Comments from geoffjc

Showing 51 - 75 of 178 comments

geoffjc commented about ABC Cardiff on Apr 26, 2011 at 6:15 am

You can find additional details from the original architects' drawings for the Andrews Hall and the re-construction in 1935 as the Olympia,then largely unaltered until the late fifties, at the newly constructed Glamorgan Archive, near the City Stadium.
S Andrews built a row of buildings fronting Queen Street as mainly shops and offices, with the hall at the rear and with an arcade nearby serving as an exit, and leading to the lane which ran behind the Olympia, Odeon and Gaumont and emerged onto Park Place opposite the Park Hall.At the western end of the lane was the film distribution vault described by Editha Pearce.

geoffjc commented about Theatre Royal on Apr 15, 2011 at 5:17 pm

The Vale of Glamorgan Council have approved plans to demolish the Theatre Royal for the building of retirement flats, despite the efforts of a local campaign to save and hopefully reopen the cinema building.

geoffjc commented about Monico Cinema on Jan 22, 2011 at 2:23 am

Brian Bull installed an electronic organ in the larger screen when he twinned the Monico. I think it was a “Conacher”(or something similar). It was placed in front of the screen curtains as if it was a Compton or Wurlitzer.
If anyone has the date when Circle Cinemas acquired the Monico it should be possible to find the press cuttings advertising the 4-track magnetic sound screenings which probably took place before the twinning and Dolby installation.

Update to the opening film still awaited!

geoffjc commented about Rex Cinema on Jan 1, 2011 at 10:24 am

Some pictures are to be found on the RCT Council’s Library/Local History web site. They include the derelict BTH “Supa” projectors and an auditorium view .

geoffjc commented about Vint's Picturedrome on Nov 19, 2010 at 4:39 am

Leon Vint’s name has cropped up elsewhere. Is there any further information about this entrepreneur on the web or in print? I understand the name was his “stage name”.

geoffjc commented about Maindee Cinema on Oct 5, 2010 at 3:39 pm

The siting of the projection box and the ceiling panels are similar to the Olympia, Cardiff, as rebuilt a couple of years earlier. Are the architects and builders of the Maindee listed anywhere?

geoffjc commented about Avenue Cinema on Sep 3, 2010 at 2:27 am

Checking my research notes I was surprised to find just how different the Avenue and County actually were, both externally and in the layout of the seating. Unfortunately the Monico was outside the Cardiff boundary when built so the plans do not form part of the current
archive collection.
The shell of the Avenue has survived fifty years after closure as a cinema,much adapted and with surviving external features covered, used by a variety of other businesses.

geoffjc commented about Avenue Cinema on Sep 2, 2010 at 4:21 am

They were , in fact, though similar in size, designed by different architects.The plans may be inspected at the Glamorgan Archive.
Externally the County was similar to the same architect’s work on the Monico, with a corner entrance,but built of brick rather than concrete.

The Avenue, originally named Apollo at the planning stage was re-designed to save cost but had a “tower” at the entrance end which survives beneath metal cladding.

geoffjc commented about Rialto Cinema on Aug 26, 2010 at 4:41 am

Any further details of this unusual set-up?

geoffjc commented about Tivoli Cinema on Apr 29, 2010 at 4:03 am

The original plans for the “Llandaff Cinema” in 1913 show it to be a small one-floor hall on the site later rebuilt as the Tivoli.The rear section of the present garage occupies the site of the auditorium and may be based on the later structure.
Both the plan and the only photograph found of the original building both show the name “Llandaff Cinema” in the stonework above the entrance doors.

geoffjc commented about Premiere Cinemas on Apr 29, 2010 at 3:43 am

The largest “screen” was on the ground floor, the others were above.
All were sloped floor (not stadium)with basic seating in the style used for Odeon rebuilds (e.g. Bristol),with a few rows of slightly better seats offered for an extra charge.
None of the screens were as wide as the auditorium, many of the seats were located to the sides, unlike the “wall to wall” style which became commonplace later. The smaller units also had screens relatively high up, so some considered the sightlines poor .
Although equipped with Dolby Stereo, only the largest screen is thought to have been upgraded to Dolby Digital and EX.

geoffjc commented about Avenue Cinema on Apr 29, 2010 at 3:00 am

April 2010, building work/repairs taking place and new occupants.

geoffjc commented about ABC Cardiff on Apr 29, 2010 at 2:57 am

Thanks for the comment above,clearly the lenses were changed and screen masking modified, and lower-power arcs used as there was a smaller screen area to illuminate!
The 70mm re-release of “Gone with the Wind” was shown in 1968 so the DP70’s were still functioning, so I’ll keep an eye out for further 70mm shows advertised after that.
Still doesn’t explain why the “Scope” screen was made smaller, so it was the same as the Odeon ?

geoffjc commented about Clifton Cinema on Apr 29, 2010 at 2:41 am

The upper part of the original frontage has survived. Examination of the original plans reveals that the entrance was on the corner with pillars but that the long-lost copper dome above was originally designed at roof level but was placed on a raised plinth with circular holes,( shown in old photographs from its time as Woolworths.)
As designed, the building allowed for a planned later expansion behind the adjoining shops, as at first the hall was quite narrow,but wider at the screen end.

geoffjc commented about Central Cinema on Apr 29, 2010 at 2:19 am

Press advertisement announced the start of Bingo on 9th September 1968.

geoffjc commented about Gala Pavilion Cinema on Apr 28, 2010 at 8:34 am

Plans now located reveal that only minor alterations were carried out by Biocolour, and ABC’s alterations dated December 1934 mostly involved rearrangement of the upstairs seating, in particular in the front part of the balcony where stepping was improved as was the seat pitch. The best of the existing seating was moved downstairs where spacing was marginally improved.
In a letter to the planning authority W.R.Glen gave details showing that the overall effect would be, Stalls 765 to 752, Balcony 326 to 308 “chairs”, providing “greater comfort to patrons” and improved access to Balcony stairways

geoffjc commented about Theatre Royal on Apr 17, 2010 at 1:54 am

As part of a local initiative to raise support for re-opening the Theatre Royal,an exhibition about the cinema’s history was staged during April 2010.
Among the exhibits were posters, programme details and old correspondence, together with photographs of long-hidden parts of the building.
Press extracts included details of the building and opening in 1910 and subsequent changes of ownership from Arthur Carlton to O'Connor(1930)then the Barton Cinema Company ( part of an unspecified larger local cinema circuit)and the final owner, Brian Bull’s Circle Cinemas.
Also confirmed was the period of closure during World War II, from 17 May 1940 re-opening on 3 June 1944.
In the pre-1930 period, stage shows were an important part of the programme, and relics of this period were revealed in the currently closed building, early moving pictures on the “Universal Animatograph” were advertised in June 1911.
As was common at the time, a new “wide screen” was advertised in January 1954.
(The exhibition is on till the end of the month in the Pavilion in Victoria Park in the Cadoxton area of Barry.)

geoffjc commented about Palladium Cinema on Mar 31, 2010 at 4:19 pm

The film mentioned by Eric wasn’t released until 1959 so couldn’t have been the first CinemaScope film shown. Was there another film with Curt Jurgens or a similar title?

geoffjc commented about Chapter Arts Centre on Feb 16, 2010 at 2:14 pm

The refurbishment and modernisation of Chapter is now complete.

geoffjc commented about ABC Cardiff on Feb 16, 2010 at 2:03 pm

The Olympia was never the same for me after they made the screen smaller in 1966. Did they remove the 70mm projectors and replace them with something with different focal length lenses?
The most annoying habit of the ABC management was making people queue outside (in the rain), even when the cinema was empty, and so miss part of what remained of the “supporting programme”.
As a result my attendance became occasional rather than regular, and infrequent once the poor quality triple conversion was carried out, when the presentation standards described by Editha had become just a memory.

geoffjc commented about Odeon Cardiff on Dec 27, 2009 at 11:19 am

In December 2009 the largest screen was refurbished and equipped for 3D-Imax, the new version designed for feature length films , with a screen about the size we remember from the days of 70mm at the Capitol, not quite as big as Cinerama at the Park Hall.
Nevertheless, the very latest in cinema and sound technology.

geoffjc commented about Kidwelly Cinema on Dec 1, 2009 at 1:37 pm

Barring was the arrangement whereby the main cinema circuits such as Odeon, ABC etc had the power, under their deals with the distributors, to prevent smaller cinemas in the surrounding area from booking the latest films for a period after their release.
In the cities this meant that a suburban cinema wouldn’t get the new films until a couple of months later, when the major circuits had finished with them.Small Independent halls were probably even further down the pecking order.
Other contributors will probably be able to explain how the system worked in practice.

geoffjc commented about Central Cinema on Oct 13, 2009 at 4:14 pm

I had forgotten to count the Clifton, as it closed in 1932 and wasn’t ever a Jackson Withers cinema!( In fact it was a cinema for about 17 years and Woolworths for over 70!) My point was that the city centre cinema buildings have all been totally demolished, while some earlier buildings that became cinemas have survived.The suburban buildings have often found new uses,e.g. the Canton closed 49 years ago and has been a retail unit longer than it was a cinema, even though one of the many built by 1914. In the opposite direction a school that became an arts centre nearby has thrived for approaching 40 years and has two cinemas.Apart from a few photos,perhaps some plans, nothing’s left of many cinemas.

geoffjc commented about Maxime Cinema on Oct 12, 2009 at 3:39 pm

A separate page for the Capitol(Blackwood)could be started. The book I found said it was built as a live theatre and later used as market before becoming a cinema.

geoffjc commented about Maxime Cinema on Oct 12, 2009 at 9:47 am

Very little found in the library at Blackwood, other than a comment in a book that suggested 1936 as the opening date, but that’s very dubious as the same author’s caption to a picture of the Capitol ( c 1950) shows a CinemaScope screen in front of the previous proscenium.(i.e. about 5 years out).
Bingo still seems to be in operation in some part of the former Maxime.