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Previously operated by: Associated British Cinemas Ltd.
Firms: Phillips & Vaughan
The Olympia Cinema was built in Skinner Street and opened 14th May 1913 originally seating 1,000. It was equipped with a straight organ, and it was enlarged circa 1915 to a seating capacity of around 1,570.
In July 1929 it passed into the control of Associated British Cinemas(ABC). Sound was installed with Western Electric equipment and the first "talkie" picture was Al Jolson in "The Singing Fool". The organ was removed in 1930.
The proscenium width was 36ft when fitted for Cinemascope around 1955, and around this time the seating was now listed as 1,486.
The Olympia Cinema remained the ABC release hall into the 1960’s when it was closed on the 4th July 1964.
The Olympia Cinema was demolished and the Government Passport Office now stands on the present site and is called "Olympia House".
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Recent comments (view all 1 comments)
I used to go to ABC Minors at the Olympia Saturday mornings – 6d for the stalls, 9d for the circle. My best friend had a two-person pass for the cinema (his dad was a policeman), so we saw many films there. I remember Jerry Lewis in The Nutty Professor and Elvis Presley in Love in Las Vegas (UK title).
Our school (Newport High) held its speech day there shortly before it closed.