The Public Hall was built in 1863 on Oswald Rd, Oswestry. In 1909 films were shown in the Hall. The hall was renamed the Picturedrome in 1914. In Autumn 1915, Wally George, the proprietor, was keeping up the spirits of civilians and troops by offering a variety of entertainments. The dramatic film ‘Her Luck in London’ was followed later in the week by ‘The Fatal Woman’. Charlie Chaplin brought comedy in his early silent films whilst Mary Pickford provided Hollywood glamour in ‘Madame Butterfly’.
News from the war was shown before the film, one of the few ways the public could keep informed about its progression. By 1917, the Picturedrome had become a Music Hall and was renamed the Playhouse. The ‘Bouncing Dillons’, the world-renowned novelty gymnasts act appeared. Mr George announced: ‘Bouncing competitions will be held at every performance and there will assuredly be great fun to be had’.
It was later converted back to a cinema before closing during the second world war, when it became a dance hall called Plaza Ballroom. It closed for good in the 1970s and the building was demolished (see photo). The site is now occupied by KC Jones garage.
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