City Cinema

66 Bridge Street,
Newport, NP20 4AP

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City Cinema

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The ABC was built right in the heart of Newport, South Wales on the site of the Lyceum Theatre which was demolished to make way for it.

Built in 1967 in Bridge Street Newport, the ABC cinema was originally a one screen cinema which could seat 1,320 people in a "stadium " auditorium. The cinema Had 3 "Peerless" projectors which made the cinema the place to see films made in the "Cinemascope" Format.

The screen was large even for the standards of the day, it was 58 feet wide by 27.6 feet high. The auditorium was converted to 3 screens in the 1970s utilizing the two outer projectors for the two smaller auditoria. The main auditorium still survives today and is huge in dimension, you feel dwarfed while sitting in your seat waiting for the film to start. (The screen is still the largest in Wales.) In April 1986 it was taken over by the Cannon Cinemas chain and was re-named Cannon.

The cinema is struggling to survive and has changed hands twice since it was closed as the ABC in 1999. This was the best place to see the latest blockbuster.

Taken over by an independent operator and re-name City Cinema, it was closed on 3rd April 2008 and work began immediately to convert the building into a hotel.

Contributed by Martin Trainer

Recent comments (view all 26 comments)

JamesArranMcDonnell
JamesArranMcDonnell on May 25, 2008 at 11:51 am

Dear Mr Trainer,

I was the Projectionist you met when you visited the cinema last November. Please contact me.

Yours faithfully,

James Arran McDonnell.

AdoraKiaOra
AdoraKiaOra on August 17, 2008 at 6:02 pm

The building is now gutted and the hotel windows are beginning to appear all over the walls. What a shame to loose such a great cinema.

cinemad
cinemad on January 19, 2009 at 1:00 pm

James

the projectionist from above. I have tried e mailing you several times with no success. I would love to hear from you.

get back to me.

martin

cinemad
cinemad on February 21, 2009 at 11:17 am

the conversion of the cinema into a hotel is now all but complete. and looks as though it will be open will be open very soon. the cinema interior was completely gutted and rebuilt during the last 10 months. the exterior was also changed slightly with some of the brickwork rendered and painted. the entrance to the hotel is going to be through what was the original cinema entrance.
martin

Jeffrey Morris
Jeffrey Morris on December 3, 2009 at 10:50 pm

Visitors might be interested in this video made by students in Newport, it is a celebration of the former ABC cinema in Newport Gwent.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYqBijhCZmo

cinemad
cinemad on February 4, 2010 at 2:38 pm

Hi
I was involved in the above film and was glad to give my own tribute to this very special cinema.
the film is very professional in its finish and quite sad as well.
Anyone who visited the cinema over the years would im sure acknowledge it was a great place to see a film.
I pass the Building every day on my way to work and still get a pang of sadness to think that I will never see a film in there again.
the exterior is prettymuch the same and you could still tell that this “hotel” started out life as a 1960s ABC cinema. but now in place of the familiar ABC sign there is “Travelodge” and in place of the huge auditorium are many hotel rooms. were there were seats now beds lay in their place. now customers sleep as residents instead of patrons and film fans.
this cinema had a 40 year history of film presentation its huge screen showed films such as Jaws,superman ,ET, Jurassic Park and Star Wars.
Those who visited in the 90s Saw the cinema pretty much as it looked in the 1960s as the interior didnt change alot .
People didnt realise it at the time but when they visited the ABC in Newport they were seeing a film in great surroundings with great staff serving you in an old fashioned “wonderful” way.l
Go to Cineworld Newport and that is gone forever. your ticket is ripped by a spotty tennager and you watch your film on the big screen in sterile unispired surroundings. the romance is dead .

cinemad
cinemad on March 1, 2010 at 6:18 am

please visit my website www.walesvintagecinema.com

martin

Jeffrey Morris
Jeffrey Morris on March 1, 2010 at 11:15 pm

Nice Website Martin:)

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