Palace Cinema

30 Queen Street,
Pembroke Dock, SA72 6JE

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Whit's Palace Cinema, Barger's Picture Palace

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Palace Cinema

White’s Palace Cinema opened in 1910. It became Bager’s Picture Palace in 1914. Renamed Palace Cinema in 1923 when Tom Barger was the manager. The cinema closed around 1939 and was used as a store for aircraft alloy.

It re-opened by March 1980 and briefly operated as a cinema until 1983 when it was converted into a bingo club. Last operating as a Top Ten Bingo Club, it was closed in 2013.

Contributed by Editha Pearce

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

popcorn_pete on November 21, 2016 at 6:40 pm

Opened as White’s Palace in 1910 and became Barger’s Picture Palace four years later. It was enlarged in 1921 and a year later advertised for sale but failed to attract any buyers. It reopened as the Palace in 1923. The recent bingo operation closed in March 2013, along with the Milford Haven branch at the former Astoria, and it is unclear what the premises are being used for.

DavidSimpson on August 14, 2021 at 3:02 am

Material in the Cinema Theatre Association Archive contradicts the assertion in the Overview (repeated in the book ‘The Cinemas of West Wales’) that the Palace cinema re-opened after the Second World War and then closed around 1960.

A cutting from the ‘Pembroke County & West Wales Guardian’, dated 15th December 1978, reported that plans had been approved for “well-known Pembroke company” L. W. Haggar & Sons (which was running Haggars Cinema in Pembroke - see separate Cinema Treasures entry) to re-open the Palace, which had “closed shortly after the birth of the ‘talkies’ in the 1920s”, as a “cinema and bingo hall”. Which implies that the Palace had not operated as a cinema after the Second World War (supporting this assertion is that it was not listed in the post-war Kinematograph Year Books).

The impetus behind this scheme was to provide the residents of Pembroke Dock with ‘big screen’ entertainment, which they had been denied since the closure of the Grand Cinema - see separate Cinema Treasures entry - in 1974.

It is not known when the Palace Cinema re-opened, but it was certainly showing films by March 1980, as the Archive holds a programme booklet for that month, a ‘joint booklet’ which also provides details of the shows at Haggars Cinema. The Archive holds (intermittent) booklets up to June 1982, and, sadly, the Palace does not appear to have survived much longer, as its final entry in the BFI Film and Television Handbook was in 1983.

The Handbook listed 460 seats. It is not known how many seats there were in the early years, so it is not known whether this was, for example, a circle-only cinema operation, with bingo in the stalls. However, it seems much more likely that bingo - at some stage, if not all the time, operated by Top Ten Bingo - followed the cessation of the film shows.

(Incidentally, the newspaper cutting refers to the Palace Cinema as being on Park Street, as opposed to Queen Street as in this entry. However, Park Street runs at right angles to Queen Street and, while the main cinema entrance does appear to have been on Queen Street, this was very narrow, and there is also access to the side of the auditorium from Park Street.)

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