Studio Cinema

Victoria Street,
Cwmbran, NP44 3JS

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Studio Cinema

In what was then the village of Cwmbran, the Olympia Cinema opened in 1930, long before the Government came to the decision to expand the village to develop the area into one of the new post-war towns.

Originally an independent cinema owned and operated by a local businessman, the Olympia Cinema had seating for 500 patrons on one level. Although small, it was functional and perfect for serving the small community of the village. It was a typical old style cinema, with little character and few ornamental features.

By the 1950’s the old picture house was showing its age and was falling into disrepair, many referring to it as the ‘flea pit’. The Olympia Cinema eventually closed its doors in the late-1960’s.

Shortly after closure it was acquired by local exhibitor Bernard Snowball, who re-opened it following a quick redecoration of the auditorium and foyer, together with some cosmetic repairs.

Renamed the Studio Cinema, it functioned with some success, driven by the expanding population of Cwmbran.

In the early-1970’s Cwmbran Corporation announced that a new multi-screen purpose-built cinema was to be constructed in the new town’s central shopping precinct, together with a purpose-built bingo and social club. The new three screen Scene Cinema opened in late-1972 and was operated by the expanding Leeds based cinema exhibitor and bingo operator, the Star Group.

When Star pulled out, Bernard was encouraged to take over the Scene Cinema in addition to the Studio Cinema.

By the early-1980’s Bernard withdrew from operating the Studio Cinema and the cinema closed and was demolished in 1981.

Contributed by David Simpson

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

Streamlite
Streamlite on January 7, 2017 at 9:23 am

The cinema building was demolished as the new bypass was being built at the rear around 1981. I obtained some of the projection equipment and rectifiers via the bucket of the demolition team’s JCB! The cinema may well have been part of the public house building from its conception.

gies1500
gies1500 on May 26, 2018 at 1:53 am

I was the projectionist at studio one in the early 70s with Mr snowball the cinema was very busy and well patronised by the local community

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