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Report in Evening Post
I read the article in the Evening Post with interest. I have fond memories of the Empire Cinema as my father Vincent Snow of W H Snow and Sons was in charge of the Building of the Cinema. It was his first big contract at the age of 26. My mother and Father attended the official opening which was a grand affair.
I used to love going to the ballroom and the cafe in my youth.
Posted by Carole Muir-Snow on 25 June 2012
Even before I left school and began a lifetime career as a cinema / TV projectionist, cinema & theatre architecture has always remained as one of my interests in life. Part of that includes a collection memorabilia and I just wonder if Carol Snow-Muir, or anyone else for that matter, might just have a copy of the opening night Souvenir programme for the Empire? It would add so much to this very important feature page if it could be copied and shared by everyone in years to come. I continue to follow with interest the stories, photos and memories that already grace its pages, and can't help but agree with everyone who wanted to save the building and retain it as part of the Community. Granted it did not have the grandeur of some of the Granada, Odeon, Gaumont or ABC circuit houses, but it was 100% better than any Multiplex you care to mention. As I understand it the replacement is to be 12 flats, no doubt to comply with the Social Housing scheme. Visually what can residents expect to see in the place of a building that did at least have a vestige of architecture? Ironically two words of a pop song come to mind and prophecy that which will replace the Empire.


Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes made of ticky tacky,
Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes all the same.
There's a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one,
And they're all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.

Words and music by Malvina Reynolds; copyright 1962 Schroder Music Company, renewed 1990.
Posted by Alan Ashton on 25 June 2012
Hi my great grandad was Vincent Snow.
Posted by David snow on 20 December 2017
My first job
My first job was at the Empire cinema as a 4th projectionist. Bryn Symmons gave me the start, he lived a short distance from me in Leonard Street. It was in December 1953 and I have fond memories of my time there and remember all the people who I worked with. Bryn's daughter, Sylvia, was friends with my sister Joyce.
At a 1959 Valentines dance I met my wife and when the dancehall became a snooker hall, I took my grandson there who later represented Wales in the youths section.
Posted by Graham Chambers on 22 June 2012
Hello Graham. Nice to hear from you. Your sister Joyce and I had some very good times together as friends.
I'm glad you also remember the good old days in the operating box.
It is a shame to see the Empire go with so many happy memories for us both.
Posted by Sylvia Griffin (Symmons) on 22 June 2012
rock bands
Hi, had many a great Saturday night at the Empire working with my band Robbie, Ray and The Jaguars / supported some well known bands like The Kings / Small Faces to name but a few, it was the place to go back in the late 60s.
Posted by DAVID DAVIES on 21 June 2012
Well done re the website - huge amount of work!

Sad to see it go but maybe its time has come - poor parking, major repairs etc. Good memories for the people of Neath, however.

Posted by Bernard Lewis on 21 June 2012
It was actually left in a good condition by the previous owners - but has not been used for three years.
No one made a move and no interest was shown until Coastal Housing came along and bought the freehold after exploring the possibilities for building flats in its place.
The council approved this before theatre and operatic groups became aware of it - they could have got together and have bought it for a song, and maybe with the help of the Lottery heritage fund.
Yes, you are right about parking - but it is the middle of a densely populated area (ideal for a community centre) and walking distance.
Now it is going to cost more to demolish it than would it would have cost to refurbish it for community use.
Not many know that the Coastal Housing Group had a grant to do what is intended. Very likely from the council who get their money from us. If this is correct, it means that our money is being used to demolish a cherished building.
You are absolutely right when you say it is sad to see all this happening.
Posted by Tom Turner on 21 June 2012
It is pure GREED before NEED.

The council think that they will get more income from flat tenants (council tax) and rental charges (NPT Homes/Coastal Housing) than if the building belonged to dedicated art groups (dramatic societies).

NPT CBC has failed to follow the examples in other towns and cities where the community is put first.
Posted by Nancy Bowen on 21 June 2012
What a shame!
I am very sad The Empire is being destroyed. My family owned The Ballroom in the 60's and I remember playing there as a child as well as meeting some of the bands that played. Many people met their husband/wife at the dances there. What a shame!
Posted by Carolina Caird (nee Berni) on 12 April 2012
No Title
Posted on 05 April 2012
Sad Council
Posted on 21 February 2012
Work going on Empire?
Posted on 26 January 2012
A message from former Deputy Manager
Posted on 25 January 2012
Empire info
Posted on 25 January 2012
Terrible news!
Posted on 27 December 2011
Leisure Centre for Neath?
Posted on 16 August 2011
Tribute to Alex Jones
Posted on 27 July 2011
Alex Jones
Posted on 23 May 2011
Films and TV
Posted on 17 May 2011
Cinemas in Neath - Port Talbot
Posted on 16 May 2011
Palace Cinema - Neath
Posted on 10 May 2011
Empire Memories
Posted on 04 May 2011
History query
Posted on 30 April 2011
New website
Posted on 08 October 2010
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