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Narberth was the base of a man who ran a radio and electric shop and who produced a TV set long before they were available. He also built a sound system called Lewphone, the name of his business and shop, and this was fitted at the Tivoli Gowerton and the Capitol Cross Hands. I have not found any other installations and both these were converted to more well known sound systems soon after.
This same man ran a cinema in a local WI or Scout Hut (?) Much more information is on display in the local Narberth Museum along with some of his products,
I visited this hall when involved with the reopening of the Blaenavon Workmans Hall in the late 1970s.
The original photos are interesting especially the view back towards the operating box. Not the height of the ports. The Westar projectors were set at such an angle the ports seemed just above the floor of the box! At this time the cinema was still operating.
I should have said that the Capitol Cross Hands is listed under Llanelly in the KYB!
This cinema was run by Chris and Jack Evans before the war.
It was equipped with Lewiphone sound system. Designed and built by a radio and television pioneer from Narbeth, Pembs.
There is an interesting display in Narbeth Museum on this man and his business.
The only other cinema I have found so equipped was the Tivoli, Gowerton.
Chris and Jack Evans also leased the Lido Gorseinon from around 1937 until around 1946.
The Capitol was re-equipped with RCA sound in 1946 maybe as a result of the use of RCA at the Lido, whilst operated by these two brothers.
This Cinema was run as a theatre in the early 1950s by singer Dorothy Squires and her then husband Billy Read, a band leader.
I recall as a child attending at least one pantomime there.
I now realise that FOH spots were two pairs of Strand Patt 45s each side of the hall. I recall asking my father why the wall was darker above these and had it explained it was due to dirty hot air from the spotlights staining the paint!
This cinema was run at one time by Lyn Thomas who also was involved with the Tivoli ( ex. Electra, Gorseinon) the Tivoli Gowerton and the Studio Cinemas in a converted church on St Helens Road, Swansea and many more in South Wales.
In the 1960s it was called :–“The Pontardulais Memorial and Welfare Hall”
The Electra Cinema was built in 1914, planning application made in Oct 1913. Making this building one of the earliest remaining purpose built cinemas in Wales!
The stained glass window, from the plans, fronted a managers office not the projection room as I thought, which was set behind this office.
Will try and post further photographs of this building as new and when being converted to Bingo with modified facade.
Seems this cinema might have been built around 1913, there is a planning application for a cinema hall in the Local Authority planning archive for this date.
More info once original has been inspected.
Since changed hands and may be running as a music venue in 2018.
Frontage changed and projection box removed when closed as a cinema.
See earlier photos.
This hall no longer shows films but is still open for community use
A very good view of this building can be found on Google Earth street view, without the projecting projection box but with doors and Co-op stone date of erection sign sill visible.
The cinema in the photograph is on Station road Glanamman. Confirmed from Chapel in shot, which is Brynseion Chapel, Glanamman, row of houses opp. chapel and pub on the left. Station road is directly opp. chapel. River bridge shown on Google earth.
1939Cinema buyers guide shows Palace Glanamman run by M. Richards and Co, RCA sound.
(A Mrs.M.Richards was one time owner of Lido Gorseinon!
I’ll follow that lead up as I think it connects with Cinema Projectionist I knew who worked in Ammanford and was related to Mrs. Richards and the Lido Cinema Gorseinon.)
The photograph shown must be an earlier Palace Cinema not the Palace which was at the top of the Arcade and part of a large Edwardian development of Arcade, shops, ballroom/snooker hall and Cinema.
The cinema, as correctly described, has now gone but the arcade and shops still stand.
Seems this important Odeon Cinema is almost ready to reopen !
Hard to find info on the web.
Look up Calon Llanelli on the web or on facebook.
Will try to find out more.
Look on web for Gaumont Dingle for recent photos inside the building! These are also available on
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.
I think both the photographs on this listing are of the same building which I understood was the Workman’s Hall.
Visiting this cinema well after bingo finished it was interesting to see Western Electric Universal bases on the projectors complete with disc turntables. A hard board projection box had been built in the middle of the circle seating and a further projector fitted in it. Why I can’t say,unless someone wanted to play cinemas, as no fire officer would have passed such a fit up!
Building has reopened as The Rainbow Room, a multi purpose venue.
Seems the name is the historic name of the Electra
Cinema as it was the Rainbow Music Hall before becoming a cinema.This is news to me and I will try and find out this period of its history, the original frontage shows the words ELECTRA CINEMA later known as TIVOLI in the 1960s.
See photograph on web entry.
This hall was reopened around 1978 as a community cinema. The original Ross Streamlite projectors were still in the box and were put back into service. The huge hall was impossible to fill and after the free showing of “The Man Who Would be King” there was never more than 30 in at any showing, some times there might only be 3. The hall was run by volunteers so there was no wage bill.
The hall developed structural problems and was later close until funding for a complete transformation was obtained when the hall was returned to a flat floored multi purpose hall and the cinema removed into one of the snooker rooms at a lower level. The original projectors were saved and may still be in Blaenavon.
Before reopening the oil engine powered generator was sold and the engine house was converted into a gym.
Lido Cinema run by Richards & Firth, CinemaScope with Kalee 20s and a glass bead screen (only one in the district!)fitted around 1952/53. Originally a roller skating rink and a live music hall called the Palace.Flat floor but with a “slope” of around 10 rows before a small balcony. Ports so low that people in back row who got up to leave masked off the screen!
Originally had its own generator as did the other cinema the Electra.
After Bingo and a fire the Lido was demolished and flats have been built on the site.
This was indeed the Electra Cinema,later named the Tivoli by Lyn Thomas,local cinema magnet who ran it alongside Tivoli Gowerton and Tivoli Pontardulais in late 1950s.
A very early cinema with good sight lines and a raked floor, but not a popular location and we all made much more use of the Lido on the West End Square. Steat reduction was probably when they adjusted the plan of the hall, which was a normal reactangle with an added triangular section on the left , sight lines from these seats were terriuble and a plaster board wall was used to regain a rectangular shaped hall. Low key set up with projectionist having to come down and wind back the tabs before show could start. Original fontage altered when changed to snooker. Arched frontage over box which had name “Electra Cinema” following line of arch and stained glass windows to back wall of box with central window showing globe and a banner across “The world before your eyes” These windows had been painted out green by the mid 1950s, too much light getting through the ports into the hall I expect. Will try and locate a photograph with the cinema in the background on the Gorseinon Local History Web site.