Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: June 26, 2017.
Webpage updated: September 04, 2017




On April 11th 1937 the Theatre Royal in George Street, Plymouth, was pulled down in order to make way for a purpose-built cinema to be known as the Royal Cinema.  Owned by Associated British Cinemas and designed by their own architect, Mr William R Glenn, it had a civic opening on Friday July 15th 1938 at 7pm.  

During the Second World War Plymouth lost all its theatres although many of its more modern cinemas survived.  It badly needed somewhere to hold stage productions and at somebody's instigation the Royal Cinema installed stage facilities to fulfill that missing role.   As a result in January 1954 it was given the name of the Theatre Royal that it had replaced back in 1938. 

The first stage act to appear was Peter Brough with Archie Andrews.

As the 1950s progressed the Associated British Cinemas group decided that a corporate image was required and on October 26th 1958 renamed it the ABC Plymouth. 

However, it continued to be used as a theatre for many years afterwards and it was here that the Beatles performed on the evening of Wednesday November 13th 1963.  They were supported by The Kestrels, Peter Jay and the Jaywalkers and the Vernon Girls.  The Beatles spent the night at the hotel on Burgh Island, off Bigbury, before travelling on to Exeter the following day.