THE longest continually running cinema in Wales is celebrating its 120th anniversary with a movie all-nighter, open day and film premiere.

The Market Hall Cinema in Brynmawr was threatened with closure last year after council chiefs unveiled plans to withdraw financial support but a group of volunteers took it over.

Unveiled on February 28, 1894, the 350-seat picture house has not only shown films but also hosted boxing matches, played host to a local operatic society and housed a library.

The venue will mark its landmark anniversary tonight by showing A Clockwork Orange, Trainspotting, Team America: World Police, Taxi Driver and Deliverance back to back.

All the films have been shown at the cinema on Market Square over the years.

The cinema’s project manager Peter Watkins-Hughes, 47, said: “Queen Victoria was on the throne when the Market Hall opened. It shows the continuity of the cinema. We have seen the rise of radio, television and the internet.

“It’s just a monumental achievement. A year ago the cinema was written off. We have managed to inherit and keep alive 120 years of cinema. We are all delighted to be part of the journey.”

On Saturday the cinema will also open its doors to the public with behind the scenes tours of the venue including its projection room.

Visitors will have the opportunity to edit 35mm film, operate a projector and go behind the screen.

There will also be a special screening of the classic Peter Sellers comedy about the running of a cinema, The Smallest Show on Earth.

In the evening, the Beaufort Male Voice Choir will perform in a celebratory concert.

On Tuesday, the cinema is to host the world premiere the comedy Svengali starring Shameless actor Jonny Owen.

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