Palace Cinema

13 College Street,
Ammanford, SA18 3AE

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Opened in 1912 by Eavan Evans, just prior to the commencement of World War I in 1914 it was known as White’s Palace. It was a silent movie house, which also had music hall acts and occasional theatre use.

The auditorium was set back behind a three storey building, and there was a glass roof Arcade on the left, which led to the entrance and exits of the building.

Originally opening with 600 seats, it was enlarged in the 1920’s when it was taken over by the Swansea based South Wales Cinemas chain. Seating was increased to 895, with alterations to the balcony.

Taken over by the Union Cinemas chain in March 1937, they were taken over by Associated British Cinemas(ABC) in October 1937. In the 1950’s, it was equipped for Cinemascope and a new 35 feet wide proscenium was installed. ABC gave up on the Palace Cinema on 30th September 1956, and it was taken over by an independent operator. It was badly damaged by a fire on 4th June 1977 and was demolished in around June 1981. The site is now a car park.

Contributed by Editha Pearce, Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

gwyn1
gwyn1 on July 29, 2013 at 6:33 am

I visited this cinema often. My first visit was Easter 1974. The main film was Digby. The price of a child ticket was 20p. Unaccompanied children had to sit in the front three rows of the stalls. My last visit was in the week the Palace closed in June 1977. The film was a Sinbad adventure. I forget which one.

An artical wich appeared in the South Wales Gaurdian just before the cinema was demolished in 1981, tells us.

Built in 1912 by Evan Evans the then local chemist. The opening night was a grand occasion. Lords and ladies squires and tradesmen gathered for a presentation by the Ammanford Dramatic Society of a four act play “The Middleman”.

The Palace was acquired by Mr. Hunt of Margaret Street. During his care films such as Dr. Zhivago and Enter the Dragon Packed the house. He tells the news paper, that what got him in the end was the running cost of such a big building. “Towards the end there was an evening when exactly two lads showed up for a film, the name of which is mercifully forgotten”. Mr. Hunt turned them away and shut up shop.

In June 1977 the theatre which had held the entire National Youth Orchestra and plyed to a full house went dark.

The last paragraph tells that the site after being demolished will become a temporary car park. I have not been to Ammanford for twenty years, but I belive the site is still a temporary car park.

Streamlite
Streamlite on March 22, 2017 at 6:19 am

The photograph shown must be an earlier Palace Cinema not the Palace which was at the top of the Arcade and part of a large Edwardian development of Arcade, shops, ballroom/snooker hall and Cinema. The cinema, as correctly described, has now gone but the arcade and shops still stand.

Streamlite
Streamlite on March 22, 2017 at 7:16 am

The cinema in the photograph is on Station road Glanamman. Confirmed from Chapel in shot, which is Brynseion Chapel, Glanamman, row of houses opp. chapel and pub on the left. Station road is directly opp. chapel. River bridge shown on Google earth.

1939Cinema buyers guide shows Palace Glanamman run by M. Richards and Co, RCA sound. (A Mrs.M.Richards was one time owner of Lido Gorseinon! I’ll follow that lead up as I think it connects with Cinema Projectionist I knew who worked in Ammanford and was related to Mrs. Richards and the Lido Cinema Gorseinon.)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on March 22, 2017 at 10:41 am

Streamlite:Thanks for your information on the Palace Cinema, Glanamman. I have created a page for this cinema and transfered the photograph across.

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