We have opened pubs in all kinds of different building type, including banks, theatres and opera houses. This month, however, we are looking at some of our pubs in buildings which were once a cinema.
Wetherspoon’s head of property development and acquisitions, Jon Randall, says: “We take great pride in the former use and history of our pubs.
“Many began life as a cinema, and this is reflected in both the architecture and design of the buildings.
“We strive to retain the original features of former cinemas which we convert into pubs and also pay homage to both the former cinema and some of the films screened, through photographs, artwork and information boards, highlighting their rich cinematic history."
The Picture House
The Picture House opened as a Wetherspoon pub on 6 March 1997.
Campbell and Fairhurst designed The Picture House, on Bridge Street, for Goodalls Pictures, in a mock Tudor style, with a wrought-iron canopy at the front, containing stained glass. It opened on 23 February 1914 with The House of Temperley and lasted more than most, closing on 30 March 1995. Films, however, do not seem to have disappeared completely, since weekly free film nights returned in 2012.
The Carron Works
The Carron Works opened as a Wetherspoon pub on 8 July 2002.
A conversion of a church built in 1843, this became a cinema in 1920 and was part of the Alexander King circuit. Architect Neil C Duff enlarged the building in 1927 and it was taken over by ABC in 1929. It was here that Falkirk’s first talkie, The Jazz Singer, was shown. The cinema survived until 29 July 1972 and later went over to bingo, ending its days as a branch of the Gala chain.
The Godfrey Morgan
The Godfrey Morgan opened as a Wetherspoon pub on 24 November 1998.
If I Were King was the first film to be shown at the Maindee cinema, when it opened on Chepstow Road in 1939. It was barely 22 years old when it screened its last film, The Paleface, in September 1961. Bingo occupied the building until 1994, before it saw life again as The Godfrey Morgan, named after Newport’s greatest benefactor who became a freeman of the town.
The Playhouse opened as a Wetherspoon pub on 18 December 1994.
Designed by John Fairweather as a three-tier theatre, with 1,150 seats, for the Bostock circuit, it opened on 18 March 1929 with So This Is Love, a musical comedy, but it wasn’t long until the building was converted for cinema use in August 1930. It closed on 1 August 1981, reopening for bingo the following month, with a performance by the Band of the Royal Green Jackets and comedian Stan Stennett.