|Grand Cinema Theatre
Artist's impression of the Eden Theatre
The Grand offering twice-nightly variety.
Photo courtesy of the University of Kent
46 North Road, Brighton
operated 1896, 1931-1940
• The Grand Theatre was originally opened in 1888 and
re-designed by Frank Matcham in 1894. It was previously known as the Hippodrome Circus (1891-1894) and the Eden Theatre (1894-1904) before acquiring this name. The proscenium was 36 feet wide and 31 feet high and the stage 30 feet deep.
• In 1903 it was bought by music hall star Ada Reeve for her husband, the actor-manager Wilfred Cotton, to manage. It showed films as part of the bill as the Eden Theatre.
1931 January 26 Opened as a cinema, showing second-run programmes, changed mid-week. Prices 4d-1s 6d; 1,125 seats: stalls 570, boxes 35, circle 150, side circle 120, gallery 250; the upper circle is closed except on Sundays. Westrex sound system. The first films are Good News and The Ship from Shanghai.
1934 The lessee is Attractive Cinema (Brighton) Ltd, 46 Gerrard Street, London. Prices are 6d-1s 4d.
1936 The name of the lessee has changed to Universal Entertainments at the same address. It shares the first run of the Paramount newsreel with the Curzon, so prints are 'bicycled' between the two sites (literally: a boy on a bike takes the cans from one site to the other and back).
1940 September 27 Closes. The last films are Safari and Desire.
1941 July Joseph E G O'Brien takes a three-year lease.
1942 October O'Brien is declared bankrupt. The building is bought by Southern Enterprises and reverts to variety.
• Re-opened by Albert Rose (34 Hove Street, Hove) as a theatre from July 1941 to 31 January 1955, offering twice-nightly variety with a 14-piece resident orchestra.
• The building became a furniture factory and was destroyed by fire in 1961. The site was occupied by the ugly Gresham House, no more attractive for being renamed Tower Point early in 2000.
Brighton cinema directory
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