This year, everyone at WTW Cinemas takes great pride in celebrating 75 years of bringing big screen entertainment to Cornwall.

From what started as a single screen cinema at The Capitol St Austell in 1945 to eleven cinemas now across the South West (and a few more in the planning stages), a lot of things have changed since then.

 

Unfortunately the current situation means that any celebrations will have to be postponed, but we will be raising a glass in our homes.

 

Our teams are currently hard at work to ensure our cinemas are even safer and will re-open very soon. Until then thank you to all our teams who have worked throughout the 75 years, and to all those who have enjoyed the big screen experience with us. Thank you all for your support and we look forward to seeing you again very soon. 

Some of the highlights over the past 75 years…..

1878

WT. Williams commences operations in Wadebridge as a construction firm.

1945

The Chapman and Williams families purchase ‘The Capitol Theatre’ in Alexandra Road St Austell on the 29th June, 1945.

The Chapman and Williams families purchase ‘The Capitol Theatre’ in Alexandra Road St Austell on the 29th June, 1945.
1947

WT Williams purchase ‘The Cinedrome’ in Padstow.

WT Williams purchase ‘The Cinedrome’ in Padstow.
1959

The Capitol Theatre St Austell is used by the award winning St Blazey AOS Pantomime for the first time.

1963

Bingo arrives in St Austell.

Bingo arrives in St Austell.
1966

WTW Cinemas current Director David Williams joins the company as a trainee projectionist.

1967

The Regal Cinema, Wadebridge is purchased.

The Regal Cinema, Wadebridge is purchased.
1967

The Regal Wadebridge smashes box – office records with an eight week roadshow presentation of “The Sound Of Music”

1974

The first of many – The Regal Wadebridge wins Walt Disney Productions “Most Improved Business For 1974” for the Disney film “The Incredible Journey”

The first of many – The Regal Wadebridge wins Walt Disney Productions “Most Improved Business For 1974” for the Disney film “The Incredible Journey”
1977

WTW Cinemas purchases the former Odeon / Classic cinema in Chandos Place, St. Austell.

WTW Cinemas purchases the former Odeon / Classic cinema in Chandos Place, St. Austell.
1981

After extensive works, the former Odeon cinema in St. Austell is re-opened as the first three-screen cinema in Cornwall under the name “The Filmcentre”.

1986

WTW Cinemas sell The Capitol St Austell.

It remains in use as a full-time Bingo hall.

1988

The Filmcentre St. Austell celebrates One Million visitors since it became a 3 screen cinema in 1981

The Filmcentre St. Austell celebrates One Million visitors since it became a 3 screen cinema in 1981
1991

The FilmCentre, St. Austell creates two extra screens, making it Cornwall’s first five-screen cinema.

The FilmCentre, St. Austell creates two extra screens, making it Cornwall’s first five-screen cinema.
1997

WTW purchase the bankrupt Plaza at Truro from receivers.

WTW purchase the bankrupt Plaza at Truro from receivers.

It’s licence is immediately revoked by Carrick District Council. A comprehensive building and modernisation programme is commenced.

1997

The Padstow cinema is remodelled and relaunched as ‘The Cinedrome’.

The Padstow cinema is remodelled and relaunched as ‘The Cinedrome’.

The design of the auditorium is brought back to its original.

1998

The Plaza at Truro re-opens to the public under WTW ownership.

The Plaza at Truro re-opens to the public under WTW ownership.
1998

The locally filmed ‘Amy Foster’ has its UK Premiere at The Regal Cinema, Wadebridge.

The locally filmed ‘Amy Foster’ has its UK Premiere at The Regal Cinema, Wadebridge.
1999

WTW Cinemas launches its first website.

2000

Robert Williams joins WTW, the fifth generation to join the family business. Brother Mark Williams joins in 2002.

Robert Williams joins WTW, the fifth generation to join the family business. Brother Mark Williams joins in 2002.
2000

The UK Premiere of ‘Saving Grace’ along with its stars and producers is held at Wadebridge, having been filmed locally at Port Issac.

The UK Premiere of ‘Saving Grace’ along with its stars and producers is held at Wadebridge, having been filmed locally at Port Issac.
2005

UK Premiere of “Keeping Mum” held at The Plaza at Truro

UK Premiere of “Keeping Mum” held at The Plaza at Truro

“Keeping Mum” happened to be partly filmed at the home of a staff member from The Plaza, he managed to sneak in a special WTW Cinemas prop into the background…

2006

The Plaza at Truro is voted the Best UK Independent Cinema,

at the RAAM International Cinema Conference in Glasgow.

2007

The FilmCentre at St. Austell closes,

The FilmCentre at St. Austell closes,

after a long period of uncertainty regarding the regeneration of the St. Austell Town Centre, making way for a new WTW Cinema.

2008

WTW Cinemas first Digital Cinema projector is installed at The Plaza at Truro.

2008

The new ‘White River Cinema’ with four screens opens to the public of St Austell,

The new ‘White River Cinema’ with four screens opens to the public of St Austell,

becoming the third cinema to be operated by WTW in St Austell and the first purpose built cinema to be constructed in Cornwall for seventy years.

2009

The Plaza at Truro is voted the Runner up in the Best UK Independent Cinema,

at the RAAM International Cinema Conference.

2010

The Cinedrome at Padstow is sold by WTW.

The Cinedrome at Padstow is sold by WTW.

The buildings remains in use as a electronic testing centre and the foyer as a cafe.

2011

The White River Cinema at St. Austell is voted the Best UK Independent Cinema,

at the RAAM International Cinema Conference in London.

2011

The Lighthouse Cinema in Newquay is opened by WTW Cinemas, returning the big screen to Newquay after an absence of 16 years.

The Lighthouse Cinema in Newquay is opened by WTW Cinemas, returning the big screen to Newquay after an absence of 16 years.

It is the first cinema in Cornwall to feature fully digital projection systems. The projection equipment at the other WTW Cinemas are quickly upgraded after.

2013

The Plaza at Truro, The Regal Cinema at Wadebridge & White River Cinema at St. Austell commence live satellite transmissions of theatrical shows, concerts, opera and ballet.

2013

The White River Cinema at St. Austell plays host to the UK Premiere of Richard Curtis’ “About Time” which was filmed in the St. Austell Bay Area.

The White River Cinema at St. Austell plays host to the UK Premiere of Richard Curtis’ “About Time” which was filmed in the St. Austell Bay Area.
2013

WTW Cinemas Director David Williams is awarded an MBE in The New Years Honours List. He receives the award at an investiture by the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

WTW Cinemas Director David Williams is awarded an MBE in The New Years Honours List. He receives the award at an investiture by the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

He is also invited to a reception by The Royal Family for the Film Industry at Windsor Castle.

2013

BBC Film critic Mark Kermode begins a series of special presentations at The Plaza at Truro.

BBC Film critic Mark Kermode begins a series of special presentations at The Plaza at Truro.
2013

The technical team at The Plaza at Truro are voted UK Technical Team of the Year at an award ceremony at the London headquarters of Dolby Studios.

The technical team at The Plaza at Truro are voted UK Technical Team of the Year at an award ceremony at the London headquarters of Dolby Studios.
2014

The Plaza at Truro wins the “Best Cinema” Award at the What’s On Cornwall Awards,

The Plaza at Truro wins the “Best Cinema” Award at the What’s On Cornwall Awards,

as voted by the readers of ‘The West Briton’, ‘Cornishman’ and ‘Cornish Guardian’ newspapers.

2014

Live Satellite transmissions begin at The Lighthouse Cinema, Newquay.

2015

The first 4k Digital projector in Cornwall is installed, at The Regal Cinema, Wadebridge.

The first 4k Digital projector in Cornwall is installed, at The Regal Cinema, Wadebridge.
2015

The Plaza Truro hosts the first episode of BBC’s ‘ Poldark’ along with its stars.

The Plaza Truro hosts the first episode of BBC’s ‘ Poldark’ along with its stars.
2015

WTW Cinemas celebrates its 70th anniversary.

2016

The Plaza at Truro adds a fifth screen, “The Lemon Suite”.

The Plaza at Truro adds a fifth screen, “The Lemon Suite”.
2016

WTW are awarded cinema partner of the year at More2Screen’s “Mafta’s” recognising their commitment to the delivery of event cinema and live transmissions.

WTW are awarded cinema partner of the year at More2Screen’s “Mafta’s” recognising their commitment to the delivery of event cinema and live transmissions.

Mark Williams receives the award.

2016

The first episode of the second series of the BBC’s ‘Poldark’ is held at the White River Cinema in St Austell.

2017

WTW Cinemas takes a “substantial shareholding” in Devon-based Scott Cinemas, renaming it WTW-Scott Cinemas.

WTW Cinemas takes a “substantial shareholding” in Devon-based Scott Cinemas, renaming it WTW-Scott Cinemas.
2017

WTW Cinemas celebrate fifty years of ownership of the Regal Cinema, Wadebridge.

WTW Cinemas celebrate fifty years of ownership of the Regal Cinema, Wadebridge.
2018

WTW are presented with a further MAFTA award at a ceremony in London for Best Administration.

2018

David Williams is represented by Robert Williams and receives an outstanding achievement award at the London offices of Universal Studios in a ceremony by The Cinema Technology Community.

David Williams is represented by Robert Williams and receives an outstanding achievement award at the London offices of Universal Studios in a ceremony by The Cinema Technology Community.
2019

The Lighthouse Newquay holds the UK Premiere of “Fisherman’s Friends”.

2019

WTW become majority shareholders in Scott Cinemas.

The new company comprises cinemas in Bristol, East Grinstead, Bridgwater, Barnstaple, Sidmouth, Newton Abbot, Exmouth, St Austell, Newquay, Truro and Wadebridge.

2020

WTW Cinemas celebrates 75 years of bringing the Big Screen to the people of Cornwall.

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