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Functions: Community Center
Previous Names: Public Hall, Public Hall Cinema
In Budleigh Salterton, Devon, Major Henry Gould, who operated a number of cinemas in that area, started showing films in the Drill Hall in 1925. That same year, on 25th June, the foundation stone was laid by Lady Clinton for the new Public Hall.
Once that had opened, in around 1929, Major Gould moved his cinema shows there.
The screenings were always only part-time, so presumably they fitted nicely into the range of other activities being carried on at the Public Hall.
Major Gould stopped running the shows in 1931, and the council took over. This change might be why the first appearance of this cinema in the Kinematograph Year Books was in 1931. That year, it is listed as the Public Hall Cinema, operated by Public Hall Cinema Company Ltd, with shows on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
By 1935 it was listed as the Carlton Cinema, with Western Electric(WE) sound installed.
It is possible that the Carlton Cinema closed, at least temporarily, at times, during the late-1930’s and early-1940’s, because the Kinematograph Year Books list just the cinema’s name, with no further details.
However, by 1945, Carlton Cinema had been acquired by Mayfair Circuit Control Ltd., and full details are listed in that year’s Kinematograph Year Book, including that the proscenium was 30ft wide. Presumably shows were closer to being full-time at that time.
However, this appears to have been a rather short-lived arrangement, as the Carlton Cinema was last listed in the 1948 Kinematograph Year Book. It is assumed it closed down around that time.
The Public Hall continues to provide a home for Budleigh Salterton Town Council and hosts a wide variety of community activities.
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