Dorothea Cinema

17 Castle Street,
Llangollen, LL20 8NY

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Dorothea Cinema

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At the end of 1930, the Horspool family submitted plans to the local council to convert shop and storage premises at 17 Castle Street into a cinema. These were approved on the 6th January 1931 and the cinema was opened in 1932, seating 400 patrons with a 16 feet proscenium. It was fitted with British Acoustic sound and was named the Dorothey (or Dorothea, the Welsh name) the cinema was on first floor level with a cafe and dance hall below. Early prices were 4d to 1/– and it presented two shows nightly with a matinee on Saturdays. Programmes were changed three times per week. Prices had risen to 1/– to 2/3d by 1951.

CinemaScope was fitted in 1955 and the proscenium enlarged to 26 feet in width to accomodate a 20 feet wide by 11 feet high screen. Despite this audiences declined rapidly in the early-1960’s and the venue closed on the 16th October 1963. The owners taking the unusual step of issuing a leaflet detailing the reasons for closure (Blaming the spread of television).

It went over to bingo on three nights per week for a short while, but this proved no more popular. Meanwhile the dance hall continued to flourish. After bingo the venue was converted into a market and then into a second hand bookshop, in which use it remains today. Visitors will note the proscenium and projection box still very much in evidence, as well as some of the origional exits.

Contributed by Alun Turner

Recent comments (view all 1 comments)

Richard Louis Havard
Richard Louis Havard on May 5, 2012 at 1:35 pm

THis cinema still stands at the rear and at first floor level of the Dorothe Cafe. Its now a secondhand book store.

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