The Tower Ballroom, Townhill, Swansea.
After the second world war, Swansea having been brutally attacked and bombed was in a state of slow recovery from all the destruction. New buildings started to spring up not only replacing the destroyed buildings but also repairing and redesigning the scarred and baron landscape, paving the way for the future of Swansea. One of these buildings was the Tower Cinema which would be a centre of entertainment for many years. The Tower was built in 1937 as a cinema with the very first film shown being Swing Time, starring Fred Aster and Ginger Rodgers. The 1950 and early 60s was a time when very few households had a Television and there was only one channel (BBC 1) so cinema was still popular entertainment. The Tower became a very popular cinema, especially known for the Saturday morning matinees. Although most of the films shown in the matinees were already vintage the house would be packed out. Favourites would always be the westerns, Roy Rodgers, Hopalong Cassidy, The Cisco Kid, the Lone Ranger and many others. Along with these would be the occasional Tarzan or Flash Gordon, serial films. When the hero turned up to save the day the whole audience would be stamping their feet on the floor making a noise like thunder. In the August of 1958, the Tower cinema was converted into a ballroom, the dance hall designed by Clifford G Vaughan and Ridgwell of St James Gardens. At one time the ballroom was the largest venue in the area and had the only sprung dance floor in Wales. The décor was Bamboo with fishnet storm lanterns and a Dolby sound system which was supplied by the Rank organisation. It was one of the top entertainment venues in Swansea hosting well known international entertainers such as Cliff Richard and the Shadows, the Johnny Dankworth Orchestra, Ivy Benson’s All Girl Band, Roy Denver and many others. In later years the venue was once again to change, this time it become a very popular Bingo Hall. On 11th September 1993 after being deliberately set alight by vandals the Tower burnt down. A very sad moment for the people of Swansea.