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Report - Astoria Cinema and Pineapple Dance Studio, Brighton June 2010

Discussion in 'Theatres and Cinemas' started by Ogof, Jun 24, 2010.

  1. Ogof

    Ogof Big Member
    28DL Full Member

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    I've wanted to go here for a while and the opportunity arose recently so I popped in. I clearly remember going here when I was growing up, particularly for the Saturday morning kids club films. It was a smashing old cinema but didn't stand a chance as a single screen venue with all the multi screen ABC, Odeon and Cineworlds opening up. Closed as a cinema and was a bingo place for a while then finally shut in 1997.

    Full history.

    1933 December 21 Opened by Sir Alfred Cooper Rawson MP. Designed by Edward A Stone for E E Lyons and with an interior decorated in art deco style by Henri & Laverdet; 1,823 seats, continuous performances of first-run releases. Westrex sound system, Compton 3 cinema organ. Café, restaurant. The opening film: Alexander Korda's The Private Life of Henry VIII.

    1934 Acquired by Associated British Cinemas Ltd [London] after the death of E E Lyons.
    The souvenir programme for the opening of the Astoria can be seen online in the Bill Douglas Centre collection. [Included in the row of houses demolished to make way for the cinema was 16 Gloucester Place, which has been the home of Christina Edmunds, the chocolate cream poisoner, found guilty in 1872 of the murder of a four-year-old boy who ate chocolates she had injected with strychnine and returned to Maynards shop in West Street.]

    1958 Converted for 70mm (Todd-AO) operation with a new screen in front of the proscenium at a cost of £20,000, and requiring removal of the organ. This ended the occasional live shows.

    1968 1,354 seats

    1970 1,230 seats

    1977 May 7 Closed shortly after the town's other ABC cinema re-opened as a quadruplex. The following year it becomes a bingo hall, the Coral Social Club, later Gala Bingo. Last film: A Star is Born.

    Astoria Cinema
    The Astoria as a Gala Bingo hall and shuttered after its closure.

    1997 Closes completly. Bass Leisure granted permission to convert to a night club but refused a drinks licence.

    2000 July 15 The premises are raided by police after a group of people break in and for a rave to follow the end of the Essential Music Festival. The rave does not take place. 2000 November Granted Grade II listed building status. Astoria Moving Picture Trust planned a single-screen cinema with e-cinema capability.

    A nice relaxed time was had, which was made a lot easier when I worked oout how to turn the lights on!

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    The Circle seating where we went as kids for a treat!


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    Pineapple dance studio

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    Pineapple dance studio

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