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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

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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
    8469267338_541563c84a_c.jpg

    Buy your tickets
    8468172081_b3988e89c7_c.jpg

    Once past the ticket desk and through the doors you have the bar
    8468172461_d50cf48360_c.jpg

    Directly opposite the bar was a higher seating area where the bingo machines are
    8469267508_cb72e40967_c.jpg

    Machines
    8469267786_6be5f92076_c.jpg

    Bingo cards
    8468171811_a45b1f01a4_c.jpg

    A desk at a different entrance
    8468174347_874de80cb5_c.jpg

    2nd floor corridor which runs along the front of the building over looking the road
    8469269536_5d50087657_c.jpg

    smashed mirror
    8469269406_eec125b636_c.jpg

    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
    8468174081_6be8789cc5_c.jpg

    stairs going up to the top tier
    [ 8469266560_52feed3552_c.jpg

    stairs
    8469269290_ffa4d21c57_c.jpg

    Window
    8469269128_5ff3a1f44a_c.jpg

    Looking down towards the stage 35mm
    8469268522_3d5cf4220f_c.jpg

    chairs
    8469268486_ac86927847_c.jpg

    A false suspended ceiling placed over the original ceiling.
    8468173087_3a5c260592_c.jpg

    Video stage controller
    8469266530_b625c0ba96_c.jpg

    Stage
    8468172713_f58cfbf4bc_c.jpg

    Above the stage looking down and the remaining curtains and back drops suspended above the ceiling
    8468171865_895aa51ee7_c.jpg

    Taken from the stage looking towards lower and top seating 8468171781_fabd6cfaa6_c.jpg

    Seating from side view
    8468171441_dc4f128d80_c.jpg

    Top of the seating looking down towards the stage 11-16mm
    8469266498_81a7a2056c_c.jpg
     

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    MaxM, OPEN&ENTER and eyelash911 like this.

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