston, a district north of Swansea, West Glamorgan. The New Opera House was opened in August 1899 and operated until 1903 when it was converted into a church. The Picturedrome was opened on 27th November 1910. It was re-named Regal Cinema in the 1930’s, certainly having this name in 1934. It was offering a mix of variety and films into the 1950’s. It was regarded as the better of the two cinemas in Morriston and usually got the first run of what ever had initially enjoyed success at the halls in nearby Swansea town centre.

The facade of the hall was quite impressive but what really made the cinema stand out was the massive dome, over the facade, that was visible from the Woodfield Street entrance. Located on the top of this dome was a rather strange statue of a person holding a flare torch – I could never quite work out the relationship between the somewhat out of place statue and the theatre/cinema entertainment industry.

The Regal Cinema was closed on 4th August 1962, and was demolished in 1965. A Woolworth’s store was built on the site, now a Wikinson’s store stands on an extended site.

Contributed by Editha Pearce

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

Gigie on August 31, 2012 at 1:58 pm

My Grandfather ran this cinema through the 1930s. If anyone has a photography of it I’ve always dreamed of seeing it!

Mike_Blakemore on October 3, 2013 at 9:27 am

@ Gigie.. This is the best I can do… It might be the only one..

roycolwill on September 18, 2016 at 7:09 am

The Regal Cinema originally opened in the third week of August 1899 as the New Opera House, Woodfield St Morriston and cost £5,000 to erect. The original capacity depending on which account you read was somewhere between 1100 and 2000.It claimed to have the largest stage in Wales measuring 50ft by 25. It had overhead lighting, footlights and a fly tower. During its early life it seems to have specialised in plays and musicals moving later on to variety.

On the 19 March 1903 an advertisement appeared in the press selling off, cheap scenery, clothes, sky borders, wings, flats, rollers and stage screws. This was the end of the New Opera House.

In 1903 the New Opera House was purchased for £1800 by the Forward Movement (Presbyterian Church in Wales). The building was modified, the stage was boxed in and the two dressing rooms backstage became the ministers and the elder’s vestries. The 4 rooms downstairs remained; one room had been a coffee tavern and the other a bar-room. Support for the Forward Movement fell drastically and in May 2010 William Coutts announced the opening of a “Bioscope Hall”. It was advertised as a cine-variety hall seating over 1,000. In later years the Bioscope Hall was renamed the Picturedrome and then it became the Regal Cinema. The last film was shown on the 4 August 1962 and the building was demolished in 1965.

The empty site became the location of Boots and Woolworths, Woolworths having relocated from a site near St John’s Church.

popcorn_pete on December 3, 2017 at 4:30 pm

Shouldn’t that be May 1910 rather than 2010. William Coutts was said to have run films in Morriston Hall before the Picturedrome although this could be one in the same thing.

roycolwill on December 25, 2017 at 4:39 pm

You are of course right Pete it should read 1910 and not 2010.I passed the Regal many times when I was young but never went in. It had quite a frontage on Woodfield street. If you walk down Woodfield Street now, you will notice that the shops from Boots to Iceland are set back on the pavement, this was the location of the Regal. I should have made that clearer in my piece above. Some people may not remember Woolworths

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