Former Palace Cinema, Conwy

Former Palace Cinema, High Street

Squirrels and peacocks are a feature of this building, but to see them and appreciate the architecture you’ll need to walk up the High Street a little.

The Palace Cinema was built in 1935, the date written on the rainwater hoppers. It was designed by Sidney Colwyn Foulkes of Colwyn Bay. The auditorium is inside a large box-like building which is almost hidden from view by the section fronting High Street, accommodating the main entrance, two small shops and a restaurant above. Here the stepped gables and window apertures echo the architecture of Plas Mawr, the Tudor town house further up the street. (Bear in mind that Plas Mawr had bare stone walls in the 1930s.)

The cinema replaced at least two earlier buildings, one of which was occupied by the Metropolitan Bank. During the demolition, a stone plaque was discovered on which were inscribed some initials and numbers, possibly used for practice by a trainee mason centuries ago. You can see the plaque in the upper gable wall, set into the 1930s stonework. Also in that wall is a tall window aperture filled with a cast-iron grating, which depicts squirrels and peacocks in a branching vine or tree.

The Palace Cinema diversified in the 1970s to host concerts, theatre shows and bingo. Film screenings ended in the early 1980s and the auditorium was given over to bingo games, which in turn ceased in late 2012.

With thanks to Ray Castle

Where is this HiPoint?

Postcode: LL32 8DB