186 Seaside,
Eastbourne, BN22 7QR

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The Eastbourne Picture Theatre opened on Seaside in June 1914. It was equipped with a ‘Clavorchestra’ organ which was manufactured by Brindley and Forster of Sheffield. In 1915 it was re-named Empire Cinema and in 1921 it was re-named Elysium Cinema.

In 1936 it came under the ownership of Randolph E. Richards and was re-vamped and underwent yet another name change to Gaiety Cinema. The Gaiety Cinema was closed during the heavy German bombing of the South Coast in September and October 1940 and remained closed until 1942.

In 1966, Randolph E. Richards sold the Gaiety Cinema and his other Eastbourne cinema, the Picturedrome to Classic Cinemas Ltd. and the Gaiety Cinema was re-named New Classic Cinema. It was closed on 17th November 1973. The building became a funeral home.

By 2016 it was the Princess-Empire, a childrens beauty salon.

In 2005, it was designated a Grade II Listed building by English Heritage.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

keiths on June 16, 2008 at 9:30 am

If it’s the one I think it is in Seaside Road, then the Eastbourne Constitutional Club occupies part of the ground floor of the building. The cinema was actually on the top floor, I believe

keiths on March 4, 2009 at 2:10 am

Follow this link to 3 pictures taken in May 2008

Ian on September 19, 2010 at 1:43 am

This is in Seaside Road but is NOT the cinema which shared premises with the Constitutional Club – that was the Tivoli and the above photos are of the Tivoli, not the New Classic. The New classic became the Manhattan Nightclub following closure, this too closed and after a long period of dereliction, the cinema was converted into the Reef'n'Beef restaurant and bar.

A photo of the New Classic as the Manhattan can be seen here:–

cinevariety on August 27, 2014 at 7:10 am

The back of this cinema with a wicked interior hard to get to see as it;s owned by a plumbing shop is at the rear of my flat. I would love some help to get this beautiful interior seen by us movie buffs and it can be done so please help. langmike29'

esmerelda12 on May 24, 2015 at 12:12 pm

That cinema “cine variety” is the old Gaiety Cinema which became a bingo hall and was then closed down. The Plummers Mate took it over and at one time there was a problem with the local council and it was boarded up.The photo above is not the Gaiety that is the cinema which was opposite and is now an undertakers. I used to go to the Gaiety with my Father way back in the 50’s/60’s.

PrincessEmpire on November 11, 2016 at 11:53 am

The correct details are now 186 Seaside, Eastbourne, BN22 7QR. 01323 325800. Was the Empire Cinema but now called ‘Princes-Empire’ in memory. Search facebook Princess Empire for lots of up to photos and what this building has become or pop in, ask to speak to Rich and mention cinemeatreasures website for a tour of the building.

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