The building which houses Prestatyn’s Scala Cinema has an even earlier history prior to Saronie converting it to the Scala Cinema in 1913. The article and photograph below are courtesy of local historian Mr Harry Thomas who has kindly given The Friends of the Scala permission to share these previously published Memory Lane articles.
The opening of Prestatyn Town Hall – July 26th 1900
This rare photograph shows celebrations at the opening of Prestatyn’s Town Hall on July 26th, 1900. A concert was later given by Prestatyn’s Choral Society. By 1910 pioneer cinematographer Saronie was showing films in the Town Hall which he rented for an “exhibition of animated pictures including one of the funeral procession of the late King”.
Saronie took over the Town Hall and converted it to a cinema in 1913. By 1914 Saronie had re-named the old Town Hall to the Scala Cinema. In 1915 he also showed films to the troops at Kinmel Camp.
As early as May 1915 he was showing the first colour films in Prestatyn. Prices ranged from 9d (41/Zp) balcony to 3d (I 1/2p) for children. He showed his first “talkie” picture at the Scala in March 1930. During that year the Scala was enlarged and modernised.
Saronie ended his cinema career in 1963 selling the Scala to Prestatyn Town Council.
From Harry Thomas’ Prestatyn and District – A Pictorial Past Volume Two
©1994 Harry Thomas