Kursaal Cinema

39 Marine Parade,
Southend-on-Sea, SS1 2EN

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Kursaal Cinema

Located in Southend-on-Sea, Essex on the sea front, in the Luna Park & Palace amusement park. The Luna Park Palace was built in 1902, and began screening films in the ballroom in 1904. The amusement park was later re-named Kursaal.

A new hall was built in 1910, and it became the Kursaal Kinema in mid-October 1913. It had a 25 feet wide proscenium and a small stage. It was closed during World War I when the Kursaal amusement park was used by the army, and it reopened in 1920 after a refurbishment.

It was renamed Kursaal Cinema around 1938 and was closed in July 1940. It was listed as (Closed) in 1944. It never re-opened as a cinema and later became the Estuary Room, used for social events. By the late-1970’s, the amusement park was very run down and parts of it were derelict and abandoned.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 1 comments)

DavidSimpson on December 6, 2015 at 2:34 am

Following on from Ken’s narrative above, the Brent Walker Group acquired the Kursaal complex in the 1970s. The amusement park was sold off for a housing development and the main Kursaal buildings were to be brought back to life. Unfortunately, the Group encountered financial difficulties, and was unable to proceed.

Eventually, the buildings were acquired by the Rowallan Group, which undertook a multi-million pound restoration. The ‘new’ Kursaal opened in 1998, with a bowling alley, restaurants and amusement arcade on the ground floor and a multi-purpose space on the first floor. Sadly, films have not featured in the entertainments on offer since re-opening, but it is lovely to see this famous sea front landmark back to its best.

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