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Latitude: 51.6104 / 51°36'37"N
Longitude: -3.4053 / 3°24'18"W
OS Eastings: 302788
OS Northings: 191112
OS Grid: ST027911
Mapcode National: GBR HM.9Q6H
Mapcode Global: VH6DH.XSMB
Entry Name: Former Empire Cinema
Listing Date: 1 August 1996
Last Amended: 1 August 1996
Source ID: 17116
Building Class: Recreational
Location: Situated in the centre of town at junction of Hannah Street and Pontypridd Road..
County: Rhondda Cynon Taff
Community: Porth (Y Porth)
Built-Up Area: Porth
Traditional County: Glamorgan
Former cinema converted to bingo hall 1970s. Built between 1919 and 1926, possibly under construction in 1919, and a successor to the building retaining terracotta frontage in Pontypridd Road opposite.
Main Hannah Street frontage painted and rendered with classical detailing. Two storeys and 3 bays, the centre breaks forward slightly; no parapet and no roof visible. Portico to left with 3 freestanding Doric columns has steps to recessed wood and glazed entrance doors and windows; entablature extends across whole frontage supported also at ends and centre by channelled piers, the frieze has decorative medallions of Castell Coch; centre bay has inverted semi-circular window; right bay has 2 slender pilasters with swags over 3 keyed oculi and below 2 recessed windows each of 3 lights fronted by small columns with rose mouldings above and a central recessed doorway with panelled double doors and metal grille to overlight; plinth. Above cornice the upper floor has 5 multipane cross windows and alternating recessed and relief panels. Pontypridd Road frontage has as part of rendered return a pair of long rectangular multipane staircase windows with round lights above set in a moulded surround with 2 rectangular lights below. The rest is coursed rubble with brick surrounds to long segmental arched blocked windows and edgings to pilasters.
Foyer has heavily moulded plaster cornice, elliptical arch mouldings with keystone, lion's head capitals and decorative wall panels; wide stairs have decorative metal balusters and heavily moulded wooden handrail; wall mouldings for lights. Main interior retains dado mouldings, moulded pedimented doorcases and double swing doors; wall and ceiling relined but original plasterwork reported to survive beneath; balcony supported on slender cast iron piers with Ionic capitals - additional later metal supports to ceiling; seats removed downstairs but still in situ in raked balcony; to rear projection room with metal fire door.
Listed for its special interest as a well-preserved example of an inter-war cinema.
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