Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: May 10, 2020
Webpage updated: May 10, 2020




The Drake Cinema at Derry's Cross, Plymouth, closed after the performances on Saturday March 1st 1975.  After a 60,000 conversion that enabled it to take three screens, it reopened on Thursday March 27th as the Drake Film Centre.  The Deputy Lord Mayor of Plymouth, Councillor W Glanville, performed the opening ceremony by cutting a roll of 70mm film.  The main theatre on the ground floor now seated 919 while the balcony had been converted into two cinemas each seating 168.  The central portion of the old balcony was retained to seat 30, which was ideal for small private or official parties.

Its first programme comprised Barbara Streisand's "Funny Lady" on Screen 1, "Escape to Witch Mountain" (Ray Milland and Donald Pleasance) and "The Castaway Cowboy" starring James Garner, both Walt Disney adventures, on Screen 2 while "The Night Porter", starring Dirk Bogarde and Charlotte Rampling, was the main feature on Screen 3.

Apparently, seven projectionists used to be employed but now two men working shifts could  present the three programmes.   They were chief projectionist Mr Pat A'Hearn and senior projectionist Mr Ron Wilson.

In 1990 the Drake was taken over by the Odeon chain and this brought about a change to five screens.  After the evening performance of "Arachnophobia" on Sunday January 6th 1991 workmen started to converted in to the five-screen Drake-Odeon Cinema.