Extinct Venue – Studio Bar, Merthyr Tydfil

The Studio Bar opened in early 2006, the former home of a short lived ice rink. The building was originally home to the Castle Cinema, built in 1929 on the site of the original Castle Hotel. The venue was opened as a replacement for RMs, the legendary venue which had closed down at the end of 2005.

In the early days the Studio Bar was located on the ground floor of the Cinema, the stage being the platforn which stood before the main screen. The ice rink layout served as a pit and the surrounding area was furnished with tables and chairs.

Regular faces at the Studio Bar included:

The Blackout
Kids in Glass Houses
The Guns
The New 1920
Miss Conduct (now known as S!rens)
Ian Watkins

The venue was famed for it’s all day events, and it’s Christmas specials – which included the infamous Blackout Christmas Show of 2006, featuring Kids in Glasses Houses and Ian Watkins of Lostprophets fame.

Within a year of opening the stage was relocated to the upstairs area, the owneer of the building had installed a bowling alley in place of the original stage which prompted a ‘Save our Studio Bar’ campaign.

After a short stint in the upstairs area the action returned downstairs, albeit without a stage in an area which was a fraction of the size of the original venue. Things lasted until early 2007 and the venue went into a temporary hiatus before returning in late 2007, with shows from The Guns, Dopamine and The Blackout seeing the year out.

The venue survived until the middle of 2008 and gigs wrapped up due to poor attendance.

At the present time there is no venue in Merthyr Tydfil.

Do you have any photographs or memories of the Studio Bar? Why not share them in the comment box below?

Jarrad ‘Nöir’ Owens



  1. upstairs blackout gig was actually the best gig of my entire life. I remember knowing or at least knowing of everyone in studio bar… if studio bar didnt exist my old band woulda never ever ever had any gigs haha

  2. My first two bands benefitted from the studio bar greatly, had gigs there regulary n everything. If it wasnt for this venue i wouldnt be able to boast the fact that i saw kigh and tbo countless times before they were famous. In its day it was a beast of a venue, bout time they brought it back i say!

  3. i loved this venue and the upstairs was amazing
    it was such a pity that the owners got greedy and completly messed up the way the building worked.
    i’ll have to look on my old computer im sure have photos

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