Cinemas and Theatres

20 March 2021 ·

In the 1880’s, the theatre was the place to be!!

The theatre was the chosen option for public entertainment in the 1880s.  Barry had several built at different times, including the  American Theatre of Variety’s. This was followed the Princess Theatre and then the Theatre Royal and the Palace of Varieties in Iddesleigh Street.

Theatre 1889
Theatre 1891

Theatre’s were not allowed to sell alcohol. This was to prevent theatre’s from becoming places where immoral behaviour happened. Iddseleigh Street theatre was where the first Grand Christmas Pantomime was held in December 1896, together with public meetings, balls and bazaars.

In 1906-1907, two temporary structures were built. The Victoria Theatre and Hippodrome in Holton Road and the Theatre Royal on Broad Street. The Theatre Royal had seating for five hundred and fifty people and offered a mix of Theatre, Hippodrome and a Palace of Varieties. Unfortunately, in 1909 it burnt down and the new Theatre Royal was constructed in 1910.


Theatre Royal

The Theatre Royal and Hippodrome was designed as a live theatre and was equipped with an organ. The famous actress Lillie Langtry appeared here in 1918. In 1929 it was converted into a cinema and was renamed as the Royal Super Cinema. It closed in May 1940 and remained shut until the end of World War II.

It was changed slightly in the 1980’s where the circle for seating was closed off, and the screen was brought forward. In the 1990’s, a second screen was added in the area where the stalls once were. There was enough seating for around five hundred and thirty people in both screens. In February 2008, it was announced that the Theatre Royal would be closing in April of that year. The final show played was “The smallest show on earth”

The Theatre Royal was demolished in August 2012 and Golau Caredig was built there in its place.

More Theatres and Cinemas

The Tivoli Cinema opened on 24th December 1939, closed in 1973 and has since been demolished

The Picture Palace opened in 1914. The cinema closed in the 1950’s, and was demolished in 1994. Housing was built on the site

Entertainment in Barry 2021

Memo Arts Centre

The Memo Arts Centre is based in the Barry Memorial Hall. It is a multi-arts centre in Barry and has a theatre with a cinema and other spaces that are available for the local community to hire.

The Centre also has a cinema that is accessible to the entire community. There are Dementia friendly, Autism friendly, Parent & Baby friendly and Family Friendly showings.

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