Palladium Cinema

Lower Cardiff Road,
Pwllheli, LL53 5NF

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Showing 1 - 25 of 42 comments

Eric Evans
Eric Evans on July 13, 2013 at 4:27 pm

I’ve uploaded a photo of local fishermen, which includes the Palladium’s Chief Projectionist John Hughes.

Eric Evans
Eric Evans on September 16, 2012 at 7:40 pm

I’ve added two more photos.

Eric Evans
Eric Evans on September 2, 2012 at 4:43 pm

Me again David, I just looked up the details in my old Cinema Directory for 1958, all it states about the equipment is BA sound (British Acoustics) and that they had 320 seats. Did you ever go inside David ? Billy Kenny who sadly died this year once worked there for a week or two as a relief projectionist, he was then second at the Palladium before he started as the Chief at the Town Hall, (Pwllheli of course in case any one else is reading this)He was the Town Hall’s manager for the last 19 years until his retirement.
I think the equipment he worked on were Kalee 12s.

Eric Evans
Eric Evans on September 2, 2012 at 4:29 pm

Just looked up the Regal, that’s not at all the building I saw, I was obviously given the wrong information. It’s quite an impressive looking cinema. I’ll have to go to Ratings Row again next time I visit, and see if someone can show me the correct site.

Eric Evans
Eric Evans on September 2, 2012 at 4:20 pm

Hello David, No idea who owns the painting, I took a photo a few years ago of what I was told was the old Regal in Beaumaris. It was then a private dwelling, must say it did not look like a cinema, or a new house.

David_Morris_Jones
David_Morris_Jones on September 1, 2012 at 12:10 pm

Eric – superb painting of the wartime Palladium. I wonder who owns that painting now? ..I’ve just come across a 1950s picture of the Regal Cinema, Beaumaris (now demolished) and added it to the Regal page. As it’s a “sister” cinema to the Palladium (although much smaller) I wondered if you had any technical details?

Eric Evans
Eric Evans on July 22, 2012 at 10:22 pm

I’ve uploaded a picture depicting the Palladium during the war years, just click on photos.

Eric Evans
Eric Evans on July 5, 2012 at 4:34 pm

Hi David, I’ve just added a couple of comments under the photo.

Eric Evans
Eric Evans on May 3, 2012 at 5:37 pm

Hi David, your photos are brilliant, I can see the fencing or barriers on the Maes end of the path from Cardiff Rd. We lived on the Maes for many years, and it was my Dad who suggested to the Town Council that the barriers would be a good idea as the children used to run from the Saturday afternoon matinee straight into the road at the Maes. We lived at Siop Newydd where Alan’s Hairdresser is now situated, that is where from that I photographed the Palladium photo you found on Flickr after the garage was demolished. The barriers are no longer in place, but then neither is the Palladium.

David_Morris_Jones
David_Morris_Jones on May 2, 2012 at 10:10 am

Eric – Thanks for that. After all these years, at last I know what that sinister thing was! I’ve just seen your pictures of the Palladium being demolished which I had never seen before. I can’t help having a lump in my throat. How could they have demolished such a beautiful building? The pictures of the proscenium arch are great! Meanwhile I have added some circa 1955 photos taken from the roof of the Palladium (the little balcony at the top right-hand side of the building looking at it from the front) looking up and down Cardiff Road and also across to the Maes. I just wish I’d attempted a time exposure photograph of the box and the projectors. ….Too late now!

Eric Evans
Eric Evans on May 1, 2012 at 9:48 pm

Hi David,the black cabinet with something like a giant radio valve in it, as you described it was the rectifier, the large valve or bulb was full of mercury bubbling away inside. The rectifier converted the AC supply to DC for the carbon arcs.

David_Morris_Jones
David_Morris_Jones on May 1, 2012 at 5:22 pm

Hi Eric: Agree re multiplexes! There’s no finesse these days. PROJECTORS: Very interesting shot of the “box” . The projectors in your photo are very similar to the Palladium’s – (as you know they too were Gaumont Kalee) same configuration exactly except for the big switch at the rear. Unlike the Coliseum’s pair through, the Palladium’s were finished in black so they were probably older. There is a similar projector (a Kalee 40) on http://www.regalgroup.org.uk/collectiongallery.html but I wouldn’t be sure even that was exactly the same as presumably the Palladium’s projectors are the ones installed when it first opened. The layout in the Palladium was that there was a fireproof door at the top of the stairs at the right of the building (looking from the front). This led to the rewinding room where all the films were respliced and each reel held in sequence individual metal cabinets with spring-loaded doors. As you know it had all be set up back in the days when film was celluloid. Next door was the projection box with the two machines, faders, switches etc Beyond that was a room which had a big black cabinet with something like a giant radio valve in it – glowing blue. Adjoining this was John Palladium’s tv- repair work-area (a bit of freelance business). I just wish I’d taken photos of it all when I was there!
The projection box was incredibly noisy – not only were the machines noisy but the loudspeaker was always at full volume. No wonder John became hard of hearing! Being a inquisitive youngster at the time, I was probably a just a nuisance to John and his assistant but, fair-play, they put up with me many times.
We used to have to sit on the bare concrete floor to eat our fish and chips. Despite the smell of film-cement and arc-lamps and the incessant rattle of the projectors nothing ever tasted so good.

Eric Evans
Eric Evans on May 1, 2012 at 2:49 pm

Hello David, just seen your comments, you have a good memory, we at the Town Hall also opened out the credits on the curtains, the idea being you only see the screen when there’s a picture on it. Most multiplexes don’t even have curtains, everything is so automated with no showmanship. I also remember the march out music.

Eric Evans
Eric Evans on May 1, 2012 at 2:37 pm

I’ve included a photo of equipment identical to the Palladium’s, also 2 of the demolition work, and another of the interior from the balcony. There are also of course photos linked under the comments, it’s no longer possible to upload them in that fashion.

David_Morris_Jones
David_Morris_Jones on May 1, 2012 at 8:45 am

Eric: That new photo of the stage from the auditorium is amazing; a sight I thought I would never see again and which evokes so many memories of so many movies. As far as I remember it was usually the film certificate which was projected onto the curtain before they were drawn aside to expose the screen – not very subtle perhaps, but effective enough at the time. Of course as the Palladium featured two houses every night (at least in the period I remember) and the curtains closed at the end of the main feature and “God Save the Queen” – for which the audience stood. At the end of the National Anthem the last few seconds were projected onto the curtains as they closed. You may be able to augment my memories of this, but when the anthem ended, and the shutter was closed, I believe the projector carried on running to play a tune which I think was called “March Out” – a lively up-tempo orchestra number designed to get the audience moving out to the exits relatively quickly. I can hear it in my head even now as I am typing these notes 60 years on!

Eric Evans
Eric Evans on April 30, 2012 at 10:31 pm

Yes David, one thing about these new multiplexes the sight lines are excellent, no matter where you sit, even behind the tallest of people there’s no problem. Found the other interior photo of the palladium, this one pointing towards the stage.

David_Morris_Jones
David_Morris_Jones on April 28, 2012 at 5:11 pm

Just to say how interesting that photo of the Palladium auditorium is – thanks for posting it. Interesting too how relatively shallow the rake was of the seating in the stalls. If the Palladium was being designed today there would be a far steeper angle to provide better sight-lines for the audience.

David_Morris_Jones
David_Morris_Jones on March 28, 2012 at 5:56 pm

ERIC: Re Stereo – actually, come to think of it, I’m sure you’re right. I can’t recall ever actually hearing stereo at the Palladium! One thing I do remember though is how the masking around the screen had to be specially adjusted for “Strategic Air Command” which was in VistaVision. Although I can’t remember exactly what the image ratio of VistaVision was, I think it was wider than Academy Screen format but nowhere near as wide as Cinemascope.

Eric Evans
Eric Evans on March 28, 2012 at 10:07 am

Hi David,yes it was a very large screen for a cinema of the Palladium’s size,thios was because Mr Baker wanted a bigger one than the Town Hall’s which had Cinemascope installed the previous year 1955. I think I’ve mentioned on one of my previous posts that they did this by erecting the screen in front of the proscenium arch, as I was only 12 at the time I thought the arch was demolished, only for me to see it again when Kwik Save started conversion to a supermarket. Of course it really came down then, I don’t beleive the circuit erected screens in this fashion in any of their other screens, so it could well have been the biggest. They did not install a stereo sound system, The equipment at the time of closure was B A sound system from the closed down Guild Hall Cinema Caernarfon, which of course was run by them.

David_Morris_Jones
David_Morris_Jones on March 28, 2012 at 9:48 am

Eric: It’s very interesting to see the old academy-format screen in the Palladium. As you know this was replaced by the Cinemascope screen which, it was claimed, was the “largest in North Wales”. It was a bit of a challenge for the existing projectors to deliver enough light to illuminate the screen properly but projectionist John Hughes collared some good anamorphic lenses from another cinema in the circuit (it could have been the City Cinema in Bangor) and with a few tweaks CinemaScope came to Pwllheli. I believe the sound system was upgraded to stereo at the same time. A constant problem with the screen though was the accumulation of brown nicotine from cigarette smoke on the reflective surface. They never found a way of combating that!

Eric Evans
Eric Evans on March 20, 2012 at 6:00 pm

I’ve uploaded another photo of The Palladium’s screen before Cinemascope.

Eric Evans
Eric Evans on February 3, 2012 at 9:23 pm

Just uploaded three more photos kindly loaned by Mrs Elisabeth Williams of Nefyn. These are of three of the Palladium Cafe’s staff,the cafe closed in 1966, 9 years before the cinema’s closure.

David_Morris_Jones
David_Morris_Jones on September 17, 2011 at 1:22 pm

Sorry to hear that Liz has passed away. Despite its small stage the Palladium, in addition to movies, staged live performances by Eric Winston and his Band (who performed at Butlins). A number of stars like Anthony Steel and I think David Attenborough visited the cinema to promote their movies and I personally remember Britain’s first World Motor Racing champion Mike Hawthorn and his fellow driver Peter Collins visit the Palladium to see a submarine movie that was playing at the time. Hawthorn and several other racing drivers were-in North Wales at the time involved in filming the motor-racing movie “The Green Helmet” (although he does not appear in the film’s credits). The film was partially shot in Portmeirion – which doubled as an Italian village in the plot. The straighter parts of the main Pwllheli/ Caernarfon /Bangor road was also used to shoot real racing sequences – some of which can be identified by the views of the distinctive walls of the Vaynol estate.

Eric Evans
Eric Evans on September 16, 2011 at 7:32 pm

I’ve just seen the other excellent photos, nice to see Mr Lewis and Elisabeth Griffiths (Liz) who was the cashier. Liz sadly passed away last year.I’ve also had trouble trying to include photos since the site changed it’s format.

David_Morris_Jones
David_Morris_Jones on September 16, 2011 at 7:13 pm

I meant to try to change the picture so that the aerial shot of the Palladium, which I’ve also posted, would appear on the main page of this section – but I’m not quite sure how to do this.