Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: October 06, 2018
Webpage updated: October 06, 2018




It had been intended by Messrs G E Prance and W Mumford to erect the Embassy Cinema at Milehouse, Devonport, on the eastern side of the hill down to Wolseley Road.  Apparently it would have had a restaurant and a dance hall.  Because of the shortage of steel brought about by the start of the Second World War a new building became out of the question.  Consequently an older one was taken over, the Carlton Theatre at 193 Union Street, Plymouth. 

Although licensed as early as March 1940, the first advert for the Embassy Cinema appeared on Thursday August 8th 1940, the films then showing being the Paramount's light comedy "French Without Tears", starring Ray Milland and Ellen Drew, and "Death of a Champion".

On Thursday March 20th 1941 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth visited the City. After touring the damage so far done, they went to Elliot Terrace to take tea with Lord and Lady Astor.   The King and Queen left Plymouth at around 5.45pm.  At 8.39pm the alert was sounded and two minutes later the first enemy planes arrived over the City.  First came the incendiary bombs, then the flares to light the way. They were followed by wave after wave of heavy bombers. The heart was being torn out of Plymouth.  The following night the horror was repeated and those areas of the city centre not destroyed the previous night were likewise laid to ruin.

The suddenness and severity of the attacks may be gauged from the fact that on the Thursday night, March 20th 1941, the newly opened Embassy Cinema was advertising "Dance Girl Dance", with Maureen O'Hara, Louis Hayward and Lucille Ball, supported by   "Laughing at Danger".  It was its last advert; the show must have been rudely interrupted by the devastating events going on outside.  The Embassy Cinema was destroyed.