At one time Torquay had seven cinemas. The Empire Cinedrome in Victoria Rd, Ellacombe, offered ‘cinematograph entertainment’ between 1912-1959. It operated again between 1962-1963 as ‘a cinema showing continental films’. In the mid-60s it was The Empire Ballroom – Torquay’s first disco. Then it successively became The Scotch Club, Tiffs in Town in the early 70s, Tiffs Club in 1978, and then Monroe’s.
The Regal/the ABC ran from 1933 to 1971 at Castle Circus. The resident organist in the 30s was Reginald Porter-Brown on his ‘mighty Compton organ’. The Regal became the ABC, then a bingo hall. The organ was sold and removed in 1972 and the ABC demolished in August 1992, to become the Job Centre.
The Picturedrome, from 1909 to 1935, was in Market St (part of the Market). The Electric/The Colony (1911-1986) was situated in Union Street/Temperance St.
The Burlington (1919-1953) was in Union St. The Tudor Cinema ran from 1926 to the mid 1970s, in Fore St, St Marychurch (now Bygones).
The Odeon, which openned in 1933 is still operating, in Abbey Rd. The Odeon used to be The Theatre Royal which opened in 1863. It’s also where Oscar Wilde watched his plays being rehearsed.
(image: The Theatre Royal from the South Devon Scenes website)