Miners' Welfare Hall

Henneuadd Road,
Abercrave, SA9 1XA

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Miners' Welfare Hall

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Located in Abercrave, near Neath. A large building designed for multi purpose use. The front part contained extensive institute offices, a billiards hall and reading room and opened on 27th October 1927. In 1937, the Welfare Hall and cinema was added at the rear, designed by architect Edward R. Griffiths of Swansea.

Seating was provided for 430 in the stalls and 110 in the balcony. The proscenium was 34 feet wide, and it was the first cinema in the area to install Cinemascope & stereophonic sound in 1953. The mid-positioned projection box had a side entrance as an emergency escape route.

The Miners' Welfare Hall was closed as a cinema on 30th August 1962. It was converted into a working men’s club, and is little altered.

Contributed by Editha Pearce

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

edithapearce
edithapearce on November 21, 2009 at 5:34 am

The main alteration to the hall has been the leveling of the stalls area to provide a general purpose hall that can be used for a variety of purposes including formal dinners. The balcony is still as it was in the hall’s cinema days.

edithapearce
edithapearce on November 21, 2009 at 5:49 am

This was one of the nicer cinemas in the Swansea Valley. However, its location at the top of the valley meant that it could only draw patronage from the immediate area of Abercrave and Penycae.

The main problem being that the last buses for Ystradgynlais and district left earlier in the evenings, usually before the film presentation had ended – thus making a Saturday night out at the Abercrave hall well nigh impossible for the majority of the local people who did not own cars at that time.

I can remember watching “The Robe” at this hall and having to hitch my way home afterwards to Ynysmeadwy. My mother was extremely annoyed when I arrived home at midnight.After that episode I was only allowed to visit the cinemas in Ystalyfera and Pontardawe.

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