Webpage created: October 01, 2021
Webpage updated: October 01, 2021
Plympton's only cinema, the Cinedrome, was opened near Plympton Station on or soon after Monday December 22nd 1913. When the first review of the films shown was published on Tuesday December 30th 1913, the reviewer referred to it as having 'a successful inaugural week'.
Doors opened at 6.30pm every evening, with a matinee on Saturdays at 2.30pm. The prices at first were merely described as 'popular' but adverts in 1918, when the "Surrender of the German Fleet" was being shown, indicate that they were then 5d, 9d, and one shilling.
During the Cinedrome's second week the films included "Lion's Bride", complete with a 'wonderfully trained lion', "The World Above", "Fire and Water", a film of scenes from northern Italy and the adventures of Tiny Tim.
In 1918 the Cinedrome became the property of Mr Reginald Charles Koostra Budge, of Stone Barton, Plympton. How this came about was revealed at his Bankruptcy hearing in Plymouth on Friday October 12th 1923., when it was stated that against net assets of £43 0s 5˝d 47-years-old Mr Budge had debts of £1,664 9s 3d. He attributed his failure to unemployment and the lack of support for country picture palaces.
Mr Budge had been a sick berth steward in the Royal Navy. He left the Service in 1911 on a pension of £43 7s per annum. He was unemployed for a year but then found work as a dispenser, which lasted for 5 years. He opened the Plympton Cinedrome in 1918 with capital of just £15. Two years later he opened another cinema at Ivybridge. At first the enterprise was successful but a bad epidemic of influenza operated as a set-back to the business. In 1919 he took a partner, each then agreeing to contribute £50 to the capital. In fact the partner seems to have provided £200. The partnership was dissolved in 1920, the partner leaving with £225 and expressing the view that the business was not paying and it was more of a family business. Mr Budge's wife was apparently drawing £2 a week, one son was drawing 30 shillings as projectionist and another son was taking ten shillings a week. The Registrar, Mr McCrea, said it sounded like it was Budge and Company Unlimited.
He blamed a combination of events for his downfall. Slackness of work in the clay industry and the paper mills at Ivybridge, the arrival of motor omnibus services into Plymouth, and cheap railway fares were all cited. Despite borrowing money from both his wife and a son, things went from bad to worse in 1922. He even went up to London to have talks with the film proprietors, who wished him to carry on and keep his cinemas open. The outcome is not known
The Cinedrome at Plympton seems to have been still going in 1928.