Peter Bourne

By notowennewitt

Derelict Thursday :: Gaiety

Built on the busy City Road not far from the area colloquially known as 'Death Junction', the Gaiety Grand Cinema first opened to the people of Roath in 1912. The venue’s facade features a pair of twin domes either side of the main entrance, inside they could seat up to 800 people and would often show repeats of thrillers and westerns previously shown at city centre screens.

Ownership of the cinema transferred to the SCC in 1930. In 1934, with the help of William Wort, seating was almost doubled to over 1,500 with the addition of a new balcony; that same year the “grand” was dropped from the name and it became known simply as the Gaiety Cinema.

Falling ticket sales led its closure in early 1961, but by July it had reopened as a bingo hall - by September it would became the first bingo hall in the city to open 7 days a week. Although the building changed hands between a number of companies, bingo use continued until “eyes down” was called for the last time in 1998. The building remained vacant for a number of years until it enjoyed a brief renaissance in the early 21st century as a bowling rink, Spin Bar & Bowling survived for 5 years before closing in 2006.

Today this beautiful but grubby building still carries the Spin branding, it sits as a crumbling reminder to cinema’s heyday with no sign of a takeover or some much-needed 'tender loving care'.

"... As ever thanks to Freespiral and Himself for their hard work in curating Derelict Thursday, a great unofficial Blip challenge, and (perhaps) all the better for being unofficial ..."  greg_lovett

Sign in or get an account to comment.