New Grangetown cinema takes flight

20 December 2016

Nearly 45 years after the last cinema closed in Grangetown – a new one has opened in time for Christmas.

With 40 airline seats, The Tramshed is offering a boutique cinema experience – but with the emphasis on comfort.

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This is no economy class though – there’s plenty of leg room, trays for your drinks – and probably no other screen on terra firma has big leather seats straight out of an aircraft still with signs for lifejackets under seats!

The sound quality was excellent too on our visit.

The programme unveiled so far has some Christmas favourites, as well as David Lynch’s classic Blue Velvet, the new documentary on The Stooges – Gimme Danger; the really charming and unusual indie offering Paterson (please see this if you get the chance when it’s next on, on Wednesday – it’s delightful!) and coming up the Star Wars spin-off Rogue One.

This mix of new art-house releases, documentaries, classics and big box office draws could offer an alternative to the main city centre screens – and something only Chapter is offering a couple of miles away.

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Tickets can be bought from the Waiting Room bar or booked online and tickets printed off. Seats were £5.50 each for adults, so pretty competitively priced – hope this continues!

It’s the latest development as part of the ongoing Tramshed development, which is expected to eventually include a gallery, dance studio and restaurant.

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Tramshed Cinema is a far cry from the old Ninian Cinema in Penarth Road, which closed in January 1972 – with the Alistair McLean film Puppet On A Chain the final film.

The 500-seat cinema was notoriously cramped. Opened in 1914, it showed newsreels from the western front in World War One, while film-goers were asked to leave in January 1941 during Grangetown’s big wartime air-raid.

The late local councillor Philip Dunleavy at the time, recalled “The Bughouse,” as many flea-pits were called, as a haven of escape.

“When I was a boy we used to love the shows with cowboy heroes like Buck Jones and Tom Mix,” he told the Echo after its closure. “During the depression is was something of a Grangetown institution; somewhere people could go to keep warm.”

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The building – with its distinctive iron, domed roof at the rear – became a short-lived bingo hall, a post office and a bathroom store, then it was at one time to be turned into a Wetherspoon’s pub before plans were turned down. More recently it has been a clothing store – and has now been refurbished to become an Islamic centre and school.

See Tramshed.com for more details and follow @WaitingRoomCF and @TramshedCF

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