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UK The Coliseum Cinema, Porthmadog - Feb 2016

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This one is quite a personal report for me. My mum remembers with fondness visiting the local cinema. During the 1940's and 50's before homes had TVs it wasn't just films that were shown - this is where you could see footage of the important news events of the day. For example she remembers school visits to see the Queens coronation and the celebration of Edmund Hillary conquering Everest.   

 

The Coliseum opened in 1931 with "Romance" starring Greta Garbo. It was partly art-deco style and seated 630. Its sound system was state of the art for its day and widely acknowledged as being perfect. Fast forward to 1983 and the management decided that it was no longer financially viable.

 

However, the locals were not prepared to see their beloved picture house bite the dust so they clubbed together and it re-opened in 1984 and was mostly run by volunteers. 1,000 residents bought £50,000 worth of shares. Things seemed to be going well  - in 1995 it hosted a European Premiere of First Knight starring Sean Connery and Richard Gere (although they didn't appear on the red carpet).

 

Sadly despite all the efforts the venture couldn't carry on and the doors finally shut in January 2011. Worse news was to arrive 2014, when the group set up to save the cinema had its plans rejected by the Coliseum Shareholders, who voted to sell the property rather than grant a long-term lease to the Friends of The Coliseum. Once in the hands of the developers the game was up.

 

I had been keeping an eye on the place for some time in the hope that I could have a sneaky mooch around inside. No such luck, I also asked for a permission visit but as there's no money in it for the developers this was ignored.

 

So one day last February I happened to get speaking to the guy who was taking the seats out ready to be shipped to Sheffield. I was only able to take a few crap hurried shots in the dark auditorium. A couple of days later I had another look around the back and... BOOM.... an entry point! Perseverance had paid off in the nick of time.

 

The photos you see were taken just a few days before demolition began. Almost one year on there's no apartments or redevelopment, just an empty space.

 

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The projectionists room

 

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A poignant reminder

 

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There were many quotes on the walls upstairs from classic films written by the projectionists over the years

 

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The lost property box

 

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I just wondered about all the people that would have gone up these stairs full of anticipation...

 

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Finally an exterior shot (not mine) taken during the good times. Some much older photos show it originally had a porch above the front steps and some 'embellishments' either side of the name.

 

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Well that's all folks - thanks for looking

 

 

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Sad and fascinating at the same time.
Nice, that you still could visit this place.

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Shame that's all gone and nothing has been done with it, it looked a nice little little cinema. Some good shots there.

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Right in the feels! It's such a shame places like this seem to have no use in the present day :cry: brilliant report mate 

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