Mid Wales

Ceredigion Museum appeal for Aberystwyth coliseum memories

Coliseum interior Image copyright Ceredigion Museum

Ceredigion Museum has appealed for memories of an old coliseum for an oral history archive.

The museum in Aberystwyth, which was once the coliseum, is starting a Gathering Memories project to create new displays and a film about its history.

The memories will also be used as inspiration for the creative design of the new shop and cafe.

It is part of a £1.3m Heritage Lottery project.

Image copyright Ceredigion Museum
Image caption Cinema staff in 1933

The Coliseum was opened as a theatre in 1905 and became a cinema in 1933. It closed in 1976 and re-opened as the Ceredigion Museum in 1982.

Curator Carrie Canham said: "The coliseum is a very special building and visitors often tell us about their fond memories when they visit.

"We've started to record these memories for posterity, including those of Walford Hughes who was born in 1920 and remembers seeing performances and magic lantern shows here when it was still a theatre."

As a cinema, the coliseum was managed by Harry and Olive Gale who hoped to provide "amusement without vulgarity".

Image copyright Ceredigion Museum
Image caption Four friends outside the coliseum

Anyone with memories can contact the museum or drop in between 14:00-16:00 BST on 6 August.

Ceredigion council leader Ellen ap Gwynn said she remembered visiting the coliseum in the early 1970s.

"I particularly remember coming here to see the film 'Herbie Goes Bananas' with my husband Iolo who is an avid film and VW fan," she said.

"We had just come back from holiday and I'm afraid that I fell asleep and missed most of it.

"There is a lot of interesting history connected with the building and we would love the local community to get involved and share their stories with us."

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