Comments from geoffjc

Showing 126 - 150 of 178 comments

geoffjc commented about Gala Pavilion Cinema on May 1, 2008 at 5:23 am

Some of the building plans now located show many of the features of the building have survived several of the updates, though the side balconies supported on steel columns were lost (probably when the balcony was re-built for Bingo).
The present entrance and foyer is not original but has been very carefully constructed to resemble the old building.
Further research will be required to determine the extent of the work carried out to plans by W Glen ca 1929, probably for the new lessee ABC.

geoffjc commented about Gaumont Cardiff on May 1, 2008 at 5:08 am

Drawings now located in the local archive are by architect T Waring were dated October 1886 and show the building to be let to “Professor Levino”. Dolph and Henri Levino were “Crayon and Musical Artists” according the only reference so far located.
The Hall had theatre seating only in the first six rows and the balcony. Benches are shown on most of the ground floor (Pit) and all of the large gallery

geoffjc commented about Gaumont Cardiff on Apr 23, 2008 at 4:45 am

The poster for the Grand Opening of “Levino’s Museum of Varieties” on November 7th 1887 reveals that the building had been “thoroughly remodelled and decorated” and describes many paintings and decorations and refers to Balcony, Gallery and Boxes.

geoffjc commented about Tivoli Cinema on Mar 18, 2008 at 12:36 pm

Same management( “R.S.T.” )as Plaza Cadoxton post-war.Often advertised as “New Tivoli”

geoffjc commented about Romilly Cinema on Mar 18, 2008 at 12:32 pm

Part of a local group with the Theatre Royal and Palace, Cadoxton in the 1940’s.

geoffjc commented about Theatre Royal on Mar 18, 2008 at 12:30 pm

Re-opened June 1944, details in local press.

geoffjc commented about Splott Cinema on Feb 24, 2008 at 6:16 pm

A planning application has been submitted to demolish the Splott and build a large number of dwellings. (Feb 2008)

geoffjc commented about Washington Luxury Cinema on Jan 8, 2008 at 6:33 am

When the Washington opened, as well as the Windsor Kinema, films were also being shown at the “Regal” in the Paget Rooms (building survives and is still in use for live theatre shows/concerts.)
The Pavilion on Penarth Pier had also operated as a cinema for a short time in 1932. Further research needed before separate pages are created.

geoffjc commented about Chapter Arts Centre on Jan 8, 2008 at 6:04 am

Refurbishment of both cinemas at Chapter is a part of an extensive improvement plan to deal with problems with the 100-year old main building and improve the theatre and entrance areas.A number of fund-raising initiatives are in place and work is expected to begin in 2008.

geoffjc commented about Canton Cinema on Jan 8, 2008 at 5:56 am

At January 2008 it appears that a plan to re-open the first floor dance studio has failed as a poster stating it would open soon has been removed.

geoffjc commented about New Theatre on Dec 19, 2007 at 12:02 pm

Thanks Ian.
As I recall the screen wasn’t all that large because of the proscenium being “stage” size. Projection was from very high up, over what was then the “gallery” (hard seats with no backs) so possibly suffered from “keystoning”, and the sound was probably from a horn box wheeled onto the stage behind the screen.
Sherman Theatre and St. David’s Hall the other two “occasional” cinemas in the 70’s and 80’s could be added to more or less complete the coverage of the Cardiff area if you have any memorabilia.

geoffjc commented about New Theatre on Dec 18, 2007 at 6:58 pm

There was a film season during the summer in the late 70’s, I’ll have to look up exact year. I remember seeing “The Sunshine Boys”, “Summer of 42” , “The Way we Were” and “Blazing Saddles” at the New.
The theatre’s web site is compiling a list of everything ever staged or screened.
In the early 1930’s the programme contained some “live” acts advertised as “Kit Cat Cabaret”. Details can be found in the local library newspaper archive.
Some details of the adaptation for projection equipment are available in the Record Office.

It is, I believe, some years since films have been shown at the New Theatre. Others may know whether any equipment survives but I suspect that Xenon lanterns and Dolby Sound were never installed.

geoffjc commented about Ninian Cinema on Nov 21, 2007 at 1:02 pm

The archived plans show that the proscenium opening was 22' in 1950 so the Scope screen was probably less.The architect in 1950 shows the screen to be only 10' high .

geoffjc commented about Ninian Cinema on Nov 16, 2007 at 7:23 am

Above comment no longer applies.
Architects involved with this cinema were;-
In 1913 H.M.Pritchard and Seymour. (Most plans survive)
In 1950 J.B.Wride (reconstruction after fire, drawings and plan of structural alterations survive.)
The absence of a plan for the Cinemascope installation in 1955 suggests that the new screen and masking (no curtains) were fitted within the simple proscenium, and explains why the “normal” screen was very small.
The Scope screen was only about 22' wide ( at most) but was quite acceptable when viewed from the balcony as the image was fairly bright.
Today’s multiplex cinemas of similar dimensions would have a 32' screen but only about 160 seats. Our grandparents were happy crammed in tightly with no leg room.

geoffjc commented about City Cinema on Nov 3, 2007 at 2:33 pm

Sad to read that the cinema is to close. Some of us still prefer to see films in the town centre.
Unfortunately the City/Reel has suffered from the poor tripling undertaken previously which seemed to change the acoustics of the large auditorium making the dialogue almost unintelligible( on a film which won an Oscar for sound) on my only visit under this company’s management.
It was interesting to see the opening brochure in a recent exhibition revealing that only 42' of the screen would be used for scope .

geoffjc commented about Park Hall Cinema on Sep 22, 2007 at 11:13 am

The hotel is currently being reconstructed after fire damage.The former cinema foyer has for some time been used as a bar area.(Sep 2007)

geoffjc commented about Gaiety Cinema on Sep 22, 2007 at 11:02 am

September 2007- a planning application to re-open as a bar, with proposed building alterations.

geoffjc commented about Gaumont Cardiff on Sep 19, 2007 at 7:49 pm

During the first rebuild in 1895/6 the “Empire” relocated to the Philharmonic Hall.
The programme for the second week at the reopened Empire included Lumiere’s Cinematographe.
After the fire in 1899 the recently completed Andrews Hall, a few yards away, was home to the “Empire” during the reconstruction.
Some of the original plans from 1895 and 1900 have been preserved, and the local paper carried a very detailed description of the building destroyed by fire in 1899.

geoffjc commented about Gaumont Cardiff on Sep 18, 2007 at 7:41 pm

The press preview report of the 1900 re-opening reveals that lessons had been learnt from the disastrous fire the previous year as steel and concrete were the principal building materials with safety curtains and shutters to isolate the stage from the auditorium.Cherry red was the main internal colour instead of peacock blue.
The report reveals that electric arcs were installed for use with the cinematograph.
A very early “purpose built” example.

geoffjc commented about Hippodrome Cinema on Sep 18, 2007 at 7:29 pm

The rear of the building shown in the above picture dates from 1947. Examination of the building plans shows that very little of the theatre structure was incorporated into the warehouse building.
The 1880’s architect’s drawings show what started as Day’s new Grand Theatre of Varieties in considerable detail, and adverts show the top music hall stars of the time appeared there.
When the Empire was rebuilt by Frank Matcham in 1900 the Grand must have struggled as in 1904 it was advertised as the King’s Theatre offering drama. The name Palace next appeared then Palace and Hippodrome (together) as the Bioscope became a regular feature, eventually Hippodrome as a silent cinema.
Short-lived attempts to resurrect the building in the sound era used the Hippodrome name and there was also an attempt to revive “Variety” and another period as the “Kings”.

geoffjc commented about Park Hall Cinema on Sep 14, 2007 at 6:54 am

The multi-purpose nature of the Park Hall in November 1909 is evidenced by a press ad showing a concert by Paderewski (Friday), “Unique Living Pictures” (Saturday), Religious Services (Sunday).
The South African Living Picture Company is regularly featured, is anything known about this company?

geoffjc commented about Central Cinema on Sep 14, 2007 at 6:25 am

The Central Roller Rink opened on Friday 15th October 1909, a couple of weeks after the Electric Theatre.
Roller Skating was hugely popular at the time and advertisements in the local press reveal that in addition to the “American Roller Rink” roller skating was also offered for short periods at the Panopticon (later the Pavilion Cinema), the Roath Hall in Stacey Road, also a short-lived cinema, and at Andrews Hall under the Olympia name which was carried on for many years, firstly as a variety/film hall then as rebuilt as part of the ABC group.
Early plans for the Gaiety included a roller rink and a cinema, but the popularity of the activity seems to have waned by the time it was built.

geoffjc commented about Coronet Cinema on Sep 3, 2007 at 5:21 am

In March 1954 the new screen was advertised as “Wide Curved Screen”,but the absence of a planning application suggests that no major alterations were involved.

geoffjc commented about ABC Cardiff on Aug 26, 2007 at 1:41 pm

The Olympia name appears on an advert dated 1911 reproduced in a local history book, and was used in press advertising e.g. for a “Kinemacolor” show.

geoffjc commented about Gaumont Cardiff on Aug 17, 2007 at 2:09 pm

Organ (Compton) installed in 1933 when Gaumont-British acquired the Empire and extensively remodelled the foyer and circle, plans by W Trent for GB.
New seating by Turners of Birmingham also fitted.