27 Fore Street,
Totnes, TQ9 5HN

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In Totnes, Devon, the Cinema was opened on Thursday 27th December 1928 by Mr H. G. Tapley. The Mayor officiated, and the opening film was “Ben-Hur”, starring Ramon Navarro.

The Cinema was purpose-built, of iron and concrete, and constructed on the site of a Post Office. It had a stage and dressing rooms, and the proscenium had the town’s coat of arms above it.

Around 1931 a British Thomson Houston(BTH) sound system was installed; the first ‘talkie’ film was “The Dark Red Roses”, starring Stewart Rome and Frances Doble.

Sadly, the Cinema met its demise when fire broke out in the early hours of 4th March 1944. It is said that all Mr Tapley managed to save was his parrot!

By December 1998, the replacement building was home to a Fourboys store, including a Post Office. By August 2018, it had been acquired by W. H. Smith.

(Note: This Cinema is not to be confused with the Totnes Cinema, formerly the Central/Romany, which is at 27A High Street. High Street is a continuation of Fore Street, and the near-identical street numbering is purely coincidental.)

Contributed by David Simpson
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