Pavilion Theatre

Penzance, TR18 4HH

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Additional Info

Functions: Arcade, Bowling Alley

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Pavilion Theatre

In Penzance, Cornwall, The Pavilion, a grand looking building of Cornish granite on the main sea front Promenade, was opened 1912 by Frederick G. Drewitt. There was a 600-seat theatre, ballroom and restaurant.

Films soon became a regular part of the entertainment in the Pavilion Theatre, presented in the 1920’s by Robert Thomas of Penzance Cinema Ltd. The seating capacity in 1927 was 436.

In the early-1930’s British Talking Pictures(BTP) sound was installed. Around this time the seating capacity was being quoted as 600.

In 1937 the building was sold to Walter Ellis Slack, who operated it from 15th December that year until 1939, when it was requisitioned by the Ministry of Health.

After the war the Pavilion Theatre was home to repertory programmes, professionally-produced pantomimes and shows by local amateur groups, but television had an adverse effect on attendances and these shows ceased in the 1960’s or very early-1970’s.

At some time the building was home to a Wild West-themed saloon, but it was unused when it was acquired by F. E. M. Automatic Amusement Machines. It was by then known as the Grand Casino, even though it was never a casino in the usual meaning of the term.

In 1983 F. E. M. Amusements announced plans to modernise the facilities and open a dance hall and restaurant, among other amusements. They carried out some improvements, although the full extent of these is not clear.

In more recent times it has been converted into a large amusement arcade called Grand Casino Amusements. The main attractions on offer are ten pin bowling and arcade and fruit machines.

Contributed by David Simpson
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