Wrexham, LL13 7LH
Opened: 13th March 1937
Closed: 15th May 1976
Capacity: 1246 seats.. single screen
Architects: Harry Weedon and Budge Reid
Final chief projectionist: Mervyn Howell
Opening on 13th March 1937 the Art Deco exterior was faced in cream faience tiles. It had a tall slender tower and a parade of shops that was let to local businesses. Situated slightly away from the town centre on Brook Street. The first film shown was “Song of Freedom” starring Paul Robson. Designed by architect Harry Weedon who was assisted by Budge Reid from the Harry Weedon Partnership.
The total seat capacity was 1246. The auditorium was made up of 958 seats in the stalls and 288 in the circle.
A series of coves ran across the width of the ceiling leading towards the screen. These contained concealed lighting. Either side of the proscenium were deep panels of plaster-work grills designed by interior designers Mollo & Egan. These were illuminated with concealed lighting.
During 1972 the cinema began an operation of 3 days bingo and four days of cinema. This quickly changed to four days of bingo and only three for cinema. Eventually the cinema operation moved out of the building. The final film-“The Man Who Would Be King” starring Sean Connery was shown on 15th May 1976.
The bingo business moved to new premises in May 1999. At present the building is open as a nightclub.
Click on the above frame to watch the video of Wrexham Odeon
COMPTON LODGE copyright
Wrexham, LL13 8AD
Opened: as a cinema (sound) 9th September 1929
Closed: November 1959
Re-opened: 13th June 1961
Closed: March 1998.
Operated & managed by the late Barry Flanagan.
Architects: Davies & Sons (Chester)
The 950 seater Hippodrome on Henblas Street had a long and varied history. Opening on Thursday 1st July 1909 it had been designed by the Chester architects Davies & Sons. Built on the site of The Public Hall, it was initially named the New Opera House & Public Hall. It had a deeply curved single balcony, typical of theatres of that time, supported by pillars which obstructed the patron’s clear view who were unfortunate enough to be seated behind them in both the circle & stalls.
The Baroque type features on the front of the circle, and the framed panels around the auditorium walls gave some decorative relief, together with the recessed lantern ceiling. The outside frontage was of plain brick. Two years later the theatre was re-named the Hippodrome.
It became the Hippodrome Cinema on 9th September 1929, showing the sound feature “The Donovan Affair”. Films continued until it closed thirty years later in November 1959. A local independent operator, Barry Flanagan and his family, decided to take a chance on the building, re-opening it with the same name on Tuesday 13th June 1961, showing the first film-“All Hands On Deck”. The occasional pop concert was staged. It became a twin cinema in 1988, opening with “Willow” & “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” in a separate screen.
With the opening of the Odeon multiplex cinema, it was hit badly with most of its trade lost, together with problems securing prints. When it couldn’t obtain a first run copy of “Titanic”, it was clear that the Hippodrome too was sinking, and closure came in March 1998.
The building stood abandoned, until a fire reduced its’s sorry state even further.
It was demolished in the spring of 2008.
Wrexham, LL11 6TE
Opened on 4th December 1997
Closed on Thursday 12th March 2009. (business transferred to a new site at Eagles Meadow).
Capacity: 1289 seats over 7 screens, ranging from 364 per screen to 112 per screen.
First manager: Andrew Price Final manager: Andrew Elvis
Chief projectionist: Peter Davies
The retail until was originally ear marked as a pet food store. However, Odeon Cinemas eager to quickly expand their multiplex cinema business negotiated the lease. The uninspired exterior appearance gave way to a large rotunda entrance hall. The seven screens had a total seating capacity of 1259 seats. Offering cinema goers hundreds of free car parking spaces the cinema proved to be a huge success.
Wrexham, LL11 1RR
Opened: September 1910 (showing films at a hall designed as a skating rink)
Closed: 22nd June 1960
Capacity: 1800 seats
Architects: G.E. Marshall & Co (Liverpool)
Wrexham, LL13 8AZ
Although opened as a silent movie cinema in 1910, it held a respectable 900 seats, with a circle and stalls auditorium. It claimed to be the first purpose built cinema in North Wales.
Independently run, it was built on council land with only a 50 year lease. Far from grand in design, it did have a mock Tudor frontage.
The Glynn remained in business until 4th November 1960. Due to falling business the lease was not re-newed. The final film shown was “Hercules Unchained”. The site was cleared to make way for a car park.
Wrexham, LL13 8H
Opened in July 1981
Closed September 1986 due to fire damage.
The opening film was “Tess”, starring Nastassja Kinski.
The cinema was another venture of the late Barry Flanagan who also operated The Hippodrome cinema in Wrexham
Opened: 7th December 1936
Closed: 5th December 1959
Capacity: 443 seats.. single screen
Opening film- “Limelight” starring Charlie Chaplin.
A major refurbishment took place when the cinema closed from six weeks from 9th May 1953 when new projection and sound equipment was installed, together with a Cinemascope screen. The Palace re-opened on 6th July 1953, showing a film about the Queen’s coronation and the conquest of Everest.
The final film projected was “The Vikings” which starred Kirk Douglas, Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis.
The Palace closed on 5th December 1959 ending 23 years of film entertainment.
Wrexham. LL14 1RB
Opened: 1913 (approx. date)
Coedpoeth, LL11 3TD
Open during the 1930s & 40s
Operated by: Cambria and Border Cinemas Ltd.
Manager: Mrs. Grainger
The Parish Hall, used for a brief time as a cinema and given the deceptive name ‘The Regent’
Wrexham, LL13 8BG
Opened: Friday 13th May 1932
Closed: Saturday 26th August 1956
Capacity: 582 seats.. single screen
The Empire Music Hall opened on 1st April 1902. Silent newsreel films were shown as part of the variety programme. For a short period it became a full-time cinema during 1914 and was known as the Empire Picture Palace, before returning to theatre use in 1915. Films were still shown occasionally.
In the spring of 1932 the variety business gave way to film once more, this time sound equipment had been installed. The building was re-named the Empire Picture House. It opened on 13th May 1932 with it’s first sound movie- “Let’s Go Native” starring Jack Oakie.
The building continued as a cinema until closure on 26th August 1956.
The building was incorporated into the adjacent Seven Stars pub, a Grade II Listed building, built in 1898, architect Thomas Price of Liverpool. The former Empire Picture House remained unused.
Caergwrle, LL12 9DS
Opened: During 1921
Closed: During 1965
Builders: W. E. Eccleston & Son
Originally owned by: May Rollason and managed by Newlove and Milner of Chester.
Buckley, CH7 2EF
Opened: Monday 25th May 1925
Date Closed as a cinema: 1961
Capacity: 960 seats
Architects: R. Lloyd Roberts.
Final film shown: “Breath Of Scandal” starring Sophia Loren
Robert Rowlands of Broughton, Flintshire, joined the board of directors of the Buckley Picture House Ltd who appointed the architect- R. Lloyd Roberts of Mold to design the structure and Messers. Hayes Brothers of Buckley to build it. The Tivoli was built in twelve months on the site previously occupied by the Central Hall and was opened on Monday 25th May 1925 as a theatre /cinema venue.
The new theatre/cinema seated 960 people and had a proscenium opening of 38ft in width. The stage area measured 45ft x 23ft, with six dressing rooms to accommodate the artists. Professional touring companies and amateur dramatics made appearances on the Tivoli stage.
Initially the silent films were projected from the rear stage onto a translucent screen. It is thought that this practice ended when the theatre brought in sound. A projection room was then installed at the rear of the balcony. The sound equipment was the little known “Filmophone” system.
During 1937 ownership of the building was transferred to Stanley Grimshawe Theatres Ltd. Finally Byrom Pictures Ltd. of Liverpool took control. The building was turned over to bingo use during 1961 when Byrom sold off all their cinemas.
In the mid 1980s the venue was in use as a night club/ music venue, which it has remained with the name Tivoli still on the building.
Llandudno, LL30 2DF
Opened: 25th March 1935
Closed: October 1986
Capacity: 1883 seats.. single screen
Architects: Arthur S. Hewitt
A local coach operator Zack Brierley commissioned the Llandudno architect Arthur S. Hewitt to design this magnificent building. The Winter Gardens cinema/theatre opened on 25th March 1935. A Christie 3Manual/8Rank organ was installed.
Singer and Britsh film star- Gracie Fields gave a live telephone message of good wishes which was relayed to the audience through the speaker system at the opening event.
The underwhelming dull exterior gave way to a overwhelming Art Deco interior. Seating was provided for 1,074 in the stalls and 809 in the balcony. The proscenium was 40 feet wide, the stage 30 feet deep and there were 14 dressing rooms. The cinema boasted a cafe.
Running into financial difficulties after just 18 months of operation, Zack Brierley sold the building to Oscar Deutsch, owner of the Odeon Cinemas Ltd. He renamed the cinema as Odeon during 1943, while the ballroom continued under the Winter Gardens name.
The Beatles appeared on stage for six days from Monday 12th August 1963.
Owners of the Odeon, the Rank Organisation, sold the building to the independent Hutchinson circuit on 13th October 1969 and it was re-named the Astra cinema.
Hutchinson quickly introduced a Summer only opening (Llandudno being a seaside town) during the early 1970s.
The Astra Cinema closed in October 1986 and in 1988 the Christie organ was removed from the building into storage for possible preservation. Whilst in storage the instrument was destroyed. The building was demolished in the late 1980s.