The Queen's Electric Theatre in 1911, occupying the space of two former shops, but still showing the Electric Bioscope sign
By 1930 it was relatively unusual for a cinema to advertise silent films 'with full orchestra'.
The interior of the Scala in 1930.
Newly re-opened Curzon Kinema in 1936, showing the art deco influence
Electric Bioscope (1909-1910)
Queen's Electric Theatre (1910-1915)
Queen's Picture Theatre (1915-1919)
Scala Cinema (1922-1932)
Regal Cinema (1932-1936)
Curzon Kinema (1936-1975)
Classic Cinema (1975-1979)
130 Western Road, Brighton
1909 January 13 Opened as the Electric Bioscope in a converted shop by journalist Walter Harold Speer; c50 seats.
1910 August Expands into neighbouring shop, increases to 250 seats and is renamed Queen's Electric Theatre, complete with upholstered seats, dimmable auditorium lights, curtains revealing the screen, 'hygienic' fan ventilation and an orchestra. Alterations made by Thomas Garratt. Admission to the balcony costs 1s (5p), to the 'area' or promenade 3d (1p). The signs over the entrances read: 'Continuous performances. Daily from 3 till 10. Come in when you like. No waiting.' It is also open on Sundays. Tea lounge.
c1912 Speer moves into production with Brighton & County Film Company. Cinema is sold to Mrs A W L Deer, who forms Queens Montpelier Electric Theatre Ltd.
1915 Renamed Queen's Picture Theatre
1919 Renamed Picturedrome. It appears to have taken this name when a cinema with that name in Edward Street is renamed the Majestic.
1922 Acquired by George Beyfus of Tivoli Enterprises (Hove) Ltd, who also has the nearby Tivoli. Renamed Scala Cinema
1930 March Equipped with RCA Photophone sound system after resisting sound films with the slogan 'No talkies here!'
1932 Acquired by Regal Cinema Co Ltd. renamed Regal Cinema.
1936 Renamed Curzon Kinema and remodelled in Art Deco style by James Morrison. 656 seats, including balcony.
1948 Prices 10d-2s 3d, continuous performances, booked at hall. Still owned by Regal Cinema Co/Harry Jacobs (who also acquires the Tivoli, Hove this year).
1953 Listed in the Kinematograph Yearbook
as owned by K A Nyman, 36 Manor House Drive, London NW6 and booked from there. 656 seats. Prices 1s and 3s.
1954 Acquired by Eric R Mills of Kinetours Ltd..
1957 Listed in the Kinematograph Yearbook as owned by Kinetours Ltd, London and booked from there. Prices 1s-3s 6d. Cinemascope, screen 22ft x 11ft 6ins.
1960 Maintenance work was carried out on the building between now an 1965 by D E Burtenshaw Ltd, a local firm of builders and decorators.
1961 Prices 1s 6d-3s 6d.
1965 September Acquired by Classic Cinemas Ltd
1968 Prices 4s 6d-5s 6d. Proscenium 28ft, screen 22ft 4ins x 9ft 8ins.
1970 Renamed Classic Cinema. 597 seats, Continuous, three shows daily, one change weekly.
1975 Operating an art-house programming policy
1979 August 31 Closed. Last film: The Spaceman and King Arthur.
• Waitrose supermarket expanded into the site.
Photos courtesy of Brighton & Hove Libraries' Brighton History Centre
Brighton cinema directory
< Previous | Next >
Return to previous page