Cliftonville Lido

Ethelbert Terrace,
Margate, CT9 1RX

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Clifton Baths advertising the Clifton Cinema in 1923

The original Clifton Baths at Margate were constructed between 1824-8 by John Boys.

In 1869 the site was sold to Thomas Dalby Reeve who built a drill hall for the local Artillery Volunteers and a boiler house with a tall chimney.

By 1903 a cinema had been installed into the former drill hall which was operational until 1924.

From 1926 onwards the Clifton Baths were re-modelled under John Henry Iles. The site was turned into a large modern seaside complex with bars, cafes and restaurants on several levels and a large open air swimming pool projecting into the sea.

These buildings were built onto and over the remaining parts of the Clifton Baths in a Neo-Classical style with Mediterranean influences, laid out over a series of terraces.

From 1938 the name was changed from the Clifton Baths to the Cliftonville Lido.

The drill hall in which the cinema was installed survives but has been out of use for many years. Adjacent buildings on the top level remain in commercial operation however sadly much of the once popular entertainment complex that Iles had developed has deteriorated over many years of being abandoned.

Below the top level, the remaining long abandoned facilities built during the Clifton Baths years are now Grade II Listed. The rest of the site remains under threat, including the iconic chimney advertisement.

Contributed by N. Blow
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