Picturedrome

28 Lower South Road,
St. Leonards-on-sea, TN37 6RH

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Picturedrome, St Leonards

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Tower Buildings in Lower South Road were built in 1877. Shortly after completion a huge tower was added as a folly, which graced the skyline of the Bohemia district of St Leonards. It was a truly elaborate complex and spent much of its early decades as a furniture depository.

The original planning permission granted for the tower allowed for a clock face on all four sides but sadly this didn’t materialise.

The ground and first floors were opened up to form a two tier cinema of 400 seats, which opened as the Bohemia Picturedrome in October 1912 but was shut by April 1913.

However, within weeks it had reopened with new owners and survived until 1915. It was one of 22 new cinemas to open in the Borough of Hastings & St Leonards during 1912. There were two other cinemas within yards of the Picturedrome.

After closure the first floor was filled over and it was again used as a warehouse. For many years it was Used by Scott James Glass, who also owned the former Palace Cinema, which was exactly opposite. Today (2016) much of the building in used by East Sussex County Council and among the departments housed there is an education one. Another part of the building is used by a group that supports victims of domestic abuse, while part of the building is again used as a warehouse.

Contributed by Nick Prince
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