Memorial Hall Cinema

High Street,
Criccieth, LL52 0HB

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Memorial Hall Cinema

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Opened in 1925, the Memorial Hall on the High Street in Criccieth, North Wales was designed by architect Morris Roberts of Porthmadog in a mix of Art Deco and Arts & Crafts styles. The foundation stone was laid in 1922 by David Lloyd George.

It served as the town’s cinema from at least 1937, and I believe was once run by the same owner as the Coliseum Cinema in Porthmadog. I used to have an aunt & uncle who retired to Criccieth and they told me that sometimes you could only sit upstairs as the downstairs seats had been hired out to other places for functions, and main floor was also used for dancing. The proscenium was 28 feet wide. In the mid-1960’s it was operating as a cine in the Summer months only, and had closed by 1980.

The Memorial Hall still stands today and is used by a local dramatic group for their plays and for parties, wedding receptions etc. When I was in Criccieth in 2008 there was an antique fair being held there.

Contributed by Richard Roper (abcman)

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on February 8, 2010 at 1:47 pm

The Memorial Hall photographed in 2007 by Richard Roper:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/kencta/4341189035/

Eric Evans
Eric Evans on March 1, 2010 at 2:01 pm

I think the Memorial Hall ceased as a cinema in 1966 but I’m going by memory, so it could have been a little later.

They still had hand fed carbon arcs right to the end,which was quite old fashioned by then,the reason for this was the tiny projection room,these lamps were smaller than the normal auto fed ones of that time.

I remember helping the relief projectionist from the Palladium Pwllheli there one evening in the summer of 1966, the film showing was “Von Ryan’s Express” starring Frank Sinatra.
The cinema at that time was run by the Paramount circuit.Although I only went there out of curiosity on my night off from Pwllheli’s other cinema “The Town Hall”(now Neuadd Dwyfor) he soon had me hand feeding the lamp on No 2 projector,it was not easy to keep the light constant but good fun.

Eric Evans
Eric Evans on March 1, 2010 at 2:24 pm

Should also have mentioned The projector heads were GB KALEE with AWH sound system.

Capelmawr
Capelmawr on May 4, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Film shows started at this venue in 1925, the year the Memorial Hall was opened, by Captain Pritchard (Real name Elias)After his death the lease on the venue was sold in 1945 to Paramount Picture Theatres Ltd who continued film shows initially with one show per night during the summer months and two shows per night during the winter. However in the mid 1950’s this had changed to one show per night in the summer only. The rent paid was minute – only £150 for the whole summer during 1964 – and it may have been a proposed increase in this that led to Paramount closing the venue in 1970.
A man from Barmouth tried to continue film shows with 16mm equipment, but these proved unsuccessful and the venue reverted to Community based events.

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