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Pier Pavilion


The Pier Pavilion was added in 1929 to the landward end of engineer Herbert Francis Edwards’s 1895 pier. The wooden Bijou Pavilion at the seaward end of the pier, originally built in 1907 and converted to a dancehall in 1930, burnt down in 1931 and was never replaced. The Pier Pavilion was an early example of an Art Deco ferro-concrete structure built in Indian style, main block with tapering corner towers, capped by Moghul style roofs with deeply overhanging bracketed eaves and windows with diaper grilles. West (landward) end at ground level flanked by concave wings, containing shops and kiosks, in classical style with Roman Doric columns. Pierced parapet between towers. First floor convex bay with large glazed openings on to terrace. Flanks have four tall lucerne windows set in a curved roof. Adamesque interior decorations. The Pavilion has been used as a cinema, concert hall, dance hall, and restaurant, snooker club and gym hall and survived the many closures caused by damage to the pier by passing ships. A restoration programme for the pier began in 1994 and continued with subsequent lottery funding throughout the following decades. A major renovation in 2013 to ensure community use included the installation of a ceramic mosaic mural, three meters in diameter, by Jean Powell of Craig Bragdy Design in the foyer. Internally the defined proscenium arch and ribs were left exposed within the main hall to highlight the original building fabric and externally the renovation included the installation of ornamental zinc tiles to replace the dilapidated paint covering the Pavilion’s four domes and barrel roof.

Built / Converted
Dates of use
Current state
Current use
Other use (arts and community café)
The Esplanade, Penarth, South Glamorgan, CF64 3AU, Wales
Further details
Other names
Marina Ballroom , Commodore Club and Restaurant
  • Owner/Management: Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd, lessee
  • 1895 Owner/Management: Penarth Promenade & Landing Pier Company, owners
  • 1907 Owner/Management: Oscar Miller, lessee
  • 1910 - 1930 Owner/Management: Alfred Newton, lessee
  • 1924 - 1974 Owner/Management: Penarth Urban District Council, owners
  • 1929 Design/Construction:
    Julians of Cardiff
    - Consultant
    stage equipment
    - Architect
    - Lighting
  • 1974 Owner/Management: Vale of Glamorgan Council, owners
  • 2013 Alteration: Renovation
    - Architect
  • Capacity
  • Listing
Stage type
Building dimensions: Auditorium 95ft x 42ft 6in
Stage dimensions: Depth: 21ft Width: 44ft
Proscenium width: -
Height to grid: -
Inside proscenium: -
Orchestra pit: None