17 Castle Street,
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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.
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