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Report - Astoria Bingo Hall/Cinema/Theatre, Brighton - February 2013

Discussion in 'Theatres and Cinemas' started by kent-urbex, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. kent-urbex

    kent-urbex 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

    Dec 19, 2009
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    The Grade II Listed Brighton Astoria was built by Griggs & Son Ltd. for E. E. Lyons and designed by Edward Albert Stone, who also deisigned the Astorias in Brixton, Streatham, Finsbury Park, Charing Cross Road, and the Old Kent Road in London. The Theatre was built as a Super Cinema with an Art Deco auditorium decorated by Henri & Laverdet, capable of seating 1,823 people, a Tea Room and Restaurant, and full stage facilities.

    Although built as a Super Cinema with stage facilities the Theatre's stage was in fact rarely used and in 1958 it was closed off completely when renovations to the building included erecting a 70mm screen in front of the proscenium. The Theatre's Compton Organ was also removed at this time, and the auditorium was mostly hidden by curtains. Also the Balcony stepping was altered and a new projection box was installed at the rear of of the balcony.

    A Ticket for a special press & trade preview of 'Ben Hur' at the Astoria Theatre, Brighton on Monday the 20th of March, 1961 - Courtesy Allan JempsonThe Astoria then went on to be a successful Cinema for many years until the 7th of May 1977 when it closed after the last showing of Barbra Streisand's 'A Star is Born.'

    After the Astoria closed for Cinema use it was then converted for Bingo. This continued until 1996 when even Bingo ended and the building was closed and boarded up, and so it has remained for many years.

    Having been sold for a substantial sum recently the current owners have put in planning applications to demolish the building but the Theatres Trust, and the Cinema Theatre Association have strongly opposed any demolition of this Grade II Listed Theatre.

    After seeing a few reports from here decided to give this one a go, Was a bit optimistic as the last report was two or three years ago. Love to photograph Cinemas after I done ABC Maidstone haven’t as of yet come across a cinema in such perfect condition as the one in maidstone. Once in noticed 110v leads all over the place managed to get the lights working which was a bonus, There seems to be a lot of water damage. I could see how the building had been changed over the years, from a cinema to bingo hall. All the original curtains and back drops are still up above the stage. Some of the seating and flooring has been ripped up in places, There was a lot of the original bingo machines. As I’ve just upgraded my DLSR from a Nikon d90 to a Nikon d800 I only had a 35m prime Fx lens, at the end I put my 11-16mm dx lens on to do some wide angle hence why I have ended up with a black outline.

    Main Doors

    Buy your tickets

    Once past the ticket desk and through the doors you have the bar

    Directly opposite the bar was a higher seating area where the bingo machines are


    Bingo cards

    A desk at a different entrance

    2nd floor corridor which runs along the front of the building over looking the road

    smashed mirror

    To my right was stairs to the higher tier of the cinema screen down the corridor was a set of stairs going to the lower tier

    stairs going up to the top tier



    Looking down towards the stage 35mm


    A false suspended ceiling placed over the original ceiling.

    Video stage controller


    Above the stage looking down and the remaining curtains and back drops suspended above the ceiling

    Taken from the stage looking towards lower and top seating [​IMG]

    Seating from side view

    Top of the seating looking down towards the stage 11-16mm
    MaxM, OPEN&ENTER and eyelash911 like this.

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