Of all the attractions in Cornwall, most people are likely to ignore the cinema halls in the region.
But what you might pass off as just another movie screening auditorium could be replete with history and interesting stories of days gone by. It’s true that not all cinemas have the same aura or grandeur about them; that’s why we have narrowed down the best halls in Cornwall.
Visiting these halls will surely enthral you, taking you beyond the cinematic experience, where the past and present intermingle easily. And there are even stories of ghosts in some of these places!
Best Cinemas In Cornwall
Here is our list of the 8 top cinemas in Cornwall, where you can have more than just a movie experience.
When you go to a cinema hall, you expect to be thrilled by the performance of the actors. But at Plaza Cinema in Truro, the thrill comes from other avenues, like its resident ghost if stories are to be believed.
The location of this 5-screen cinema hall is at Truro city centre in Cornwall, which makes it one of the more popular attractions for managing the hustle and bustle of tourists. Moreover, it’s equipped with the latest audio gadgets and digital projection systems so that you can enjoy an unparalleled cinematic experience like prime spots in England.
Inside the hall is an incensed bar, and 4 of the 5 big-screen auditoriums have a ramp for wheelchair entry. Although operational since 1936, the hall can accommodate over 1,000 people without compromising comfort.
You can still see the art deco-style design, curated by popular cinema architect William Henry Watkins. Like some of the best cinemas, it runs the latest showings of popular movies, such as Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Hence, having a fun family outing will be easier in Truro, Cornwall.
The best part is that all the movies are rotated among the screens weekly for greater convenience. You will find screens 1-4 on the first floor, while the fifth screen has elevator service.
Plus, all the halls have proper air conditioning and hearing boost systems for subtitle-friendly and autism screenings.
Another 5-screen cinema hall that has received positive reviews from citizens is Phoenix Cinemas, located near the city centre in Falmouth. Out of these, there are 3 screens where you can watch a movie and relax on an armchair or sofa seat.
Moreover, there is ample space between the rows for leg space, while a waiter is ready with drinks and popcorn to enrich the movie experience. Inside the main hall, you will find Digital 3D equipment, which is the unique feature of this Cornwall cinema.
After the movie, you can hang out at the bar and restaurant and dig into the delicious pasta. Even people with no movie plans can hang out in Phoenix Cinemas, thanks to several tourist-friendly activities, like subtitled performances, CEA Carer Card initiatives, and autism-friendly screenings.
The price of a movie screening ranges from ￡8.50-￡2.50 for adults and kids. Even though the halls open 20 minutes before the first movie plays, you can visit early and buy snacks, ice cream, alcohol, soft drinks, or hot drinks.
And this is one of the places with a large car park nearby. So, you can drop your family at the corner of Brook Street and Berkeley Vale before parking the car just 2 minutes away.
One of the finest and biggest cinemas in Cornwall, ever since it began movie screenings in 1935, is Regal Cinema in Redruth. Over the years, the site and auditoriums have been refurbished and updated as per modern standards, which makes it one of the prime attractions.
Along with proper support and security for the viewers, the number of screens has increased to 6, while most halls have 5. Hence, it’s ideal for viewing quality content all year round with friends, family, or kids.
The main big screen can accommodate 650 people, neatly seated in circles, stalls, and private boxes. Plus, if the reviews are to be believed, the remaining halls have been luxuriously renovated, with sofas and chairs for seats.
But what gives this cinema hall the edge over movie viewings in other cities is that even the street outside the cinema has been reimagined with signs and neon lights. Apart from the latest releases, there are fixed time slots for performances from the Royal Ballet, Royal Shakespeare Company, National Theatre, West End, and Royal Opera House.
You can head down to the Regal Bar and Restaurant, which serves pizzas and pasta to satisfy your appetite. We also suggest you read the menu because Regal has frequent movie and meal deals.
For some people, watching a movie isn’t just about relaxing and spending a good few hours with friends or family. Their movie experience begins when they turn the corner toward the hall until the show ends.
So, if there is one hall that can leave a lasting impression on tourists in North Cornwall, Devon, or Bude, it’s the Rebel Cinema. It’s an independent hall run by a family and is decked up in traditional and modern designs.
Interestingly, it’s the only movie hall serving North Cornwall, and the location is a few miles south of Bude in rural Poundstock. It runs all the latest films starring the top stars, and what started as a single-screen venture in 1988 has blossomed into 2 screens with a complete makeover.
Now the hall has comfortable seats, surround sound, and features Digital 3D projection, one of its major attractions. In the foyer, people can enjoy the usual refreshments and popcorn.
But best of all is the loop induction system within the cinema halls to assist those who are hard of hearing. People who like one of the showings can book online tickets and choose their preferred seats.
You can check the weekly program page online before choosing the best show timing. Moreover, representatives are available to assist with CEA card holder bookings and wheelchair assistance.
If you get to the hall early, head to the box office for icecreams, sweets, chocolates, and other goodies.
This is the newest cinema in Cornwall and its first since the 1960s. Newlyn got its first cinema hall in 1905 when the Gaiety Theatre acted like a breath of fresh air, but it, unfortunately, closed down in the 1960s.
The reason for telling you this? A visit to this place will show that Newlyn Filmhouse has retained much of the old-world charm and features of the JH Turner and Co Fish Merchants building.
This place has been renovated with modern technologies and comfort, guaranteeing one of the best movie experiences in Cornwall. It has 2 screens that can accommodate 86 and 56 people respectively.
Best of all, the latest movies, from arthouse films to mainstream cinemas, are screened here, catering to every audience. Before or after the movie, you can head over to the bar and restaurant built on-site.
Most customers have left a positive review for the establishment, considering moviegoers can treat themselves to an assortment of food and drinks. The idea behind the cinema hall was to expose visitors and locals to the thrills of world cinema rather than just Cornish films.
But the Newlyn Filmhouse also organises interactions with local filmmakers and holds opening nights for independent cinemas. In other words, Newlyn has transcended the boundaries of a traditional cinema hall and become a cultural destination in many ways.
We looked at the reviews for the top cinemas in Cornwall and were stunned to find that this is the longest-running hall in England. The Savoy started running in 1912 and hasn’t shut its doors since, welcoming locals and tourists alike in Cornwall.
It has 3 screens currently, but this 100-year-old cinema has undergone renovations to match modern standards. The USP of the Savoy is that apart from screening the latest Hollywood flicks, it also live streams some of the biggest events from across the world.
This can include an opera, theatre, or ballet, which you can enjoy over a pizza, thanks to its in-built restaurant. The restaurant is located upstairs, while the 3 screens are on the ground floor for the convenience of disabled people.
Moreover, the hall authorities have opened a new street-level diner adjacent to the main auditorium.
Screen 1 has 2 wheelchair bays, while the other 2 screens support a bay each. This is on top of the removable ramp that allows you to take wheelchairs upstairs to the foyer.
There are also CEA Carer Card options, autism-friendly screenings, and disabled toilets. The price of tickets starts at ￡2.50 for kids and goes up to ￡8.50 for adults.
What better place to catch a movie than at the Royal Square in St Ives by booking tickets to the Royal Cinema? Located right in the middle of the town, this is one of the major attractions for tourists in Cornwall since it’s impossible to miss.
But don’t go by the slightly old exterior of the building because the interior has been refurbished as per modern standards. 3 screens in total run the latest releases from around the world.
You can also enjoy live screenings from popular organisations, like the Royal Shakespeare Company, National Theatre, Royal Opera, and West End shows. To reach the cinema, you can take public transport to The Stennack, opposite the Co-op.
Buses ply this route from the Malakoff bus station, or you can board a train from St Ives. The hall lies after a few minutes walk down Tregenna Hill, turning left ahead of the Library building.
Those travelling by car can park in a large parking spot just 2 minutes away. And there are facilities for disabled people, an infrared audio description, and an induction loop system at a price of ￡2.50-￡6.50.
If you are familiar with the old cinemas in Cornwall, you will remember Vic Bars Public House and Victoria Cinemas. In their place, the Lighthouse Cinema has come up at the intersection of King Street, Crantock Street, and Chapel Hill, being operational since 2011.
It injected much-needed life into Newquay, especially after renovating the hall into a 4 screen auditorium, with 2 on the first floor and 2 on the ground floor. You can use the foyer lift or stairs to access the halls on the top floor.
Apart from screening popular Hollywood movies, the cinema has organised local screenings, festivals, premiers, and one-off shows. People can even use the cinema as a conference venue or watch popular comedians in action on Live Comedy Nights.
It has even hosted the Cornwall Film Festival 3 times and started live satellite transmissions in 2014. The website further lists live opera and ballet performances from across England that are regularly celebrated on the big screen.
Irrespective of your choice of screen, you will find infrared hearing systems, wheelchair bays, subtitling facilities, and audio descriptions. Among the 4 screens, the largest auditorium is screen 1, complete with a raised stage, live entertainment facilities, special presentations, and conference equipment.
The concession area and box office are on the ground floor, along with a small bar where patrons can order their favourite drinks before the screening.
Watching a cinema may not be a priority for tourists when exploring the scenic beauty of Cornwall, but a cinema hall can spill so many secrets about a place.
It can provide a sneak peek into the history of the region and show how the medium of films has evolved through generations. If you are lucky, you can stumble into some frequent visitors and hear fantastic stories about the halls.
This will surely heighten the movie-going experience, and a lucky few may even catch their favourite stars attending a premiere. So, check out the cinema halls we have mentioned and explore Cornwall from a whole new perspective!
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