Helping Celebrate Over 100 Years of CinemaIn 1996, Prestatyn’s Scala Cinema was proud to receive the BFI 100 Years of Cinema Award. Issued by the British Film Institute and Cinema 100 as part of their recognition of British Cinema History, the Scala was awarded one of Cinema 100’s Cinema Heritage Plaques to display, in honour of having continuously screened films there since the Scala opened as Saronie’s Electric Pictures in 1910.
Many nominations were received by the BFI throughout 1996, including individuals, places and buildings as worthy recipients of specially designed plaques recording their contributions to British Cinema. Consider the earliest pioneers and their suburban studios; the very first film shows to excite audiences all over the country; marking the rapid growth of cinema as the pre-eminent form of entertainment, with cinemas springing up everywhere; plaques around the country recorded all of this. Also included were famous film stars like Elizabeth Taylor and Trevor Howard, great directors like David Lean and Tony Richardson, but also the unsung heroes of a century of cinema in Britain, the projectionists, the cinema proprietors and the men who delivered the films.
From the earliest film shows in music halls, theatres and picture palaces, throughout the elegant odeons of the 1930s right up to the first multiplex, one hundred years worth of buildings is but part of the story. Many of them, like so many cinemas, have since vanished, leaving a legacy of fond memories to which so many plaques now testify. Many remain, however, hopeful to continue showing films into this new millennium.
At the time of the award in 1996, the Friends of the Scala were proud of the heritage behind our town’s cinema and continued in their campaign to make sure the Scala was re-built and re-opened, so that it too may continue to provide cinema and theatre entertainment, long into our future.
The British Film Institute is the UK’s leading film and television authority, and you can visit their excellent website at BFI.org.uk.