The original Monico Cinema opened on 19th April 1937 with Gary Cooper in “Lives of A Bengal Lancer”. It had an original seating capacity of 950 in stalls and circle.
The Monico survived as a twin screen cinema (seating 433 and 156) until closing on 30th January 2003 under the management of Circle Cinemas. The building was demolished and a block of flats was built on the site.
Movies can sear into our memories and evoke long forgotten moments from our past, but of course the buildings where they were seen are just as redolent. Gareth Hill, a Cardiff based writer has composed an evocative paean to “The Monico – A Cinema”
On Thursday, 30th January, 2003 the BBC posted an article marking the end of an era for cinema in Cardiff “Last picture show at the Monico”