Neuadd Dwyfor

Penlan Street,
Pwllheli, LL53 5DH

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Eric Evans
Eric Evans on December 8, 2013 at 11:04 pm

Neuadd Dwyfor has now installed digital equipment.

Eric Evans
Eric Evans on September 13, 2012 at 5:43 pm

I’ve uploaded 4 more pictures, please just click on photos.

Eric Evans
Eric Evans on April 14, 2012 at 2:48 pm

Hi again Mike, tried looking for your cinema, it does not seem to be on this site.

Eric Evans
Eric Evans on April 14, 2012 at 2:34 pm

Hi Mike, BTH sound heads & BTH Type A projector head. The lamps were also BTH during the carbon years.

Mike_Blakemore on April 14, 2012 at 11:41 am

Trying to make out the sound head on Projection Equipment is It a BTP soundhead and a Kalee 11 Head.. I had this system in “The Plaza Bromyad” in the early 70’s

Eric Evans
Eric Evans on April 13, 2012 at 7:32 pm

Iv'e added some more pictures, please click on photos.

Eric Evans
Eric Evans on February 6, 2012 at 8:20 pm

Mr W J Kenny (Billy). the cinema’s former manager has sadly passed away at the age of 80. He started his cinema career at the age of 14 as a trainee projectionist at the former Palladium Pwllheli,where he worked for 10 years (Interrupted by national service in the british army. He carried on as a projectionist in the services as well.

He was working as the 2nd projectionist at the Palled when the post of Chief Projectionist came up at The Town Hall Cinema, (now Neuadd Dwyfor) in 1955 at the time of the cinema’s refurbishment and transistion to Cinemascope.

When Dwyfor Council took over fro Pwllheli Corporation in 1974, he became the manager, previous to the council’s reorganisation the borough treasurer was acting manager.

He began a succesfull Children’s Theater in the late 70’s (Theatr Plant Pwllheli) which carried on for many years. He retired in September 1993 at the age of 62 when the building started on it’s second refurbishment.

Eric Evans
Eric Evans on July 16, 2011 at 12:00 am

The name Neuadd Dwyfor was not adopted in 1974 when the cinema was taken over by Dwyfor District Council,as suggested by Capelmawr they kept the name Neuadd Y Dref / Town Hall.for their entire reign. It was Gwynedd Council which came into being in April 1995 that renamed the building to Neuadd Dwyfor, heven knows why as it was built by the old Town Council, also I’m not sure where the glass cages surrounding the projectors on display in the foyer are supposed to be situated as I erected the equipment on my own a few years before I retired.

Capelmawr on June 16, 2011 at 8:51 pm

Seems like the Colisseum in Porthmadog, this venue is in trouble as well! The council have suggested the venue if losing £150k per annum, which they cannot afford in the current financial climate and they are looking for a private organisation or person to take it over and run it. Any volunteers?

Eric Evans
Eric Evans on March 30, 2011 at 11:24 pm

Thanks Mike I hope to include some more soon.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on March 29, 2011 at 3:26 am

thanks for the pictures.really nice.something I know I will never get to see in person.

edithapearce on March 28, 2011 at 11:04 pm

Solomon (Solly) Andrews died in 1908. I can remember once seeing his grave at the Cathays Cemetery. Afterwards the Andrews family business was continued for many years by his sons Francis and Emile.When I worked at the Warner Pathe offices in Cardiff between 1955 and 1960 the WP management still referred to the Andrews current and past cinemas as ‘the Solly Halls’.
In the mid 1950s the Andrews halls booked via the Central Cinema in Cardiff.The king pin of the business at that time was a Mrs. Andrews who lived somewhere near to Roath Park. I can recall visits from the Central Cinema projectionists who complained about the Projectomatic system they had to use. They hated it and as a consequence switched it off and ran the hall manually when the management was not about.

Eric Evans
Eric Evans on March 4, 2011 at 7:43 pm

This is a photo from 1992
View link

Eric Evans
Eric Evans on January 6, 2011 at 8:52 pm

The projection room is very small at this cinema,but quite pleasent to work in,especially during the summer when you can go for a break on the spacious flat roof, with a grand view over cardigan bay of Harlech and Barmouth.
There are no steps from the box to the roof, just open the door and your on it,the box was built on the flat roof in 1930 to accommodate the advent of sound and for many years one had to access the roof to get in,there’s now a covered landing to enter.

Eric Evans
Eric Evans on January 3, 2010 at 1:28 pm

Well there you go,this could go on forever,I only know what I’ve read.As for the Assembly Hall it could have been deemed as a rather small venue in comparison to Neuadd Dwyfor.
By the way I was a projectionist at Neuadd Dwyfor for 50 years,most of them as chief projectionist.The former manager made extensive research on the matter when celebrating the cinemas birthday years ago,the cashier’s books were still at the cinema until not so long ago,they’re probably with Gwynedd Council now.
My last few years at the cinema was as a relief projectionist as like many others I took early retirement when Gwynedd Council took over,but I was still doing a couple of nights almost every week.

Capelmawr on December 31, 2009 at 7:20 pm

I knew Soloman Andrews Grandson, John Andrews, who wrote ahistory of the Company Soloman Andrews & co. and he told me that Andrews had no connection with Neuadd Dwyfor. He was at loggerheads with the council over their refusal to let him start his tramway from the Railway station and in any case as Andrews had his own hall behind the West End hotel, The Assembly Rooms, why would he seek to lease another hall?

I too had heard of his possible involvement with Neuadd Dwyfor and asked him to clear up this matter. I think he would have known best.

Eric Evans
Eric Evans on December 16, 2009 at 6:13 pm

Neuadd Dwyfor’s cinema/theatre is located on the first and second floors of the building,with the foyer & public library on the ground floor.Up to 1980 the large cinemascope screen was housed on a large mobile steel frame,which had to be pushed to the back of the stage and lowered to street level for stage events.

This practice needed six strong council workers pulling on pulleys to get it down,but to bring it up again was very hard due to the weight.Also it was a very dangerous job as you had to stand on the edge of the drop,which extended right along the back of the stage.
The most dangerous part was placing the false floor back in place which were in four foot sections,If the actors and singers only knew what was underneath them ! Today’s health and safety executives would be horrified.such a shame that there are no photographs of how it was done.

The present screen is a roll up type,but the same size as the previous one,when it was first installed it gave quite a few problems with folds etc,but it’s ok these days.they do say that the roll up screens are a necessary evil for multi purpose halls.

When a cinemascope film was shown on the old screen one of the projectionists had to go down backstage to change the screen masking by hand for the correct ratio, and even worse if only a trailer was in the scope format it had to be changed for those two or three minutes.

These days all trailers are in widescreen even if the actual feature it advertises is in ‘scope so they’re shown in the same format as the ads.The curtains in front of the screen were as now electrically operated from the projection room.

Capelmawr on December 10, 2009 at 8:57 pm

I think Mr Evans is wrong in atributing Soloman Andrews with the running of the cinema. If he had continued until 1917 he would have been miraculous as he died circa 1907!
Soloman Andrews was certainly involved in the first showing of films in Pwllheli, but at the Assembly Rooms,at the rear of his hotel, where Fred Young, his entertainments Manager put on shows between 1901 and 1910, including films he shot himself around the town.

Capelmawr on November 30, 2009 at 2:55 pm

The Twon Hall was built in 1898 but opening did not take place until Whitsun 1902, when an Eistedffod was herld there to celebrate the coronation of King Edward VII. “Aladdin” was the first show put on on the 5th to 7th August 1902. Other uses included Roller Skating and a scheme by which visitors could pay 1d to gain access to the roof to enjoy panaramic views across the bay and around the town.
Film shows commjenced in March 1911 with prices of 3d to 6d for adults and 1d to 2d for children.
In 1920 C. Lloyd Roberts got a lease on the building to show films, but had to fit film shows around the other uses of the hall -concerts, pantomimes, amateur dramatics, etc -but these were successful.
An inferior sound system was installed to take the venue into the sound era andf this had to be replaced with a British Thompson-Houston system in 1934. Prices were now 6d to 1/6d.
In 1974, Local Government changes caused the hall to be passed to the control of Dwyfor Distric Council and it was then that the change of name from Town Hall Cinema to Neuadd Dwyfor (Dwyfor Hall) was made. In 1993 the hall was comprehensively upgraded and Dolby Digital sound installed. Capacity is now 354 patrons – the arms of the U shaped balcony not being used for film shows.
A visit is recommended as in the foyer two of the earlier projectors are displayed in glass cages for public viewing.