High Street & Church Street,
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The last single screen cinema to be built in Aberdare. The Rex Cinema opened on Easter Monday 1939 with Janet Gaynor in “Three Loves Has Nancy” and Pat O'Brien in “The Garden of the Moon”. The Rex Cinema had a fairly plain facade, that had a huge central glazed opening, which was topped by a very high canopy, with the name REX above. Inside the foyer and auditorium there was decorative plasterwork in an Art Deco style. The proscenium was 56 feet wide. It was equipped with a Compton 2Manual Theatrone organ which had an illuminated console on a lift.
In the early-1970’s the Rex Cinema went over to bingo sessions on two days a week. It was closed on 6th July 1983, and within weeks of closing the Compton organ was sold.
In 1985, the building was used as the setting for the Welsh language feature film “Coming Up Roses”, one of the very few films ever made to star a cinema, in which a group of local people use an old cinema as a mushroom farm! The Rex Cinema was partly repainted by the production crew especially for this production, and there was hope that it may be re-opened. Sadly, this never happened and it was demolished in 1990, and the site became a car parking space.
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