Picture House (c1915-1928)
New Kinema (1930-1948)
Albion Street, Southwick
c1915 Frederick George Ellis opens a Picture
House and two shops on a mortgage at a total cost of £5,000. The site had previously been the depot and stables of the horse tram service that ran between the Hove boundary and Shoreham until it closed in June 1913.
1921 October Ellis sells to George Sheffield but repossesses the cinema when Sheffield fails to fulfil the agreement. [Sheffield is declared bankrupt.]
1924 March 24 Nonetheless, Sheffield is granted a cinematograph licence.
1924 April Cinema is leased to Alfred Barnett, who assigns the property to a Mr Stadelmann, against whom a receiving order is eventually made.
1924 December Ellis surrenders the property to the mortgagees for relief of the outstanding debt of £3,200. [Ellis is declared bankrupt at Brighton in January 1926.]
1925 March 23 The cinematograph licence is renewed by Alfred Barnett.
1926 March 22 Licensed to F J Freeman, who operates the Scala at Burgess Hill; 340 seats.
1928 Now called the Plaza. Freeman is also granted a theatrical licence and includes variety acts along with the films. During the year the cinema is run by P V Reynolds, proprietor of the Picturedrome in Portslade.
1930 December 15 Fire destroys the stage, much of the seating and the Panatrope equipment (the twin-deck gramophone unit that replaced live musicians in poorer cinemas that did not yet show talkies). The damage, estimated at £1,000, results in the cinema being rebuilt.
1931 April 6 Re-opens as the New Kinema with replacement seating and a British Thompson-Houston sound system. Prices 4d-1s; 461 seats.
1932 Reynolds, now re-building the Picturedrome in Portslade to turn it into the Pavilion Cinema, sells the New Kinema to J E Greaves.
1946 Fire again causes damage to the projection booth, consuming all the film but barely affecting the auditorium. The cinema is closed for four weeks.
1948 March 24 For the third time fire breaks out, this time completely gutting the cinema.
• The site, to the west of the junction of Albion Street and Station Road, is now part of a development of council flats in landscaped grassland.
Brighton cinema directory
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