Directory of cinemas in Brighton & Hove

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Lido exterior and auditorium at the time of its opening in 1932

Donald Calthrop Reginald Foort
Present at the opening: Donald Calthrop [left], Reginald Foort [right]

Lido (1932-1944)
Odeon, Hove (1944-1961)

Denmark Villas, Hove (next to Hove Station)

The building by the railway line at Hove station housed a failed ice rink that opened on 23 December 1929, the mayor of Hove having laid the foundation stone only on 11 September. The site had formerly been occupied by Miles's market gardens, a jam factory and a well, sold to Brighton Corporation Water works in 1876 for 27,000. [There is no substance to the suggestion that it was built on part of the site of the Kinemacolor studios, which were more than two streets away.]
1931 late Site is acquired by County Cinemas. Conversion to cinema use is completed to designs by Robert Cromie within 10 weeks but does not include sound insulation, so passing trains could be heard (much like the cinema in the 1952 film The Smallest Show on Earth).
1932 May 6 Opened by Mayor of Hove, Councillor E J J Thompson, with Donald Calthrop, star of Alfred Hitchcock's Blackmail, as a guest. During the interval of the opening show, Reginald Foort played the Wurlitzer Hope-James Unit Orchestra organ (Jack Hellier is the regular organist). Prices 7d-2s; 2,137 seats on one sloping level. The projection throw is very long at 180 ft. Westrex sound system. Car park, cafe, social club, dance hall with live acts on Saturdays and the Lido School of Dancing upstairs. Open daily 11:00-22:00. Special offer of lunch and cinema ticket 2s.
1938 Lowest price reduced to 6d.
1939 September Acquired by Odeon Theatres Ltd
1942 Prices raised from 9d-2s 4d to 1s-2s 6d.
1944 July 30 Renamed Odeon.
1948 Prices 1s-2s 9d.
1953 Prices 1s 6d-3s 1d.
1957 Prices 1s 10d-3s 3d.
1961 2,081 seats; prices 2s 3d-3s 9d
1961 February 18 Closed. Last film: The Singer not the Song, starring Dirk Bogarde.

Converted into a Top Rank bowling alley, which opened in July 1961, but was unable to survive against competition from the King Alfred bowling alley, which opened at the same time. The building was sold in 1969 and demolished in 1970.
A block of flats with shops beneath (including a Tesco Express) and the Royal Mail delivery office now occupy the site.

Brighton cinema directory
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Page updated 7 March 2018
David Fisher