A Cock And Ynysbwl Story

Cinema, or 'the pictures' as it's now known, eventually arrived in Wales in 1987, just after electricity and shortly before tea was ready one Friday.

News of cinema's impending arrival meant that the Welsh nation's excitement and anticipation had been at fever-pitch since 1968. Initial suspicions by the local populace that the bright lights of cinema could be an English trick were wholly allayed when cinema's potential to disturb and influence with scenes of violence and bad language, product placement, subliminal advertising, and the selling of unrealistic 'body beautiful' stereotypes, turned out to be American in source.

Such was the occasion of Wales' premiere film showing (Karate Kid 2) that crowds gathered in their tens, male voice choirs sang, Katherine Jenkins wore make-up, bunting was hung and Welsh cakes were baked. No one went home disappointed - or with any money in their pockets.

As a result of the rise of the cinema in Wales, the pubs were quiet that weekend (three closed for good that very Saturday), and on Sunday the churches were quieter still (four had became mosques and arts centres before the sermons ended).

Cinema had arrived, and Wales would never be the same again. Thank God.


A 2010 WalesOnline news story on actual Welsh cinemas and efforts to save them can be read here.

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