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Central Cinema



Tel. 01271 342 814


This cinema was built on the site of the former Theatre Royal by a subsidiary company of the Gaumont British Corporation, at that time the largest cinema operator in the country. Gaumont itself had Parisian origins but the British and French divisions split as a result of first world war difficulties. Gaumont France still exists.

It opened on 3rd August 1931, as The Gaumont Palace, and was designed by the Bristol based architectural practice of W.H.Watkins who designed a number of significant cinemas for Gaumont in Coventry, Plymouth, Bristol and Exeter as well as many others in the Bristol and South West area.

As a single screen cinema it had 1124 seats with an elaborate 3 cove illuminated proscenium surround and cove in the ceiling. With sunburst effects over the doorways, silk panelling on the side walls and its' green cloister-tiled front elevation it had a somewhat Oriental-Art-Deco appearance.

4 Screens - This cinema is accessible to wheelchair users. The main foyer, and Screens 2, 3 and 4 are all on the ground floor level, with a wheelchair accessible toilet adjacent to Screen 4. Screen 1 is located on the first floor and is not accessible. There are approx 20 steps up to the first floor bar level, with a further 15 steps into Screen 1.

Boutport Street, Barnstaple. EX31 1SR. Tel. 01271 342 814


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