Palladium Cinema

Rhyl, LL18

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The Central Hall was built in 1890 above shop premises, providing a space 60 feet by 40 feet with a ceiling height of 20 feet. It was designed as a theatre for a ‘select clientel’ and opened on the 26th May 1898 with the play "Two Roses" at prices of 6d, 1/– and 2/–. It failed to attract its target clientel however and closed in 1900.

It was re-opened as the Central Cinema by Arthur Cheetham on the 6th May 1906 with a film show that included "The Great Train Robbery"– the first film to tell a story -and the shows were such an immediate success that he was forced to change from one show per night to two shows per night plus matinees when wet to cater for demand on the 4th June 1906.
He renamed the venue the Silvograph around 1912 to promote his 12 foot silver screen, which went on to be widely advertised to amateur cinematographers in the 1930’s, 1940’s and 1950’s. The venue was also still advertised as the Central Cinema until 1915, when the venue was requisitioned by the armed forces. This caused Cheetham to quit the venue and move to Aberystwyth, where he took over another cinema.

The venue was re-opened in May 1919 by Dick Shannon as Shannon’s Cinema, only for W.J. Churchill to become leaseholder in August 1921 and run it as the Central Cinema once again. After redecoration and restoration it was relaunched as the Palladium Cinema in 1923 with continuous performances at prices of 4d to 6d with childrens prices of 2d and 3d.

In 1926 Rhyl Entertainments Ltd., took over and installed a 3 or more piece orchestra in place of the lone pianist who accompanied the silent films. The venue never converted to sound and closed on the 21st March 1931. Rhyl Entertainments Ltd. already controlled the Cinema Royale, the Grand Cinema and the Queens Palace, so had no further use for the venue.
The venue went over to other uses and still stands today.

Contributed by Alun Turner
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