City Cinema

66 Bridge Street,
Newport, NP20 4AP

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Showing 1 - 25 of 26 comments

Ian
Ian on October 6, 2010 at 9:27 am

A photo of the foyer of the former cinema:–

http://www.flickr.com/photos/stagedoor/5056767338/

Jeffrey Morris
Jeffrey Morris on March 2, 2010 at 9:15 am

Nice Website Martin:)

cinemad
cinemad on March 1, 2010 at 4:18 pm

please visit my website www.walesvintagecinema.com

martin

cinemad
cinemad on February 5, 2010 at 12:38 am

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 .

Jeffrey Morris
Jeffrey Morris on December 4, 2009 at 8:50 am

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 21, 2009 at 9:17 pm

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

cinemad
cinemad on January 19, 2009 at 11:00 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

AdoraKiaOra
AdoraKiaOra on August 18, 2008 at 5:02 am

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.

JamesArranMcDonnell
JamesArranMcDonnell on May 25, 2008 at 10:51 pm

Dear Mr Trainer,

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

Yours faithfully,

James Arran McDonnell.

cinemad
cinemad on April 25, 2008 at 2:10 pm

the cinema closed on 3.4.08.
demolition of the interior is now in full swing.
the interior will now be redeveloped and the buildings use changed to a hotel.

martin

cinemad
cinemad on April 1, 2008 at 11:24 am

Hi All

this cinema is going to close for good on thursday 3.4.08.
thus ending a long history of entertainment venues on this site (to include the Lyceum Theatre/cinema).
the present cinema building is almost 40 years old and was the last purpose built Functioning city centre cinema in newport.
hope to see a few of you on the last night to say good bye to the ABC.

martin

Peter123
Peter123 on February 8, 2008 at 1:41 pm

Yes Martin, planning permission is almost certain now for a Travelodge hotel and the cinema is operating on a week to week basis, but once closed the cinema will have to stripped of all its seating and equipment before the developers move in.

cinemad
cinemad on January 17, 2008 at 4:18 pm

the cinema is going to close unfortunatly. It hasnt been viable for many years. It only costs £2.50 admission per person through the week
the cinema is just not busy and its a miracle that it is open at all. there is a large cineworld multiplex nearby and most people go there now.
I can remember queing around the block to see a film at the ABC and that wasnt to see a blockbuster either it was just popular.
the ABC Newport was always run in an “old Fashioned” way it was run as a 1960s cinema until it closed in 1999 and I loved it for that.
the cinema decor and furniture was all 1960s
the usherettes had there own uniforms the doorman and manager wore suites befitting their positions.
and the usherette would sell ice cream in the auditoium before the main feature. and they would shine their torch to show late comers to their seats.

There are plans to keep the exterior of the building as is and to cut holes in the brick work for windows. as the building may gutted and refitted be used as a hotel.
the delay in closure is i think due to a delay in gaining planning permission although that is hearsay.

martin

Ian
Ian on January 17, 2008 at 9:39 am

Even allowing for the day that no-one came to a performance (see above) this extension would seem (to me) to indicate that the cinema is still viable – however marginal this may be.

cinemad
cinemad on January 17, 2008 at 8:20 am

the cinema has had a slight extention on its lease, so is now due to close in May.

cinemad
cinemad on January 9, 2008 at 10:03 pm

the cinema closes on thursday the 17th so if you want to go and see a film there before it closes better hurry. I went to see I Am Legend in the large screen 1 this week .You do really feel very small sitting in the huge auditorium.

cinemad
cinemad on January 2, 2008 at 6:39 pm

HI Peter
I noticed that the Cinema had reached its 40th year. the Cinema is exactly the same age as me.
it is amazing that it has lasted this long really, espescially during the last 7 year where I think that the various owners have had a real struggre to keep it open.
I visited the cinema Last November to say farewell and to visit the projection room one last time.
The manager came up half way through the films and told the projectonist to turn off the bulbs on all three projectors as there wasnt a single person in any of the screens watching the fils. Very sad.
The cinema has had a few different names sice the year 2000 including “metro” “city” and “reel”. but it will always be The Newport ABC to me. “GOODBYE ABC"
Martin trainer

Peter123
Peter123 on November 30, 2007 at 3:30 pm

It looks as though no-one noticed but the cinema just passed its 40 years of operation on 28th November and sadly it is due to close in January 2008. The main reason being the current lease ending, and the major redevelopment of Newport City Centre over the past year has not helped business. Plans by the landlord are to redevelop the site for a hotel, it seems replacing cinema seats for beds.

geoffjc
geoffjc on November 3, 2007 at 6:33 pm

Sad to read that the cinema is to close. Some of us still prefer to see films in the town centre.
Unfortunately the City/Reel has suffered from the poor tripling undertaken previously which seemed to change the acoustics of the large auditorium making the dialogue almost unintelligible( on a film which won an Oscar for sound) on my only visit under this company’s management.
It was interesting to see the opening brochure in a recent exhibition revealing that only 42' of the screen would be used for scope .

leeadama
leeadama on September 4, 2007 at 8:16 pm

City Cinema WILL close in January ‘08.

leeadama
leeadama on August 14, 2007 at 11:05 pm

Rumour has it that the cinema will close in January 2008, with the landlord having plans to redevelop the building, sadly ending the long history of film & theatre at this site.

geoffjc
geoffjc on August 8, 2007 at 12:34 pm

Now operated by REEL cinemas and trading under their name this cinema currently offers new films at lower prices than the multiplexes.

Ian
Ian on January 29, 2006 at 1:28 pm

Interior shot of the theatre here:

View link

Peter123
Peter123 on March 31, 2004 at 4:11 pm

As a young Assistant Manager working for ABC in the mid 1970’s, I have a close assosiation with this cinema, and that still remains so today, therefore a brief history to bring it upto date.
The ABC Bridge Street Newport, (site of the former Lyceum Theatre), opened on 28th November 1968 with “Half a Sixpence”. Arcitect C.J.Foster, there house arcitect together with Alan Morgan designed the the almost square building occupying a whole block of its own on Bridge Street. The seating was 1322 on a stadium plan, although the auditorium was very plain, the huge screen from wall to wall was very impressive and still is today.
The open plan lobby also at this time had a fully equiped kitchen to cater for lunches and light snacks.

The ABC was converted to a Three Screen Complex from the 4th December 1980 seating 572 in Screen 1, 190 in Screen 2, and 126 in Screen 3. The main cinema now occupying the front section of the former auditorium, and the two smaller screens the rear part of the former auditorium. The origianl projection room remained and was able to serve the 3 cinemas by just repositioning the projectors.

The ABC became the only remaining cinema in Newport after the closure of the Odeon in 1981 and Studios 1 and 2 in 1986.
Ownership changes saw Cannon operate the cinema, and the cinema was renamed “Cannon” until 1995 when it was reverted back under ABC, and again renamed ABC.

In 1997 ABC had nearly £50,000 worth of new sound equipment installed in preperation for the opening of a new Virgin (now UGC) 13 screen multiplex on the outskirts of Newport, but the success of the new multiplex forced ABC owners to close the cinema on 15th April 1999.

The cinema remained closed for over a year until a London Based Company leased the cinema and following a £500,000 refit, reducing the seating in Screen 1 to 406, 171 in Screen 2, and 117 Screen 3, re-opening on 15th December 2000 now renamed “Metro”, but just 13 months after its high profile launch the cinema closed for a second time.
Operation of the cinema then passed to another London Cinema Exhibition company who reopened the cinema 3 weeks later, the cinema now renamed “City”, however again this did not prove a success for the company, and when it was about close for a further time, discussions took place between the owners of the cinema and a local South Wales cinema exhibitor who pursuaded them in 2003 that run under a local consultancy with local hands on management the cinema could compete with the out of town multiplex.

This has now proved to be a success in 2004, and the future of the City Cinema now looks on course for a successfull future.