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Report - Astoria Theatre, Brighton - July 2103

Discussion in 'Theatres and Cinemas' started by pt2013, Jul 30, 2013.

  1. pt2013

    pt2013 28DL Full Member
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    Long time lurker, finally became brave enough to start doing some exploring of my own!

    apologies for the quality of photos. this was my first explore so a lot to learn. the place was virtually pitch black and I couldn't get my camera to focus at all for most of the photos.

    Anyway, on to some history and the photos.

    Located close to the famous Brighton Pavilion, this was a construction for a local independent consortium headed by E.E. Lyons, who built several Astoria Theatres in southeast England seaside towns. The Astoria Theatre opened on 21st December 1933 with Charles Laughton in “The Private Life of Henry VIIIâ€￾.

    It had full stage facilities and a spectacular Art Deco style interior decoration scheme. A Compton 3 Manual/8Ranks organ with illuminated console was installed and opened by organist Guy Hindell. The Astoria Theatre was taken over by Associated British Cinemas(ABC) chain in February 1935.

    The stage was infrequently used for live shows up until 1958 when the theatre closed for renovations which installed a vast 70mm screen in front of the old proscenium, removed the organ, and curtained the impressive auditorium.

    The balcony steppings were altered and a new projection suite constructed at (and into) the rear balcony.

    Long runs of such films as “Earthquakeâ€￾ ensued and the cinema continued successfully until just after the other ABC house in town was quadrupled in 1976. The Astoria Theatre closed on 7th May 1977 with Barbara Streisand in “A Star Is Bornâ€￾. It became a Coral Bingo Club. This lasted until approximately 1996, when it was operated by Gala Bingo Clubs, after which the Astoria Theatre has stood empty and unused.

    In 2001, it was bought for around 1 million Pounds, with plans to be restored (not known if to original design) and reopened as a live (mainly concert) venue. However, these have stalled, and the building was sold again for 4 million Pounds. It still sits empty and unused into early-2013, when plans were approved to demolish and build an office block.

    The Astoria Theatre is a Grade II Listed building

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    Thanks for looking
     

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  2. Poltergeist mor-tan

    Poltergeist mor-tan 28DL Full Member
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    that looks cool i especially like the photo of the stage. Do you have to enter at night or evening cos im visiting brighton for the morning in the summer do you think there will be to many people around?
     
  3. Lavino

    Lavino 28ÐŁ ƦEGUŁλƦ U$EƦ
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  4. CR Explore

    CR Explore 28DL Full Member
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    Hi mate.
    I've done the Astoria recently, you can enter during the day, but you need to be quick, luckily the way in isn't in the open.
    good luck :)
     
  5. Poltergeist mor-tan

    Poltergeist mor-tan 28DL Full Member
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    yes but other people still go on it and read it so then they may reply like CR Expolre-btw thanks
     
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