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Orion Cinema (Official)
Architects: Arthur Ernest Shennan
Functions: Movies (First Run)
Styles: Art Deco
Previous Names: Scala Cinema, Burgess Hill Cinema, Robins Take Two, Robins Cinema
The first building on the site, the Cinema opened in 1919, it closed briefly in 1922 and re-opened as the Scala Cinema. In 1928 it closed for re-building.
The new cinema which rose on the site was designed by noted Liverpool based architect A. Ernest Shennan and it opened as the Scala Cinema on 3rd December 1928 with Charlie Chaplin in "The Circus" The exterior is of red brick and has a central semi-circular window above the two pairs of entrance doors and canopy. Seating was provided for 511 in a semi stadium plan, with a raised seating area at the rear. It had a 17 feet deep stage and two dressing room, which enabled variety performances.
Over the years it has gone through several changes of ownership and names, becoming the Orion Cinema in 1946 when it was refurbished. In 1985 it was re-named the Burgess Hill Cinema, then in 1990 a drop-wall twinning was achieved by building across the centre of the auditorium. Seating was now provided for 150 and 121 in the two screens. Taken over by the small independent Robins chain of cinemas, it’s current owner Lee Allwood took over in 1995 and re-instated the name Orion Cinema again.
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