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In Eastbourne, East Sussex, designed by architect Andrew Ford, for owner Harvey Baker, the Eastern Cinema Palace opened in March 1912. Known just as the Eastern Cinema in the 1920’s, it became the New Eastern Cinema in May 1930 with the installation of the Western Electric(WE) sound system and its first ‘talkie’ was Hitchcock’s “Blackmail” starring Anny Ondra. During the 1930'’s and into 1940 it presented a mixture of ‘A’ films, on second run, and ‘B’ films. It closed, following South Coast bombing, in September 1940.
Renamed Regal Cinema, the cinema had a grand re-opening on Bank Holiday Monday 6th August 1945, with Deanna Durbin in “100 Men and a Girl” supported by “Alf’s Button Afloat” starring The Crazy Gang.
The Regal Cinema closed for good on 3rd October 1953 with a rather lacklustre double-bill of “Bomba and the Lion Hunters” starring Johnny Sheffield, and “Law of the Panhandle”, an obscure Western starring Johnny Mack Brown.
By 1955 the building had been converted into a small branch of F. W. Woolworth & Co, after which it became a car showroom.
In November 1993 ‘Top Marks’ bedroom and kitchen specialists opened in the former Regal Cinema. That company was still operating when I visited in August 1999. By 2015 it had become a funeral directors.
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