Odeon Hove

84-86 Denmark Villas,
Hove, BN3 1JB

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Located next to Hove railway station, the building was built as a skating rink in 1929, but it was not a success. In late-1931, it was acquired by the County Cinemas chain and they employed architect Robert Cromie to convert it into a cinema. The conversion took 10 weeks and all seating was in a stadium plan, all on one floor.

The Lido Cinema opened on 6th May 1932 with Laurel & Hardy in "Come Clean". Film star Donald Calthorp, who starred in Alfred Hitchcock’s first ‘talkie’ "Blackmail" made a personal appearance. The Lido Cinema was equipped with a Wurlitzer Hope Jones Unit Orchestra (a Wurlitzer Model 165, 2Manual/6Rank theatre organ,) which had originally been installed in the Union Theatre, Munchen Gladbach, Germany. It was opened by noted organist Reginald Foorte and the first resident organist was Jack Helier. The cinema also boasted a large ballroom and a cafe, plus a free car park and cloakrooms.

The Lido Cinema was acquired by Oscar Deutsch’s Odeon Theatres Ltd. chain in September 1939 and it was re-named Odeon on 31st July 1944. The Odeon closed on 18th February 1961 with Dirk Bogarde in "The Singer not the Song". Through its cinematic life it was dogged by the noise from trains running on the tracks a few yards from its north wall.

The building was ideally suited to be converted into a 10-pin bowling alley which was the latest fad at that time, becoming a Top Rank Bowl in July 1961. It was not a great success and was closed after a few years.

The building was sold in April 1969 to a property developer and was demolished in 1970. An office block was built on the site, which in 2010, includes a Tesco Express store.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on June 16, 2008 at 12:57 pm

Some details, history and photographs of the Lido Cinema/Odeon Hove here:
http://www.terramedia.co.uk/brighton/Lido.htm

RHScottSpencer
RHScottSpencer on March 15, 2013 at 1:02 pm

I can remember seeing just one film show (A & B movie) at this cinema and just how long the hall was.

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