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01/02/2001

DAVIES FAMILY RECEIVE WELSH FILM CULTURE AWARD

MICHAEL Davies, Manager of the Commodore Cinema in Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, received the ‘3rd Anthony Hopkins Award’ at Wales Cinema Day on January 29.
Responding to the news of the presentation, John Wilkinson, Chief Executive of the Cinema Exhibitors Association, said: “I am delighted that an exhibitor who brings world wide stories to communities from far and wide have received this prestigious Welsh film award.”
Davies received the award on behalf of himself and his family in recognition of their tireless work in entertaining the people of Aberystwyth.
In 1958, Davies father was working for Pathe selling cinema equipment and converting cinemas into Cinemascope. He then leased the old Celtic Cinema in Aberystwyth from the local council in 1958. In 1962, what’s thought to be the first twin cinema in the UK was born when he took over the building next door to ‘The Celtic’ and converted it into a cinema, named ‘The Conway’.
Due to the deterioration of the original buildings, ‘The Celtic’ and ‘The Conway’ were demolished in 1976 to make way for a new 410 seat ‘Commodore Cinema’. It was a true independent family business until his death in 1991.
Davies' mother took over the management of the cinema until her son returned from working in Cardiff at the end of 1992, he then became the new Cinema Manager and Programmer. His mother still continues to help out whenever there is need.
Berwyn Rowlands, Chief Executive of Sgrin, said: “A successful film industry has many components, and to some extent the local cinema is probably one of the most important. This year it is therefore fitting that this group of committed individuals, who tirelessly present the best of world cinema to audiences across Wales, are recognised through the ‘Anthony Hopkins Award’. I personally cannot think of anybody else in Wales who epitomises a commitment to the local audience, and I am therefore pleased that the award this year, goes to all those in Aberystwyth who have made the ‘Commodore Cinema’ the success story that it is.”
Launched in 1998 by Sgrin, the Media Agency for Wales, the Anthony Hopkins Award is presented annually to a person or persons who have made an outstanding contribution to Welsh film culture. (CD)
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