Phoenix Community Cinema

Film Hub Wales Member

The Phoenix is a community Performance Arts Theatre and Cinema located in Ton Pentre in the Rhondda Valley.

The front of the building started life as the Ocean Collieries, Maindy & Eastern Workman’s library and Institute in 1895 and cost £4,000 to build. On the ground floor was the newsroom, refreshment room and caretaker’s room. First floor was the library and committee room. In the attic, were two bedrooms and store rooms. In 1904, the Workman’s Hall was attached, providing a stage and hall for concerts and entertainment. ‘Animated pictures’ were started in 1908. The hall was converted to a cinema in 1931 with the installation of the ‘talkie machine’. Due to the local mine closures the hall fell into decline in the 1940’s. It became known as the Ton Pentre Workman’s Hall after WW2.

Films were shown until 1971 when it’s last film was Countess Dracula, starring Ingrid Pitt. After 1971 it became a Bingo hall which continued until 1989 and it was then left derelict until 1991 when it was bought by RCDA. (Rhondda Community Development Association). RCBI Rhondda Community Business Initiative was formed in 1990 and re-opened as The Phoenix in 1991. In 1996 it was listed as Grade 2 by Cadw.

Today, over a century later they are still running strong and after a small hiatus the cinema re-opened in December 2016 with a showing of Proud Valley (1940) as part of the BFI ‘Black Star’ season.

They currently screen films six days a week with a comprehensive programme of unusual, modern and challenging films, catering to all ages.


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