Prince of Wales Theatre

82 St. Mary Street,
Cardiff, CF10 1FA

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HowardBHaas on June 13, 2022 at 7:42 am

I’m in Philadelphia, and on vacation last month, visited Cardiff for the 1st time. I’ve posted photos of the facades & the refurbished former auditorium of the Prince of Wales. Great job, Weatherspoon!This place stands as a loving tribute to the live theater and cinema that it used to be, and serves current customers just fine.

davidcoppock on November 23, 2018 at 3:32 am

Did the Prince of Wales ever go to this theatre?

geoffjc on November 22, 2018 at 7:10 pm

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.

annalewis on August 8, 2017 at 12:45 pm

Hi all, I hope this is okay to post but I’m currently writing a feature looking at all the different uses for the Prince of Wales. I’m looking to speak to someone who remembers going there when it was a cinema, would anyone be able to help me? Thanks in advance!

Trickydicky52 on January 7, 2014 at 9:06 am

Late to this party. Founfd the site whilst doing some family history reseach looking at The Prince of Wales Cardiff. Out of interest, my father (now long deceased) owned the Prince of Wales from the mid 1950s to about 1961. I was 9 then. We were Londoners and it would have been him that introduced the “art-house” period as he was French and spoke fluent Spanish and Italian too and had a film distribution business in London at the time. He employed local manager(s) and we made regular visits. I went a number of times as a kid. 2 highlights. Most vivid for me was meeting a pretty 12-year old Jane Asher, playing a Panto Alice (Through the Looking glass I think) in 1958 and presenting her with a huge box of chocs backstage after the show. I was 6! That would have been one of the last times the screen was raised to revert it to a full theatre use. In 1960 he put on The Alamo in the school holidays and that was a great success. I believe he sold his interest soon after that time. The cinema seems to have gone downhill after that, together with most of the old independents with the advent of TV and esp colour TV at the time.

Eric Evans
Eric Evans on October 31, 2012 at 7:18 am

I’ve uploaded a couple of pictures of this theatre, I was very keen to go inside as I once visited it when it was still a cinema. It was in 1962, my pal & I saw “Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea” I think it was then a second run picturehouse. I think the film starred Walter Pidgeon & Peter Lorre, then ageing stars.

Jeffrey Morris
Jeffrey Morris on July 5, 2011 at 6:55 pm

Although no longer a cinema or theatre this venue is now a popular Weterspoons pub. The chain has restored some of the glory once seen when entering the auditorium for film shows.

The former circle is in use for drinking and dining as is the stalls. The stage forms a second bar area and several private balcony boxes have been restored. It really is impressive and splendid and a showcase for the pub chain.

Lovers of old cinemas can sit with a pint for an hour or so and clearly see how splendid the auditorium would have been.

Ian on March 9, 2011 at 7:00 am

Apologies, the link posted on the 17 Aug 2007 is incorrect, here is the correct one, which I think shows the details mentioned in the previous post:–

Michael Williams
Michael Williams on March 9, 2011 at 6:31 am

Has nobody noticed that on the side wall of the outside of this building there is, picked out in stone, the outline of a church said to commeramate that this theatre was built on the site of St Marys Church.

Ian on October 10, 2010 at 3:17 am

A shot of the Prince of Wales Theatre, next to the Philharmonic Hall, here:–

geoffjc on April 19, 2009 at 6:05 am

The Cardiff Library on-line catalogue will provide evidence from the directories of 1889-90, including a drawing which shows that the Wood Street frontage today contains much that dates from that period, either original or restored.
The interior was reconstructed a couple of times, Wetherspoon’s have pictures showing the interior at different times in the ground floor bar.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on April 19, 2009 at 5:23 am

Editha; It certainly was originally the Theatre Royal, as stated in the aka’s above the theatres name on this page.

edithapearce on April 19, 2009 at 5:16 am

During my time in Cardiff (1955 – 1962 ) I was often regaled with a story that the building had been originally opened as the “Theatre Royal”. Can anyone say that this was indeed the case or alternatively confirm it was just another local myth?

Ian on August 17, 2007 at 2:14 pm

A photo of a different facade of the theatre here:–

View link

Ian on August 17, 2007 at 8:32 am

A 1989 shot of the derelict theatre can be found here:–

View link

geoffjc on August 17, 2007 at 5:42 am

The chronology of this building’s names needs to be checked as in the years around 1930 as a theatre it was still known as the Playhouse and was known by this name when taken on by William Coutts.

kencmcintyre on August 12, 2007 at 1:57 pm

Great. Thanks for the advice.

AdoraKiaOra on August 12, 2007 at 1:42 pm

There are some great cinema buildings in South Wales that can still be seen. Swansea has some great buildings -The Albert Hall, The Carlton-foyer only as auditorium demolished in the 90s but foyer is a cafe with amazing atmosphere. The Odeon and the castle Cinema . All worth a visit. The Prince Of Wales in Cardiff is great to and have a beer in and see the auditorium.

kencmcintyre on August 9, 2007 at 3:53 pm

I am planning a trip to London and Scotland next summer. I’m wondering if a side trip to Wales would be a significant detour, and if the sights are worth making the side trip. Any advice would be appreciated.