861 Christchurch Road,
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Previously operated by: Lou Morris
Styles: Streamline Moderne
Previous Names: Astoria Super Cinema
The Astoria Cinema opened in October 1932 and was operated by Frank Okin Cinemas Ltd. It was equipped with a Compton 3Manual/5Rank theatre organ, which was opened by V. Johnson Lewis. By 1934 it was operated by Lou Morris. It closed as a cinema in 1964 and was converted into a Mecca Bingo Club. Last operated by an independent as the Astoria Bingo Club.
Hidden away in Pokesdown, eart of Boscombe, a suburb of Bournemouth, this large but rather plain cinema specialised in second run and horror movies. It had a long entrance/foyer leading to the auditorium. I saw all the famous Hammer horror movies including “Dracula” and “The Curse of Frankenstein” at this cinema as one of only six patrons one evening when I was 15. Pretty scary back in 1963. Sadly, I saw this theatre being demolished in 1997/1998. Only the facade remains, with housing built on the site of the auditorium.
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