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This was the second cinema I was paid to work in as a projectionist, the first was the ABC up the road from this cinema. I was in the army at the time and did the odd evening and weekend at both cinemas.
This cinema was the first one I ever worked at and was paid to do so, I was in the army at the time and did the odd evening and weekend. At the time it was the ABC cinema and had only 1 screen. I also did the odd evening and weekend at the Odeon which was further down the road at the time.
I worked at this theatre/cinema for a short time doing stage lighting and 1st projectionist around the late 1960’s early 1970’s Rank had just spent a small fortune redoing the rigging and stage lighting. The new dimmer board was on a platform stage left with three preset’s the fly rigging was also stage left. It was a big theatre/cinema though it did a lot of live show’s which payed there way, it was not paying it’s way as a single screen cinema. Nor would it pay it’s way as a multi screen cinema, it was just to far out of the shopping area.
“thinkitsayit” You are right the theatre/cinema/bingo hall was owned by the Saunders family for many years. Before it was sold/handed over to the committee to run.
“Exciterlamp” You are also right about the projector bases.But you missed the wooden block that were also used. The projector were Weststar 2001’s with 4000ft spools. The sound system was built by Clark and Co. I enjoyed my time running the place, but when the council open it’s own place a few miles away it killed the theatre/cinema and I had no choose but to closed it down for good. I would like to thank those people who did use the theatre/cinema while I ran it.
I can remember going to this cinema as a kid during the summer holidays as it was cheap to get in about a 1- (5p). I remember you could hear the fire engines next door when they where called out to a fire etc. It was called the flea pit by some, I recall one afternoon seeing a rat running about the stalls and a woman screaming about it. I am amazed that it it still a working cinema as all the other cinemas from that time have been closed and have been or are about to be demolished.
I can remember seeing just one film show (A & B movie) at this cinema and just how long the hall was.
I worked as a relief projectionist at this cinema when it was known as The Brighton Film Theatre and run by Myles Byrne’s and the BFI. Yes the equipment was old but it did all work.
My first job as a 4th projectionist started here at the Regent Brighton after I left the army where I trained as a projectionist. Working from there I was trained by Odeon Cinemas as a relief chief projectionist working single manning and worked as a employed and freelance relief projectionist the rest of my woking life. It was a bad day they closed down the Regent Cinema for Brighton. But it was a big building and need a lot of work done to it. The Odeon Film Centre in West Street was built as a replacement for the Regent, The odeon West Street and Odeon Kemp Town. The projectionist from all three cinemas were given jobs at the Odeon Film Centre.
I worked for Myles Byrne as a relief projectionist. This was a odd cinema in many ways with some of the oldist projectors as sound system I have seen in use (all DC equipment). It was the Head Office of the Myles Byrne group of cinemas to see inside of it you would not think so, so much junk. Myles Byrne’s also ran and film renting company from this cinema all B rated films.The company broke up one day when Myles Byrne and his partener refused to talk to one and other over some deal that went wrong. Myles Burne’s was left (if I remember right) with twelve cinema to run by his self. And at one time tried to sell them to me. Haveing worked in most of them I turn the offer down.
I am sorry to hear that this building as been demolished.
I worked at this theatre/cinema as a relief projectionist for EMI. It had a large stage with the dimmer board on the stage left and dressing rooms to the rear of the stage but had no fire curtian nor was there much of a fly tower.It was used as a bingo hall for some years but never paid it way and closed. It stood unuse for some years and started to fall apart, demolition was the only out come..
I worked at his theatre/cinema as a relief projectionist for EMI. I am sorry to hear that it is due to be demolished. A lot of money when into trying to save the building. But it was never going to be saved the land it stands on is worth far to much, if used for something else.
I worked from this cinema as a relief projectionist for the southern area of EMI, which meant I covered the ABC Hayward Heath, ABC Hove, ABC Brighton and Astoria Brighton as part of my job. The ABC Brighton was built with two projection boxes one on the roof but the rack was to great to be used and was never finished. The second was built into and under the circle.It was also planned to be a theatre but the stage was never finished as the Astoria was used as a theatre instead. It is also the only cinema I know of that had a car park under it.
The stage of the theatre/cinema was a tin hut to the rear, it had a dimmer board stage right. A hole was cut into the rear wall of the building to form a proscenium arch. For some years Myles Byrne had a office on the stage and it was just as cold as the theatre/cinema was.
I worked in the cinema and one owned by the same company in Oxford Street London on and off as a relief projectionist. It was some where warm to sit while waiting for a train. Most people that use it had children with them so the 2 hour programme of newsreels, cartoon shorts and serials worked well. In the end like the one in Oxford Street it was worth more closed than open.
R H Scott-Spencer.
I worked at this cinema as part of my job as a zone relief projectionist, it had a pair of Philips DP70 projectors. Which by my reckoning from the number of 70mm road show films. Shown at this cinema must hold the record for the hardiest worked 70mm projectors in the UK.
I was based at this cinema as a zone relief projectionist, the chief at that time was a Mr John Eaton. My job was to give single man cover for staff shortages, illness and holiday etc. Though it turned out there was a little more to it than that. It turn out I was there to easy the transitions from multiple manning of the companies projection boxes to single manning working both single and double shifts. As has been said this cinema had two fully fitted restaurants and a cafe, a ballroom and a under ground car park. What as not been said was that this cinema had a full size stage and dressing room which were never fitted out. It also had two entrance, one on Brigton sea front and one in East Street. It also had something I have only seen in modern cinemas a passager lift. When this cinema was built, it was built with two projection boxes, one was built into the roof and was never completted, the other was built into and under the front of the circle. I alway found it funny that no one ever finished building parts of the cinema yet on the other hand no finished taking it apart. IE the restaurant they simple closed them and boarded them up and left them as they were for nearly twenty years. The ballroom become the managers flat from some time. The running cost’s of this cinema meant who ever owned it found it hard to make it pay it way, which lead to it’s being closed down for good.
I am sorry to say that the Odeon and any near by Odeon or ABC cinema are or I should say were owned by a company called Cinven. And are now owned by a German company called WestLB, whos only interest is in the land and not the cinema. By near by I mean 10 to 15 miles.
Out of interest, this was one of a chain owned by the Miles Byrne’s group. When I was offered the chain in 1980, the package was made up of twelve cinemas.
The Tivoli was the former Memorial and Welfare Hall. The “committee” gave up running it as they could not make it pay it’s way, you will know what “committees” of this type are like. They closed and more or else abandoned the building. Dont ask me why I did it but I managed to get hold of building. Gave it a good cleaning, fix the heating and replaced the projectors and fitted a new sound system and moved the stage lighting console to the projection box and reopened it and ran it as hobby. Will I was running it it did not make a profit, not that it was meant to. I seat prices for the films was Â£1, more for live performances. I did recover the cost of reopening it
I hope you do not mind me correcting you, but the as the last owner/operator of the Tivoli Threatre Pontarddullias, which I ran as a hobby on bussiness lines in my retirement for many years. The Tivoli Theatre Pontarddullias and the Tivoli Mumbles which as been used as an amusement centre for many years now are not one in the same. The name Tivoli was used by a good many cinemas/threatres in that area at the same time, so it is easy to make a mistake. As I have said I was the last owner/operator of this theatre and kept it running on a combination of, second run films, live performances, bingo and lettings of the rehearsal rooms. This threatre was subject to a three way cross bar on first ran films, between Swansea, Llanelli and Carmarthen. I closed the threatre down after the local council opened a brand new 500 threatre just two miles away.
I worked as a freelance projectionist and often worked at this cinema and others in the chain, if I had nothing else to do, the equipment was old but worked. It was heated by a number of wall mounted gas fires. Yes it did show so called sex films, but it also ran its fair share of first and second run films. Mr Miles Byrne’s and his partner were also distributors of “B” movies for many years. I had the chance to buy this chain of cinemas from Mr Miles Bryne’s in 1980, but having worked at some time or another in most of them I turn the offer down.
Not many people know that the tin building behind the cinema was in fact the stage, and Mr Miles Bryne’s had his office on the stage and often worked while the film was running.
I work as freelance projectionist and often worked at this cinema if I had nothing else to do. All the equipment was old but worked. It was heated by a number of wall mounted gas fires. As for the films?
Yes it did show so called sex films, but it also ran its fair share of first and second run films over the years. Mr Miles Byrne and his partner were also distributors of “B” movies for many years. In 1980 I had the chance to buy this chain of cinemas from Mr Miles Byrne’s, having worked in most of the I turn the offer down.