New Empire Cinema

Talbot Road,
Port Talbot, SA13

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The New Theatre was built at the rear of Royal Buildings on Talbot Road in 1912. The building had an entrance through the arcade of Royal Buildings on Talbot Road and a frontage on Beverley Street. It had a 32 feet deep stage and six dressing rooms.

It began showing films in 1926 when it then became known as the New Empire Cinema. In the early-1930’s it was equipped with a Picturetone sound system, and offered a programme of pictures and variety. It was rather short lived and suffered a disastrous fire on the night of Wednesday 13th April 1938 which completely destroyed the building. The fire was contained to just the cinema and did not spread to Royal Buildings which adjoined it. A new building was built on the site which served most recently as a printers. Part of the original gable end wall of the cinema remained.

Royal Buildings, the printers and the adjoining Railway and Docks Company offices building were demolished in 2012 to make way for a new development of flats and retail units which was completed in 2013.

Contributed by Sean Pursey
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