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Ceased functioning as a cinema some time ago ,then a period as a live venue after losing the support of the local authority
One plan showing the alterations for the large curved screen for 70mm has survived in the Archive.
To correct the information above, which an article in Wetherspoons' magazine has used as its source, the original Theatre Royal( destroyed by fire ) was on a different site, in Crockherbtown,(which became part of Queen Street) the Park Hotel and Hall (later a cinema) was built shortly afterwards in the area. The New Theatre Royal, and the Philharmonic Hall were built on adjacent sites at Wood Street/St Mary Street and some external features dating from the late 1870’s are still included in recent refurbishment of both buildings.
A mention in the Bioscope trade magazine led to the discovery that this cinema was re-opened as the “Regent” in December 1923 by the owner of the nearby Hippodrome. Advertising a new name, new methods,new machines and new prices in the local newspaper.However, advertising had ceased within a few months and the conversion into a garage took place some time afterwards.Some further investigation of local press archives,directories etc needed to confirm details, and it is not known whether the reopening lasted long enough to merit an update in the KYB for 1924.The “Regent” name was in use a short time later at the newly built cinema in the district of Ely,opened near the end of the silent era.
The derelict building occupied by squatters has been a sorry sight , partly covered in scaffolding for some time, and an application to demolish it has been made, according to a report in the local news media (walesonline.co.uk)
Recent changes of use include the use of the former auditorium as a location for small traders, accessed from Womanby Street.Very few traces of the cinema use remain,almost 100 years later,and an auctioneer’s leaflet dated 1923 has been traced which preceded the conversion to a garage (for which plans also survive).Another set of plans reveals a project to rebuild the Castle Cinema on a grand scale which did not take place ,at around the same time as the Capitol, a few minutes walk away, was being constructed.
In the book Odeon Cinemas 2,on pages 11/12, Allen Eyles records that the Majestic, having been planned by Odeon was built for Max Corne and part of the deal by which his cinema in Cardiff(recently reconstructed and named the New Imperial) was acquired for further rebuilding as an Odeon(opened 1936). Odeon (1943)purchased three of Corne’s four cinemas in South Wales, including the Majestic.
Press reports (2018) that the closed building is owned by the local council and may be opened as a multi-purpose community facility also including some shops and offices ,with substantial funding available for the
regeneration project but subject to an operator/organisation being found by a procurement process.
After years of being under threat of demolition, though a listed building with some structural problems, a potentially viable plan to create a block of student flats and retail units and retaining a number of external features of the Castle Cinema has been announced.
No longer functioning as a cinema so may need to be reclassified as Closed.
The Dominions Arcade,once home to film distributors,with their vaults below, now contains the entrance to a hotel constructed in the block of small offices, (a few occupied by the smaller film renters), originally built above it in 1921, on a site partly used for the short-lived “Electric Theatre” until 1915
Among the papers deposited in the archive are plans showing a planned reconstruction of the Central cinema in the 1950’s which was never carried out.
Following extensive exterior restoration and internal adaptation the Philharmonic Hall now trades as a “Coyote Ugly” bar.Adjacent buildings,(originally built as a hotel and restaurant trading under the Philharmonic name) have also been modernised internally and refurbished as a pub/restaurant,once again called the “Philharmonic”.
The Bingo appears to have ended in ca 2009 according to the auctioneers currently advertising the forthcoming sale of the building, apparently in a poor state, with a very low suggested price.
The records of S Andrews are now accessible at the Glamorgan Archive ,containing much of interest to cinema history researchers.
The small restaurant adjoining the Washington is now trading as “Willmore’s”– the name of the family who operated Penarth’s cinemas.
The appearance of this cinema is illustrated in the original plans (Archive) and in a newspaper photo taken some time after closure, showing little had changed in 50 years.
Was this the last large one-screen cinema built for ABC? ( Rank had recently built a new Odeon ,similar in size, in Swansea,recently demolished after many years as a night-club.)
The subdivision of large cinemas seemed to begin soon afterwards, initially into two with early ABC examples retaining large screens and capacities (e.g.Leicester and Shaftesbury Avenue).
Capacities have been substantially reduced(by more than half) after installing luxury seating.
Only one floor of the original cinema is now in use, with 7 screens.Competition from the re-opened cinema that was formerly the Capitol Odeon which had been closed for some years has brought about a reduced ticket price at Vue, Still offers top quality digital projection and sound. Many parts of the building have been re-configured providing different leisure facilities, though there is current major rebuilding work in the surrounding area (2017)
Another visit to the Savoy in May 2017 , now a stylish “boutique” cinema offering quality presentation and facilities,deservedly popular with local residents and attracting large audiences; created within the existing building but retaining and restoring many original features of the frontage.
Local reports have detailed the reasons for the closure of the garage on the site of the Windsor Kinema and given a some details of the Windsor and the way the building was altered for its new use.It is currently empty and has revealed some of the ceiling of the Kinema still exists and one report includes a good exterior photo of the Windsor Kinema. A search for “Windsor Garage Penarth” will locate the relevant articles,relating to Monty Smith (The original garage proprietor)
Penarth Library have a small display (December 2015) of memorabilia of Penarth’s cinemas including photographs and press cuttings also featuring the Willmore Brothers first silent cinema,prior to the construction of the Windsor Kinema.Also details of the “Regal” in the Paget Rooms in the 1930’s until the premises were required for wartime uses.
It is understood that the research by a member of the library staff will be retained after te display is replaced.
Opening again after refurbishment in April 2015 with,according to press report,laser projection in 4 of the 5 screens,two with 3D,seating imported from the USA,and a very competitive ticket price.
No doubt additional details will become available soon.
Converted into a music venue using the Globe name.
Destroyed by fire 23 Feb 2015.