Academy Theatre

59 West Street,
Brighton, BN1 2RA

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Victory Palace Cinema

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Sited in a former Turkish Bath, the Academy Picture Palace opened 6 June 1911 with over 400 seats. On the opening night, G A Smith talked about and showed “Kinemancolor” films. The original cinema was replaced with a new one seating between 800 and 1,000 seats.

The Academy Cinema became part of the Gaumont British Picture Corporation in March and in 1931 was briefly re-named the Tatler Cinema before reverting to its original name in 1932. In 1939 it was remodelled throughout in Art Deco style with 932 seats. The Academy Theatre closed on 24 January 1973 with a showing of Bogdanovich’s “Last Picture Show”.

Demolished in 1974, an office block named Academy House was built on the site. Today, the ground floor is occupied by a Yates bar.

Contributed by chris perman

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on November 20, 2004 at 10:35 am

The Academy Cinema was re-modelled both externally and interally in 1938/39 by Gaumont British house architect W.E. Trent supervising local architect A.E. Potter. Work was done in the mornings and overnight without closing the cinema.

It was demolished in 1974, a block of offices Academy House was built on the site.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on September 11, 2005 at 5:06 am

A 1971 exterior photograph of the Academy, Brighton here:
View link

From the programme playing, it hard to realise that it was still owned and operated by the Rank Organisation!

PaulBland
PaulBland on October 8, 2005 at 3:48 am

I was a student in Brighton during the early 1970s and, rather sadly, that type of programme was fairly typical of the last days of the Academy. I have a photograph of the front-minus-auditorium(ie blue sky behind the windows!) which I will submit when the facility returns. I recollect the auditorium as being rather narrow; I retrieved the front-of-house seating plan for the Academy from the Regent when that closed a bit later.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on July 25, 2007 at 2:30 pm

Here is a link which contains a photograph of the original facade and a potted history on the building:
http://www.terramedia.co.uk/brighton/Academy.htm

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