Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: June 26, 2017
Webpage updated: December 12, 2021




On April 11th 1937 the Theatre Royal in George Street, Plymouth, was pulled down in order to make way for a purpose-built cinema to be known as the Royal Cinema.  Owned by Associated British Cinemas and designed by their own architect, Mr William R Glenn, it had a civic opening on Friday July 15th 1938 at 7pm.  

During the Second World War Plymouth lost all but the New Palace Theatre of Varieties in Union Street.  The City badly needed somewhere to hold stage productions and at somebody's instigation the Royal Cinema installed stage facilities to fulfill that missing role.   As a result in January 1954 it was given the name of the Theatre Royal that it had replaced back in 1938. 

The first stage act to appear was Peter Brough with Archie Andrews.

The cover of the programme for Guy Mitchell's show.
Author's collection.

During the week commencing Monday October 3rd 1955 Mr Guy Mitchell appeared on stage, accompanied by the George Mitchell Singers.  The first half of the show featured Jean and Joy Bentley, 'Acro Dancers'; Hackford and Doyle, 'Wood and Wind - Mostly Wind'; Walthorn and Dorraine, 'Rolling in Fun'; Archie Glen, '"Blotto"'; and the Theda Sisters, 'Outstanding Young Aerlialists from the London Palladium'.  The second half began with Jean and Joy Bentley, 'To Entertain Again'; Alan Kemble and Christine, 'Comedy with a Ladder' and Hackford and Doyle, 'Give You a Second Helping!' followed by the main star, Mr Guy Mitchell.

Naturally Moons advertised the Guy Mitchell records they had available.
From the programme.  Author's collection.

It was back to "Cinemascope" the following week, with "Jupiter's Darling" starring Esther Williams, Howard Keel, George Sanders and Marge and Gower Champion.  The supporting film was "The Marauders" starring Dan Duryea and Keenan Wynn.  Both films were 'in magnificent colour'.  The week after, from Monday October 17th 1955, the Theatre Royal was showing "New York Confidential", with Broderick Crawford, Richard Conte and Marilyn Maxwell, supported by "Jump into Hell" with Jack Sernas and Kurt Kasznar.

As the 1950s progressed the Associated British Cinemas group decided that a corporate image was required and on October 26th 1958 renamed it the ABC Plymouth.