Penarth Pier Pavilion
Penarth Pier Pavilion, The Esplanade
A wooden pavilion was built at the seaward end of Penarth Pier in 1907. It was known as the Bijou Pavilion, and provided daily entertainment for tourists and local residents. After the pier was sold to the council in 1924, the structure was widened at its landward end and a new pavilion constructed there – the pavilion that remains a focalpoint of the seafront today.
The Art Deco pavilion opened in May 1929. Unusually for its period, it was made almost entirely from ferro-concrete, including the curved roof. However, the economic depression soon meant the traditional shows were playing to dwindling audiences, and the building became a cinema in 1932. That venture also failed but the Pier Pavilion’s next incarnation, as the Marina Ballroom, was a big success. It became one of the premier social venues for the young people of Penarth and Cardiff.
In September 2013, the pavilion reopened after a £4.2m restoration. It hosts art exhibitions and workshops, cinema screenings and concerts, and provides facilities for community groups. The restoration was subsequently named “Project of the Year” by the UK’s Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
The pavilion’s observatory room was named the 617 Room after the legendary Dambusters squadron of the Second World War. Its commanding officer, Guy Gibson, lived for a time in Penarth and was playing golf on the Glamorganshire club’s course when he learned he had been awarded the Victoria Cross.
Postcode: CF64 3AU