Abbey Theatre

Lower Lake,
Battle, TN33 0AT

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Abbey Theatre

In Battle, East Sussex, the Senlac Cinema was opened in May 1936. The auditorium was purpose built, but the front of the building is several hundred years old and was originally the Battle lock-up (jail). It was later re-named Hollywood Cinema, and by 1953 it was listed in the 1953 Kine Year Book as the Abbey Theatre. It had RCA sound, a proscenium width of 33ft and prices ranged from 1s to 2s 9d. Despite the name, it is thought this was a full-time cinema rather than a live theatre.

The Abbey Theatre was closed in May 1967 with “One Million Years BC”. Although still profitable, the owner wanted to retire. By August 1999 the building had been acquired by Burston & Hewett, auctioneers, who utilised it as the Abbey Auction Gallery. It remains in that use in August 2015. The seats are still in place and there are occasional film shows.

Contributed by David Simpson, Nick Prince
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