Market Street,
Newcastle Emlyn, SA38

Unfavorite No one has favorited this theater yet

| Street View

Built by J.W. Partington a local engineer and developer. The Cinema was powered by a water wheel, located in the nearby River Teifi, that in turn was connected to a generator. The Partington designed generator also supplied power to other parts of the town. The system is still operating today.

The Cinema was opened in the 1920’s and continued until at least 1944. It had gone from listings by 1947. Today the building is in use as a restaurant.

Contributed by Editha Pearce

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

edithapearce on October 30, 2009 at 3:24 pm

When first opened as a cinema the building was known as the Old Hall Cinema. Later the name was shortened to that of Cinema.

Capelmawr on November 30, 2009 at 6:12 am

I fear that your correspondent is mistaken in her assumption that the “Cinema” and the Central Hall cinema that was in Castle Street, Newcastle Emlyn were one and the same. The Central Hall (often known as the “Old Hall”) was Partington’s first venture into film. It was here that he started with silent films and had the generator provide electricity for.
He later opened the “Cinema” – possibly because his lease on Central Hall ran out – in Market Street providing sound via an Portable Talkies sound system in a hall that seated 450 patrons and showed just one performance per week.

The “Cinema” closed during the War, perhaps inevitably because at the time Newcastle Emlyn’s population was only 762 souls -hardly enough to sustain a Cinema of 450 seats, even with only one performance per week!

Capelmawr on May 4, 2010 at 11:48 am

Further to my previous post, it seems that Partington did use only the Central Hall for cinema shows, but shows did not come to a halt with his ceasing shows circa 1944. The confusion was through Partington using his own address as the cinemas address in its latter days (He owned an electrical shop in Market Square and lived above it). Mr James Rees continued the shows until 1950, when he had the Castle cinema built in New Road (Opened in March 1952) and after the closure of the Castle an unknown man from Aberporth showed films at the Central Hall who made his living with a “mobile cinema” around the villages in the area. These shows did not finish until around 1970

A visit to Newcastle Emlyn in March this year found that the Central Hall still stands and is now known as the Apple Dance Studio

Cardi on December 4, 2015 at 4:32 pm

There are several errors in the previous comments. The Central Hall was built by my grandfather Mr JR PARKINGTON and opened in 1914.(He had previously installed an electricity supply for the town, operated from turbines using water from the River Teifi, which began service in 1909.)

Silent films were shown originally by Mr Parkington, but when sound became available a purpose-built fireproof projection box with two 35mm projectors was installed in the 1930s, operated by Mr James Rees. Film shows were given on Friday and Saturday nights and continued through the War years until about 1950 when safety issues were raised about the Hall (despite the fact that non-inflammable film was in universal use by then!) Mr Rees removed his projectors and put them into storage in an outbuilding at Gwynfryn.

In 1952, Cinema shows recommenced. They were now presented on Fridays and Saturdays by a Mr Bliss of Aberporth, who used a single 16mm projector with large spools holding the entire program. Only the lower floor of the Hall was used for the audience. Mr Bliss also showed the films in Aberporth and Drefach on other nights.

Meanwhile Mr James Rees was building the Castle Cinema and it opened around 1954. The two cinemas continued for a while but it was an unequal struggle and film shows ceased at the Central Hall in 1955.

In 1960 Mr Parkington sold the Central Hall and it became the property of the town, financed by public donations and a grant. After refurbishment, it was reopened by Lady Edmund Davies as the “Emlyn Hall” on 30 September 1961.

Another refit took place in 1992 and films were again shown for a while in 1993 (the Castle Cinema having long since closed) but apart from a few “blockbusters” attendance was very poor and the venture didn’t last long.

The Hall is now in a very dilapidated state and its future uncertain.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater