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The Wellington Hall


(map courtesy of Dover Public Library)

The above map is a section taken from a series of large-scale Insurance Maps, produced in 1905.  The Wellington Hall can be seen occupying a site between Snargate Street and Northampton Street.  This area no longer exists; only the north side of Snargate Street remains partly intact.


"Between 21 and 22 (Snargate Street) is the room for many years used for public meetings, and known as the Wellington Hall, and some fifty years ago it was an arcade which ran through to Northampton Street, and was known as Squire's Bazaar."   (J.B.J. 1907)


PRICES 5D, 8D & 1S/- Including Tax

Now Showing:


A Temperamental Wife


Constance Talmadge

The poster behind the girls' heads in this picture boasts of "The Marvel of the XXth Century" - Cinephone; a system using lip-sync with gramophone records.

The girl on the left is Ethel Sharp; can anyone identify the other girl with the big smile?

The film showing at this time appears to be "The Passion of Joan of Arc," directed by Carl Dreyer and produced in Denmark in 1928.

The picture on the left shows my great aunt, Ethel Sharp, who worked at the cinema as a young woman.

Below is another picture, taken at the same time, showing a group of the staff.  The pictures are not clear enough to read any of the other posters.

Originally opened around 1857, the Wellington Hall reopened as a cinema on Saturday 25th September 1911.  Matinees were from 3 to 4.30 pm with evening performances from 6.30 to 10.45.  A typical program might include as many as eight films, with titles such as "Bronco Bill's Redemption" and "Father Buys a Chimney Pot".

Prices for these early performances were 3d, 6d and 1/-, with children at 2d, 3d and 6d (6d is two and a half new pence; 1/- is 5p!).

After the First World War, the name was changed to the Wellington Cinema.

Music for the (silent) films was provided by Emma Beer on the piano before the cinema converted to "talkies" in 1929.

By 1930, cinemas were losing their popular appeal and, after being sold to new owners, the Wellington became the Pavilion.  Later that year the name was changed again to the "Pavilion Cinema and Palais de Dance", when dancing was introduced to try and revive its fortunes.  This did not succeed and was soon abandoned.  By the end of the year, the cinema had closed its doors for ever.


The film "A Temperamental Wife" was a silent film, directed by David Kirkland and produced in the USA in 1919.

Wellington Hall pictures courtesy of Mr. David Dixon