Brighton & Hove from the dawn of the cinema

film listing link Click on the bioscope icon to see the listing of films made in Brighton & Hove
Numbers after entries link to the list of references.

July 23 Birt Acres is born in Richmond, Virginia, USA.

May 2 Emma Solomon (the future Violet Melnotte-Wyatt) is born in Birmingham.
September 7 William Green (later Friese Greene) 9is born in Bristol.
November 8 James Williamson is born at Pathhead, Kircaldy, Scotland.

• Arthur Albert (Esmé) Collings is born in Weston-super-Mare.

• Alfred Darling is born in Lambeth, London..

February 4 Laura Bayley is born in Ramsgate, Kent.

April 15 Charles Urban is born in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA.

October 3 Robert W Paul is born in Holloway, London.

February 5 John Benett-Stanford is born at West Tisbury, Gloucestershire.
• William Norman Lascelles Davison is born in Kensington, London.

August 2 Sidney Morgan is born in Bermondsey, London.

• Pioneering English animator Ernest John Anson Dyer (1876-1962) is born in Brighton, probably at 55 William Street.

• The first long-distance telephone trunk line is installed between London and Brighton.

James Williamson's premises• James A Williamson (1855-1933) moves his chemist's/photographic business to 144 Church Road, Hove (left,later renumbered as 156), taking over the premises from a photographer called S Grey, formerly in partnership as Wells & Grey. [The premises at 156 Church Road were still a chemist's shop in 1948 and, coincidentally, the new 144 was occupied by a photographer. The Church Road shop bears a commemorative plaque.]

Friese Greene & Collings advertisement 1889 •  William Friese Greene and Alfred Esmé Collings establish a joint photographic business with a studio at 69 Western Road, Hove. Friese Greene is a successful photographer with, at various overlapping times, three studios in London, two in Bath, and studios in Bristol (Clifton) and Plymouth. The advertisement [right] is from an 1889 street directory.

Friese Greene plaque; click for more information• William Friese Greene builds a 'chronophotographic camera' with which he takes 'animated photographs' and for which he applies for an English patent, granted (no 10131) on 21 June.
Despite the claim on the plaque at 20 Middle Street, Brighton (click on the picture to see more about the house), Friese Greene lived and worked in London at this time.

May 10 William Friese Greene’s patent for ‘improved apparatus for taking photographs in rapid series’ is granted.

William Friese Greene • William Friese Greene [right] is declared bankrupt, his photographic business having suffered because of the time he has been devoting to his experiments in cinematography and other inventions. His partnership with Esmé Collings formally ends; Collings retains the photographic business at 69 Western Road, Hove (re-numbered 120 in 1893), where he remains until the First World War.

G A Smith• George Albert Smith (1864-1959) [right] takes a lease on St Ann's Well Gardens, between Furze Road and Somerhill Road, Hove, from the Goldsmid family. Smith develops the pleasure gardens to include such novelties as a fortune teller and a hermit living in a cave.
• Alfred Darling begins an engineering business from his home at 47 Chester Terrace, Brighton.
November 21 Thomas Henry Sargent (Max Miller) is born in Brighton.

• An Edison Kinetoscope is installed at Brighton Aquarium.
November 8 X-rays are discovered by Wilhelm Röntgen.
December 28 The Lumière Brothers give the first public demonstration of their films in Paris.

film listing link Films made in Brighton & Hove in 1896
Esmé Collings 13 (+ 13 elsewhere)
others 4

January 12 The first X-ray photograph is taken.
January 14 Birt Acres gives a demonstration of equipment and films with his ‘kinetic lantern’ to the Royal Photographic Society in London.
February 20 R W Paul screens films to an invited audience at Finsbury Technical College, London.
February 20 A press preview of the Lumière cinématographe is held at the Regent Street Polytechnic, London, prior to the first UK commercial film screenings of the Lumière Cinématographe that begin the next day and continue for three weeks.
March 7 Regular screenings of the Lumière Cinématographe begin at the Empire Theatre of Varieties, Leicester Square, London. G A Smith is among those who see the programme here.
March 16  G A Smith presents the first of three dioramic lectures at the Aquarium, using optical lantern illustrations to create 'brilliant dissolving views and beautiful mechanical and dioramic effects'.
March 25   R W Paul begins a two-week season of film screenings with his Animatographe at the Alhambra Theatre, Leicester Square that is extended to four years.
March 25  The first film show in Brighton (and first in the UK outside London) is given at the Pandora Gallery, opposite the West Pier, using a 'cinematographe'. (Sussex Daily News, 26 March 1896). The Melrose Restaurant occupies the site and carries a plaque to mark the event.
July 6  A film show of R W Paul's 'Celebrated Animatographe' is given at the Victoria Hall, (132) King's Road, Brighton—formerly the Pandora Gallery—beginning an extended run. Programmes run throughout the day from 11.30 am to 10.30 pm. Admission is 6d (2½p), reserved seats 1s (5p). R W Paul himself shoots a film during July of a small boat landing on Brighton beach, 'with comic incidents'.
13 Alexandra Villas summer  Esmé Collings makes a number of films in Brighton. His film subjects include a number shot during the summer, particularly in August: Brighton front on a bank holiday (King's Road), Boys scrambling for pennies under the West Pier, Children paddling and playing on the sands, Donkey riding (King's Road Arches), Hove sea wall in a gale, Bathers on the beach and Ocean waves in a storm. Train arriving at Dyke Station, filmed at the local beauty spot Devil's Dyke, mimics Lumière's work. He also films Woman undressing, sometimes credited with being the first 'blue movie'. Among other productions by Collings during the latter part of the year is a short drama, The Broken Melody, featuring the cellist Auguste Van Biene. Collings lives at 13 Alexandra Villas (right).
September 18  Alfred Darling carries out equipment repairs for Esmé Collings at his engineering works at 25 Ditchling Rise, Brighton, between Preston Road and Beaconsfield Road, in the shadow of the viaduct close to London Road Station. [Darling's works later move to Adas Works, South Road at Preston Park and could be looked down on from southbound trains about 400 yards south of Preston Park station. The firm, still run by members of the Darling family, is now located in Home Farm Road, Hollingbury.]
September 26  The Cinographoscope is shown at the Imperial Hotel in Queen's Road, Brighton.
October 19  Chard's Vitagraph begins an eight-week run at the Empire Palace of Varieties, later known as the Court Cinema. The programme includes some of Esmé Collings' local scenes.
November 19-21  James Williamson includes films in Hove Camera Club's annual exhibition.
December 11  G A Smith, building his own camera,  commissions his first work from Alfred Darling.
December 24  Film is used briefly during the pantomime, Babes in the Wood and Robin Hood, at Brighton's Theatre Royal in New Road.
• James Williamson introduces X-ray photography to Sussex.

James Williamson on Brighton film-making in 1896
Brighton is often mentioned as the home of film production and there certainly were three different producers in this town about the time under review: Esmé Collings, G A Smith and the writer. Brighton also provided an attractive background and was often visited by producers from London and elsewhere, especially in later years. The three above mentioned will probably all admit that this coincidence and their early start were materially assisted by Mr Alfred Darling, a clever engineer who made a study of the requirements of film producers. The writer at this time was floundering about with home-made apparatus and did succeed in making some pictures, but the real start was only made when the late W Wrench of Gray's Inn Road introduced him to Darling. The Williamson Series of Short Comedies were not commenced until the year following the one under review.
Source: Unpublished notebooks, quoted in Rachel Low and Roger Manvell: The History of the British Film 1896-1906, London: George Allen & Unwin, 1948

film listing link Films made in Brighton & Hove in 1897
Esmé Collings 2 • G A Smith 31 titles (35 films) • James Williamson 5 • others 1

February  Charles Urban joins New York film distributors Maguire and Baucus.
Aquarium programme March 29  G A Smith includes 'animated photographs' ('The Rage of London. The Photographic Sensation of the day.') at the end of each programme of projected entertainment that he gives twice daily (at 3pm and 8pm) during the coming week at the Brighton Aquarium, adjacent to the Palace Pier. Local scenes are included. Click on the image [right] to enlarge the programme.

Aquarium programme listing

• G A Smith, with a 'studio' plant now established at the Pump House in St Ann's Well Garden's, Hove, uses double-exposure in at least three films—The Corsican Brothers, The Haunted Castle and Photographing a Ghost—and patents the process.
August  Maguire and Baucus send Charles Urban to England to set up their London office.
November  James Williamson again includes moving pictures at the Hove Camera Club's annual exhibition.
• Ginnett's Royal Circus in Park Crescent Place becomes the Gaiety Theatre and begins to include films in its music hall programmes.

film listing link Films made in Brighton & Hove in 1898
G A Smith 31 • James Williamson 50 titles (75 films)

March  Cecil Hepworth, employed in the London branch of Maguire and Baucus, improves their Bioscope camera and uses it to film the boat race.
May 3  Claude Feiese Greene is born in Fulham, London.
May  Maguire and Baucus moves to 4-5 Warwick Court, London. The name is changed to Warwick Trading Company. Charles Urban is manager, with a picture of Thomas Edison on the wall. During the year Warwick’s equipment engineering and manufacturing is assigned to Alred Darling and G A Smith is contracted to carry out processing work.
August 9  James Williamson puts on a film show at a fete in the grounds of Mountsfield House at Rye, during Rye Cricket Week.
September  James Williamson moves his chemist's/photographic business from 144 Church Road, Hove to 55 Western Road, Hove.
end November  A Mutoscope parlour opens at 22 Western Road, Brighton. It is open daily with free admission but the viewing machines are coin-operated.
early December  Three more Mutoscope parlours open in Brighton at 105 King's Road, 27 West Street and 50 Western Road.
• John 'Mad Jack' Benett-Stanford (1870-1947), an adventurer and son of Charles and Edith Benett-Stanford, who own Preston Manor, becomes the first person to make a film in war conditions at the battle of Omdurman in South Africa. The film shows Kitchener reviewing the troops.
• Mrs Aubrey Le Blond (née Elizabeth Alice Frances Hawkins-Whitshed), an intrepid mountaineer and traveller, who lives at 67 The Drive, Hove, makes at least 10 films of winter sports in Switzerland, including toboganning on the Cresta Run and figure skating. She is probably the first identifiable woman film-maker after the Frenchwoman Alice Guy at Gaumont (although Laura Bayley, wife of G A Smith, probably has a significant role in the production of films credited to her husband or his company).
• Among G A Smith's film productions this year is The Miller and the Sweep, involving a fight with flour and soot. During the year Smith has built up his film film processing and printing business with clients including not only local film-makers James Williamson and John Benett-Stanford but Warwick Trading Company (London), Prestwick Manufacturing Company (Tottenham), Riley Brothers (Bradford) and J Wrench & Son (London).
• Capt W N Lascelles Davidson applies for a patent (BP 23863) for a cinematograph camera with three lenses, behind each of which is a coloured filter.
• Programme of films by George Albert Smith and his French counterpart Georges Méliès runs at the Alhambra Theatre and Music Hall on King's Road, Brighton, one of the town's premier entertainment venues.

film listing link Films made in Brighton & Hove in 1899
G A Smith 23 titles (29 films) • James Williamson 6

January  A programme of films by G A Smith and his French counterpart Georges Méliès runs at the Alhambra Theatre (later the Palladium Cinema). [0051]
• Capt W N Lascelles Davidson applies for a patent (BP 3560) for a method of taking three-colour still photographs.
March 22  Edward Turner and F Marshall Lee apply for a patent (BP 6202) for their still unrealised idea for a tri-colour moving picture system.
October 7  Benett-Stanford leaves for the front in the Boer War, taking with him a film camera—the first person to do so.
November 30  Capt W N Lascelles Davidson applies for a patent (BP 23863) for ‘Improvements in Cinematographs for Taking and Projecting Photographs in Colours’.
November-December  Benett-Stanford films more Boer War scenes for the UK branch of Warwick Trading Company, managed by American Charles Urban.
• Alfred Darling manufactures Biokam 17.5mm cameras and projectors for the Warwick Trading Company.

film listing link Films made in Brighton & Hove in 1900
G A Smith 32 titles (37 films) • James Williamson 10

January 13  James Williamson holds the first of the year's weekly film shows, Williamson's Popular Entertainments, at Hove Town Hall in Church Road, then on the next five weeks. The shows resume in November.
February 27  William Friese Greene demonstrates his colour film system, unsuccessfully, to the Royal Photographic Society in London.
February  Poole's Myriorama is shown at Hove Town Hall. G A Smith's studio in Hove • Warwick Trading Company (WTC) supports the construction of a film studio [right] for G A Smith at St Ann's Well Gardens, Furze Hill, Hove at the start of a two-year contract. In the three years since starting production in 1897, G A Smith has made £2,000 profit from the medium. Warwick distributes films made by Smith and Williamson, as well as representing the American parent, plus Lumière and Méliès. In September, the WTC catalogue describes Smith as 'Manager of the Brighton Film Works of the Warwick Trading Company'.
• G A Smith introduces close-ups in films, such as The Little Doctor. His Spiders in a Web, showing a close-up of two spiders within a circular mask, is one of the earliest natural history films. He also uses masking in As Seen Through a Telescope.
• James Williamson makes a landmark film with significant dramatic innovations. Attack on a China Mission—Blue Jackets to the Rescue, a scene from the Boxer Rising in China but actually filmed in Hove, is a 230-foot four-shot film (nearly four minutes) that intercuts a reverse angle shot to show the opposite point of view. Attack on a Chinese Mission
September  The WTC catalogue describes G A Smith as 'Manager of the Brighton Film Works of the Warwick Trading Company'.Darling Duplex Model M • Alfred Darling introduces the Duplex Model M camera, which takes 300 ft reels of film. [left]
 November 17  James Williamson premieres Attack on a China Mission [right] at Hove Town Hall in Church Road.
November 24  James Williamson's Saturday evening show at Hove Town Hall includes two films by Mrs Aubrey Le Blond (see 1898).
December 1  James Williamson's Saturday evening show at Hove Town Hall includes more films by Mrs Aubrey Le Blond.
December 8  James Williamson conducts a final Saturday evening show for the year at Hove Town Hall.
• Regular films shows are held at the Aquarium.

film listing link Films made in Brighton & Hove in 1901
G A Smith 18 titles (20 films) • James Williamson 16

• Alfred Darling is commissioned by Charles Urban to make a prototype three-colour camera to a design by Edward Turner, whose work is backed by Charles Urban.
Williamson: A Big Swallow• By the time of the census, James Williamson is still living with his family (wife, four sons and three daughters) above the shop at 55 Church Road. He is described as 'Chemist & druggist but engaged in photography only'. Among his films this year are A Big Swallow, in which the subject of a photograph swallows the camera and Fire!, a dramatised documentary showing the Hove fire brigade in action. The latter is filmed at the soon-to-be-demolished Ivy Lodge off Hove Street.
May  Capt Davidson buys a Kammatograph, which records images in a spiral on a 12-inch glass disc, for his colour cinematography experiments.
November  Capt Davidson and Dr Benjamin Jumeaux make a provision patent application for a three-colour camera and projector.

film listing link Films made in Brighton & Hove in 1902
G A Smith 33 • James Williamson 26 titles (46 films)

• G A Smith produces Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes.
Cambridge Grove, Hove• James Williamson moves his Williamson Kinematographic Company to a site now known as Cambridge Grove [right], off Wilbury Villas, Hove. He and his family occupy the house, called Rose Cottage, next to which he builds a glasshouse film studio and another smaller building identified as a 'photographic atelier'. The new buildings are designed by W B Sheppard. In the picture Williamson is the seated figure. During the year he produces The Little Match Seller (click here to view the film) and two pioneering films on social issues: A Reservist Before and After the War and The Soldier's Return.
• Alfred Darling manufactures Junior Bioscope Darling cameras.
Coronation of Edward VIIJune  G A Smith is involved with Georges Méliès in the production of a film of the Coronation of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra. Because Mutoscope and Biograph has the rights to film the actual event, Charles Urban of Warwick Trading Company commissions a version of the ceremony to be made with actors in advance at Méliès' Star Films studio in Montreil, Paris.
June 25  James Williamson films the rehearsal procession for the coronation of King Edward VII. The coronation, scheduled for 26 June, had been postponed the previous day because the king required an emergency appendectomy.
August 9  James Williamson makes several films of the coronation processions in London.
• G A Smith produces Mary Jane's Mishap.
September  Frederick Marshall Lee sell his interest in the three-colour film system being developed by Edward Turner to Ccharles Urban.
December 24  Films are included in the programme at the Hippodrome in Middle Street.
1902-1903  Esmé Collings has an additional photographic business at 89 King's Road. However, he is no longer making films.

film listing link Films made in Brighton & Hove in 1903
G A Smith 9 • James Williamson 14 • Jumeaux & Davidson 1

 February 17Dr Benjamin Jumeaux of Colebrook Road, Southwick and Capt W N Lascelles Davidson of 20 Middle Street, Brighton apply for two patents for 'Improvements in and connected with Trichromatic Photography and Optical Projection' and 'Improvements in Trichromatic Photography'.
Charles Urban• Charles Urban [right] leaves the Warwick Trading Company.
March 9  Edward Turner dies of a heart attack, aged 29. Having already assisted Turner in the development of a three-colour film system (see 1901), Charles Urban buys up the remaining patent interest. Urban interests G A Smith in pursuing the project.
July  Charles Urban sets up the Charles Urban Trading Company to make and sell cinema equipment and films. He takes a number of Warwick staff memebrs and G A Smith's distribution rights with him. Smith and Alfred Darling are on the board of the new company.
August  G A Smith leaves St Ann’s Well Gardens and moves to Roman Crescent, Southwick, where he calls the extension to his house ‘Laboratory Lodge’.
August 31  G A Smith resigns as a director of Charles Urban Trading Company.

film listing link Films made in Brighton & Hove in 1904
G A Smith 0 (+ 8 made elsewhere) • James Williamson 13 • Alf Collins 2

 January  Hove Council establishes a set of six rules for the conduct of cinematograph exhibitions in the borough. (National legislation is not introduced until the Cinematograph Act in 1909.)

Hove rules for cinematograph exhibitions January 1904.
The lantern must be constructed of metal or lined with metal and asbestos.
A metal shutter, in addition to the revolving disc shutter, must be provided between the source of light and the film, and kept closed except when the film is in motion for the purpose of projection.
If the film does not wind upon a reel or spool immediately after passing through the machine, a metal receptacle with slot in the metal lid must be provided for receiving it.
If electric arc lights are used, the installation must be in accordance with the usual rules, thatis the chkong coils and switch must be securely fixed on incombustible bases, preferably on a brick wall, and double pole safety fuses must be fitted.
If any oxy-hydrogen gas is used, storage must be in metal cylinders only.
The use of ether or other spirit saturator is not to be permitted under any circumstances.
A damp blanket and fire buckets has to be immediately available.

February 11  Jumeaux and Davidson's patents for colour photography are granted.
• A H Tee takes over the lease on St Anne's Well Gardens from G Albert Smith.
February 11  Capt W Lascelles Davidson and Benjamin Jumeaux' patents for colour photography (see November 1901 and 17 February 1903) are granted. They have a 'laboratory for natural colour photography' at 20 Middle Street, Brighton.
March 25  Capt Davidson applies for a patent (BP 7,179) for a colour film system using mirrors instead of prisms.
May 17  William Feiese Greene is sentenced at the Old Bailey to two months’ imprisonment for fraud, seeking a loan without declaring that he is an undischarged bankrupt.
May  Capt Davidson demonstrates a colour photographic system in Paris.
November  Capt Davidson demonstrates his colour photographic system at the Hippodrome in Brighton.

film listing link Films made in Brighton & Hove in 1905
James Williamson 10

January  Otto Pfenninger is granted a patent (BP 322) for a colour photographic projection system using prisms.
February 1  Joan Morgan is born in London.
• Occasional films are included around this time at the Grand roller skating rink at 78 West Street. (In 1911 this becomes the Grand Picture Palace cinema.)
• William Friese Greene rents a house in Arundel Street, Brighton with his second wife and family. He works on practical ideas for colour cinematography, collaborating with Captain Lascelles Davidson and Dr Benjamin Jumeaux. He may have his own rented workshop at 20 Middle Street, Brighton.He also sets up again in the photographic business at 203a Western Road, Brighton.
May 5  William Friese Greene applies for a patent (BP 9465) for ‘Improvements in and relating to the Production of Negatives and Positives for Multi-colour Projection and Improved Means for Projection on to a Screen’.

film listing link Films made in Brighton & Hove in 1906
G A Smith 1 (+ 3 made elsewhere) • James Williamson 7

January 26  Capt Davidson and William Friese Greene demonstrate a two-colour photographic system at the Royal Institution in London.
July  G A Smith makes the first successful colour test films at Southwick. He has abandoned the three-colour approach of Edward Turner (see 1903) in favour of a two-colour (red-green) process.
July  Capt Davidson and William Friese GreeneE fail to make much impression with their demonstration of a two-colour photographic system at the Photographic Convention of Great Britain.
November 24  G A Smith applies for a patent (BP 26671) for ‘Improvements in & relating to Kinematography Apparatus for the Production of Coloured Pictures’.
• Stanley J Mumford joins the Williamson Cinematograph Company

film listing link Films made in Brighton & Hove in 1907
G A Smith 0 (+ 1 elsewhere) • James Williamson 14

Friese-Greene house, Portslade • William Friese Greene has a photographic business at 203a Western Road. He and his growing family move to 9 Worcester Villas, Hove, close to Portslade station [right]. The house bears a blue plaque to mark his residence there.
[Photo: David Fisher, Terra Media]
spring   William Friese Greene’s son Roland, aged four, is accidentally kicked by a horse while playing in the road outside the house and dies three days later of his injuries.
 June 11  G A Smith applies for a US patent for 'Kinematograph apparatus for the production of colored pictures'.
July 25  G A Smith's British patent for colour kinematography is granted.
• Films are included in the variety programmes at the Arcadia Theatre of Varieties.
• Williamson & Co opens an office at 27 Cecil Court, London.

film listing link Films made in Brighton & Hove in 1908
G A Smith 5 (+ 12 made elsewhere) • James Williamson 14 • Jack Chart (for Williamson) 4

July 8  Kinemacolor is demonstrated at a scientific meeting in Paris. The Lumière Brothers are in the audience.
• James Williamson begins to relinquish directorial activity in favour of developing the film distribution and equipment sales side of the business. Jack Chart makes four films for him.
September 9  The Motion Picture Patent Company(MPPC) is provisionally formed in the US by leading film companies to protect their patents and copyrights by pooling patents on equipment.
September  G A Smith's A Visit to the Seaside, the first completed film in Kinemacolor, becomes almost certainly the first colour film for public screening anywhere in the world. It shows scenes of Brighton, including The White Coons and the Cameron Highlanders Band.
December 9  Kinemacolor is demonstrated to the Royal Society of Arts in London.
December 14  First Kinemacolor public showing are held in London.
December 17  Final agreements to form the Motion Picture Patents Company are signed by all parties involved. All previous Edison licensees—Essanay, Kalem, Lubin, Pathé, Selig and Vitagraph—sign, plus Biograph and George Kleine.
December 18  Motion Picture Patents Company (MPPC) begins issuing licences under a ‘pooled patent’ arrangement.

film listing link Films made in Brighton & Hove in 1909
G A Smith 6 (+ 26 titles, 35 films, made elsewhere) • James Williamson 4 • David Aylott (for Williamson) 10

January 2  Formal announcement of the formation of the Motion Picture Patents Company
January 13  Electric Bioscope is opened in a converted shop at 130 Western Road, Brighton by Harold Speer. It seats about 50 people (see also 1910). A cinema remains on the site until 1979, when it is absorbed into the Waitrose supermarket.
• The Court Theatre/Cinema in New Road, Brighton (formerly the Empire Theatre of Varieties) starts intermittent film shows during the year.
• G A Smith's colour film process is named Kinemacolor.
February 2-4  To discuss the threat to European production caused by the moves afoot in the American film industry (which ends with the generally illegal creation of the Motion Picture Patent Company, aka the Trust), a Paris Convention is held, attended by Williamson and Urban among others.
February 26  A programme of 21 Kinemacolor short films is made at the Palace Theatre, London. This is the first presentation of colour films to a paying audience in the world.
March 1  The regular Kinemacolor programme is introduced at the Palace Theatre, where it runs for 18 months.
March  Natural Colour Kinematograph Company is established by Charles Urban. G A Smith sells his interest in Kinemacolor for £5,000 (equivalent to around £475,000 in current values) to Ada Jones, who soon marries Urban. Smith makes numerous films in Kinemacolor but he and Urban fall out within a couple of years.
November 24  William Friese Greene invites members of the National Assocation of Cinematograph Operators to a demonstration of his inventions at his 'new scientific hall' above the Electric Theatre, Western Road. He shows his original 1889 camera and the wide film, a stereoscopic camera for natural colour, an ink-less printing device, a wireless control device to stop and start a model railway train and some models of airships with gyroscopic controls, plus a toy aeroplane to sell for 2d.
November 30  G A Smith is granted a US patent for colour kinematography (no 941,960), for which he had applied in June 1907.

film listing link Films made in Brighton & Hove in 1910
G A Smith 8 (+ 27 made elsewhere), all in Kinemacolor • Theo Frenkel/Bouwmeester (for Natural Colour Kinematograph Co) 4* • James Williamson 1
           *other productions from this year are released over the following months

• Five permanent cinemas open in Brighton and the first in Hove—one a new purpose-built building, the others in converted buildings:
      spring  Cinema-de-Luxe is opened by Electric Theatres (1908) Ltd in the former printing works of the Brighton Gazette at 150 North Street, Brighton.
      July  The Gem Electric Cinema 'penny gaff' is opened by Mr J W Thompson in a shopfront site at 36a London Road, seating 60 on wooden benches. Admission costs 2d or 3d for adults, 1d or 2d for children.
      September 22  The first purpose-built cinema to open in Brighton is the Duke of York's Cinema at Preston Circus, which soon follows the renamed Queen's Electric Theatre. This is still operating under the same name as an independent art-house cinema. It is marked by a plaque.
      December 10  The Empire Picture Theatre, which is opened by Harry Scriven in a former assembly hall in Haddington Street, is the first cinema in Hove.
      • The People's Picture Palace cinema is opened by F R Griffiths in the former Arcadia Theatre of Varieties at the junction of Lewes Road and Park Crescent Place, Brighton.
      December 10  Empire Picture Theatre is opened in Haddington Street, Hove by Harry Scriven. • Star Cinema opens in a former Congregational Chapel in Shoreham.
• The Electric Bioscope in Western Road expands into the next-door shop and is fitted out with dimmable auditorium lights, curtains revealing the screen and an orchestra. The name changes to Queen's Electric Theatre.
• James Williamson directs his last film: a pioneering natural history study of butterflies.
• James Williamson withdraws from film production and moves his company to London. His premises in Cambridge Grove are acquired by Charles Urban's Kinemacolor company, the Natural Colour Kinematograph Company, which also has a studio in the south of France.
• The first Kinemacolor drama production to be released is The Story of Napoleon.
October 13  Natural Colour Kinematograph Company (NCKC) advertises in Kinematograph and Lantern Weekly that 'Full Advantage has been taken of the Recent Phenomenal Weather Conditions and a large number of Comic, Dramatic, Historic and General Natural Color Motion Picture Subjects have been secured at Brighton under the production of Mr Theo Bouwmeester'. More usually known as Theo Frenkel (Bouwmeester is his maternal grandfather's family name), this Dutch actor and film-maker in fact makes around 100 films for NCKC. Now all are made at the Cambridge Grove facility.

film listing link Films made in Brighton & Hove in 1911
G A Smith 83, all Kinemacolor but few made in Brighton & Hove
Theo Frenkel/Bouwmeester (for Natural Colour Kinematograph Co) 69, not all in Brighton & Hove
Walter R Booth & Theo Frenkel (for Natural Colour Kinematograph Co) 8

• No fewer than nine cinemas open in Brighton & Hove and district during the year, including two that are purpose-built and two that will continue in operation for more than 60 years.
      March 15  Prince's Imperial Picture Palace and Theatre is opened by H Gutteridge at North Street, Portslade.
      April 11  Hove Electric Empire cinema opens at 76-77 George Street, the first purpose-built cinema in Hove.
      June 6  Academy Cinema opens at 59 West Street, Brighton. The opening programme includes Kinemacolor films, with a talk by G A Smith.
      • Grand Picture Palace opens in a former roller-skating rink at 78 West Street, Brighton.
      • Novelty Electric Theatre is opened by W Harold Speer, proprietor of the Queen's Electric Theatre in a former bazaar at 27 West Street, Brighton.
      • Tierney Royal Picture Theatre is opened by Houghton Rockett in a converted shop on the site of the Tierney Arms pub at 64 Edward Street, Brighton.
      • Coronation Cinema is opened by J L Crown in a former shop at 104 North Road, Brighton.
      • Bijou Electric Empire cinema opens in a former newspaper printing works at 63a North Street, Brighton. Another (unrelated) Bijou Electric Cinema opens at Shoreham in June.
June 22  The Coronation of George V is filmed in Kinemacolor.
July 29  A Kinemacolor programme is put on for a royal performance at Sandringham.
December 12  The coronation durbar of King George V is the subject of the first majorcolour film production, The Durbar at Delhi, shot in Kinemacolor.
• W Harold Speer forms Brighton & County Film Company, soon renamed Brightonia, and begins film production.
• James Williamson and family move from Hove to Wandsworth, London.
• Brighton Borough Council bans Sunday opening of cinemas but soon reversed the decision.

film listing link Films made in Brighton & Hove in 1912
G A Smith 1
Theo Frenkel/Bouwmeester (for Natural Colour Kinematograph Co) 17, not all in Brighton & Hove
Walter R Booth & Theo Frenkel (for Natural Colour Kinematograph Co) 1
Brightonia 2

• Three more cinemas open in Brighton & Hove during the year, two of them purpose-built, bringing the total number of active cinemas to 16 by the year end. The initial cinema building phase now ends.
      January 31  Hove Cinematograph Theatre opens at 1 Western Road, Hove.
      March  Brighton Corporation is reported by The Cinema News and Property Gazette to be using a series of cinematograph films to promote its use of trolley buses to other towns.
      April 6  Palladium Cinema opens in the former Alhambra Opera House and Music Hall at 85 King's Road, Brighton.
Imperial Picture Palace is opened by George Bloch at 5 St James Street, Brighton. Bloch also owns the Coronation Cinema.
October  ‘Open air day and night cinema’ is an attraction at the West Pier head.
December  Martin Thornton, in collaboration with the Natural Colour Kinematograph Company, makes In Golliwog Land, a colour film mixing live action and puppet animation.
• The Pathéscope 28mm home cinematograph is introduced.

film listing link Films made in Brighton & Hove and Shoreham in 1913
Brightonia 2 • Sunny South Film Company 3

Auguste van Biene January 23  Auguste van Biene [left], the writer and star of The Broken Melody, filmed at Esmé Collings in 1896, dies on stage at the Brighton Hippodrome while performing the cello recital in Act 2 of The Master Musician.
February 24  An Extraordinary General Meeting of Biocolour Ltd votes to wind up the business which ‘cannot by reason of its liabilities, continue its business’.
F L Lyndhurst • Sunny South Film Company is formed by F L (Leonard) Lyndhurst [right] and local comedian and Shoreham resident Will Evans at Shoreham on the Sussex coast west of Brighton. The Fort was built c.1790s as part of the nation's defences against possible invasion by Napoleon, known as 'Palmerston Follies'. It is used as a film studio by Sunny South Film Company. The area surrounding the daylight-only studio becomes popular with film and music hall artistes and people with theatrical and film connections who build bungalows along Old Fort Road, many constructed from old railway carriages, giving the name Bungalow Town to the area.
• Hove Borough Council passes a set of by-laws to regulate cinemas in the town. Among them are requirements to close all cinemas in the event of an outbreak of an infectious disease and for children up to the age of 14 to be accompanied by an adult in the evenings (see also 1931 below). An existing ban on Sunday opening of cinemas is retained but is challenged by exhibitors, who argue that no such ban applies in Brighton. (See also March 1915.)
Empire Electric Theatre (formerly the Novelty Electric Theatre) at 27 West Street, Brighton closes.
• Williamson introduces an improved film printing machine which includes an audible warning of the build-up of negative charges (static) that could cause the film to ignite.
• Empire Electric Theatre (formerly the Novelty Electric Theatre) at 27 West Street, Brighton closes.
• William Friese Greene moves from Hove to London.
December 18  G A Smith's patent on the Kinemacolor colour film process, the basis of a rigidly controlled monopoly, is challenged by William Friese Greene. The court rejects the claim but Friese Greene appeals to the House of Lords.

film listing link Films made in Shoreham in 1914
Sunny South Film Company 4

early  Kinemacolor sells its Hollywood studio (see 1909) to D W Griffith’s company, Mutual-Triangle, after running into financial trouble. Kinemacolor had started to produce a film version of Thomas Dixon’s novel The Clansman, rights to which were also taken over by Griffith; it becomes The Birth of a Nation.
April  Natural Colour Kinematograph Company is put into voluntary liquidation by Charles Urban to protect shareholders’ interests.
• Various short-lived experimental presentation systems are introduced. The Edison Kinetophone sound film system using wax cylinders mechanically interlinked with the projector is installed at the Academy Cinema. The Palladium tries out Kinoplasticon, a projection system without a screen, and the Arcadia shows Stereoscopograph 3D films.
• Sunny South Film Company is formed at Shoreham by F L Lundhurst, Arthur Conquest, Will Evans and George Graves.
• The Gem Electric Cinema 'penny gaff' at 36a London Road closes.

film listing link Films made in Shoreham in 1915
Sunny South Film Company 2

March  The House of Lords finds against the Natural Colour Kinematograph Company in Friese Greene's patent case against Kinemacolor.
March  The Divisional Court of Appeal upholds Hove Borough Council's ban on Sunday cinema screenings.
Shoreham Beach Studio April 26  The Patent Office revokes G A Smith's colour kinematography patent (GB 26,671) by order of the High Court.
• Shoreham Beach Film Studio [right], an all-glass structure, is built on the shingle foreshore at West Beach, at the western end of Shoreham beach by F L Lyndhurst's Sealight Film Company, successor to Sunny South. It measures 75 ft x 45 ft and is up to 30 ft high. He acquires the site from the Easter family of Lancing for £200. The children's home at King's Gap is now on the site, which is marked with a plaque on the church hall.

film listing link Films made in Shoreham in 1916
Sealight Film Company 1

• Sealight Film Company defaults on its mortgage and the Shoreham Beach Film Studio is sold to the Olympic Kine Trading Company, which makes no films at the site.
Imperial Picture Palace 'penny gaff' at 5 St James Street, Brighton closes.

• Film activity in the area comes to a standstill. This is the first year since 1896 when no films are made in the area.
April 3  The Grand Picture Palace closes after a court action is brought against it by Gaumont for non-payment of outstanding film rentals.
May  Sidney Morgan proposes that cinemas should be required to show a quota of British films to protect against American dominance of the market.
• The Winter Garden at the Aquarium becomes the Aquarium Kinema.

• Shoreham Beach Film Studio is first used by Progress Film Company, previously based in Manchester. Sidney Morgan is the principal producer/director of the 17 films made at Shoreham.
27 December  Birt Acres dies in Whitechapel, London.

film listing link Films made in Shoreham in 1919
Progress Film Company 3

• Fire destroys the former Grand Picture Palace in West Street. When rebuilt it becomes Sherry’s Dance Hall.
• Progress Film Company buys the Shoreham Beach studio site for £3,500.

film listing link Films made in Shoreham in 1920
Progress Film Company 9

• Short season of Kine-Opera at the Academy Cinema: a live orchestra and singers synchronise with the film.
King's Cliff Cinema in Kemp Town, Brighton and the Coliseum cinema at Shoreham open.

film listing link Films made in Shoreham in 1921
Progress Film Company 3

March 1  Film director Jack Clayton is born in Brighton.
May 5  William Friese Greene collapses and dies at a meeting of the British Kinematograph Society in London.
May 13  William Friese Greene’s funeral service is held at St John the Evangelist, Red Lion Square, London, attended by, among others, W Harold Speer. Cinemas throughout the country observe two minutes’ silence at 15:00, the time of interment at Highgate Cemetery.
Regent Cinema opens at the corner of North Street and Queen's Road, Brighton.

film listing link Films made in Shoreham in 1922
Progress Film Company 2

• Parts of the Shoreham Film Studio site are destroyed by fire. The site is marked by a plaque placed on the wall of a modern church hall. The view of the site [right] shows how close the studio was to the beach, which is behind the grassy ridge to the left of the photograph. A plaque is above the car at the right of the picture.
[Photo: David Fisher, Terra Media]
• The Picturedrome in Western Road, Brighton becomes the Scala Cinema.
• Producer/director Walter West makes Was She Justified?, the first of two films in what remains of the facilities at Shoreham, starring the American actress Florence Turner.

February  Pavilion Cinema opens on South Coast Road at Telscombe Cliffs in Peacehaven.
• Producer/director Walter West makes Hornet's Nest, the second of two films at Shoreham, again starring the American actress Florence Turner.
• The Carlton Film Company makes two films. Only one more film is made in the area from now until 1943.

November Brighton Corporation offers land at Whitehawk for a British National Film Studio.

January 21 January 21 Financier Edward Berrington Behrens meets local interests and Brighton Corporation to discuss the scheme for a national film studio at Whitehawk.
February 11 Photographs of a fire at the Court Cinema are the first ever of local news published in the Evening Argus.
Sunday cinema posterJune Hove Council votes (by one vote) against allowing Sunday opening of cinemas. Councillor E E Lyons, proprietor of the Academy Cinema in Brighton and a leading light in national cinema circles, argues that Sunday is the only day many people can get to see films. C V Smart petitions for his cinema, the Tivoli, being a special case at it is on the boundary with Brighton, where Sunday opening is allowed but his appeal is turned down. Alderman Leeney argues that 'if anyone wants to go to these places on Sunday they only have to step across the road and go into Brighton'.
          Correspondent Edward Clifton writes to the Brighton & Hove Herald (12 June): 'This is 1926, not the sanctimonious times of mid-Victorianism. Surely in these days when even the Government is doing its best to encourage what should be a big industry in England and what is undoubtedly a source of pleasure to millions every week, the Hove Councillors should also assist and not discourage the simple pleasures of the people.'

May The Court Cinema and the Hippodrome are acquired by the Gaumont-British Picture Corporation.
October Hove Borough Council conducts a referendum on Sunday opening of cinemas. Out of 20,890 polling cards issued, 6,579 (31.5 per cent) are in favour and 5,664 (27.1 per cent) are against. Sunday opening goes ahead. [Legislation permitting any local authority to hold a referendum on Sunday cinema opening was not passed until 1932.] [0052]

• The Progress Film Company is finally wound up and the studio site at Shoreham Beach is sold back to the Easter family of Lancing by the liquidator for £250.
• Of nine cinemas in Brighton and Hove that convert to sound, four adopt short-lived sound-on-disc systems.

August 1 A second phase of grander cinema building for the talkie era begins with the opening of the Savoy at 75 East Street, Brighton.
August 1 Fire destroys much of the Plaza (formerly Picture Palace) in Albion Street, Southwick.
• Six more cinemas in Brighton and Hove convert to sound, one of them with a sound-on-disc system.

January 26 Grand Cinema opens in the former Grand Theatre in North Road, Brighton.
• Hove is among a small group of local authorities that, within their cinema licensing responsibilities, interpret the A certificate of the British Board of Film Censors as meaning that children under 16 are not allowed to see such films. The ruling is reversed on clarification by the Home Office that the classification is advisory to parents. [0033]
March Alan Williamson acquires the British rights to the American colour film system Multicolor, intending to produce film at Worton Hall studios but the plans are abandoned for technical reasons.
April 6 Rebuilt after the fire nine months earlier, the cinema in Albion Street, Southwick re-opens as the New Kinema.
June 24 The Cinematograph Exhibitors' Association conference is held in Brighton. The issue of distribution of British films in the US is discussed, for which Simon Rowson prepared a paper on 'The British exhibitor and Anglo-American relations'.
July 24 Alfred Darling dies in Brighton.
August 5 Duke of York's Cinema (formerly the Bijou Electric Empire) in Shoreham closes after a major fire.

May 6 Lido Cinema opens next to the railway station in Denmark Villas, Hove.
New Coronation Cinema becomes the last in Brighton to convert to sound.
Empire Picture Theatre in Haddington Street, Hove closes.

March 27 Norfolk Cinema opens in Shoreham High Street.
August 18 James Williamson dies in Richmond, Surrey.
July 17 Granada Cinema opens in Portland Road, Hove.
December 21 Astoria Cinema opens at 15 Gloucester Place, Brighton.

February 1 Odeon Kemp Town opens in St George’s Road, Brighton.
• The former Novelty Electric Theatre at 27 West Street is demolished and National House is built.
August 9 Pioneer cinema exhibitor E E Lyons dies in Brighton.
October 25 Eva Bayley dies at 7 Melville Road, Hove.
Hove Electric Empire cinema closes.

February Astoria Cinema is taken over by Associated British Cinemas (ABC).
September 17 Violet Melnotte-Wyatt dies in London.

March 28 Esmé Collings dies at Eastbourne.
August 3 The Scala Cinema in Western Road becomes the Curzon Kinema.

April 24 Gaiety Cinema opens in Lewes Road, Brighton.
December 18 Odeon Cinema opens in West Street, Brighton.
• Charles Urban donates his collection of papers, films and artefacts to the Science Museum.

September After years in his native USA and almost a decade in London, recently widowed Charles Urban moves to 7 Clarendon Mansions on the corner of East Street and King's Road, almost next door to the showcase Savoy Cinema-Theatre.
October 25 Laura Bayley (Mrs G A Smith) dies at 7 Melville Road, Hove.

June 17 Rex News Theatre (formerly the Coronation Cinema) in North Road, Brighton closes.

February The Pavilion Cinema in Peacehaven closes after a fire.
April 9 The Imperial Theatre opens in North Street, Brighton.
June 16 Gone with the Wind starts a three-week run at the Astoria Cinema, one of only 12 provincial UK cinemas to show the film.
July 15 A curfew imposed in the area south of Western Road and North Street one hour after sunset affects several cinemas increasingly (Savoy/ABC, Cinema-de-Luxe) as the daylight shortens.
September 24 The Odeon Kemp Town and surrounding area are hit by enemy bombs, causing the worst civilian casualties of the war in Brighton.
September 27 The Grand Cinema Theatre in North Road closes.
December 26 The Odeon Kemp Town re-opens.

July 21 Coliseum Cinema in Brighton Road, Shoreham closes. It may have re-opened temporarily up to 1948.
• Gaumont-British Picture Corporation cinema chain is absorbed into the Rank Organisation, affecting the ownership of the Academy and Regent cinemas.

March 25 Fire breaks out at the Cinema-de-Luxe in North Street, Brighton, which never re-opens.
August 29 Charles Urban dies at the Lees House Nursing Home, 12 Dyke Road, Brighton, to the north of the Royal Alexandra Hospital for Sick Children. [The numbering of properties in Dyke Road has since changed.]

March 28 Robert W Paul dies in Roehampton, Surrey.
• Claude Friese Greene dies in Islington, London.
The Hundred Pound Window is the first entertainment film of any length shot in the Brighton area since the 1920s.

Cosy Nook cinema opens in East Street.

June 11 Sidney Morgan dies at Boscombe, Dorset.
July 12 John King takes over the Cosy Nook cinema and renames it King's Minicine News Theatre.
• A second fire causes damage at the New Kinema in Southwick.

May 24 The Court Cinema becomes the Dolphin Theatre with only occasional film shows.
John Benett-Stanford dies at West Tisbury, Wiltshire.

January 8 midnight Premiere of The Boulting Brothers' production of Brighton Rock, starring Richard Attenborough and shot during the previous year, is held at the Savoy/ABC, East Street.
March 24 After a third fire completely guts the building, the New Kinema in Albion Street, Southwick closes.
April 24 midnight Premiere of Alberto Cavalcanti’s film The First Gentleman is held in Brighton.
• The British Film Institute publishes as a pamphlet a translation of an essay by the French historian Georges Sadoul, in which his phrase l'école de Brighton is rendered as 'Brighton School', describing the pioneer days of film-making.
August 29 The Imperial Theatre is now a full-time cinema.
• St Nicholas's Parish Rooms, the 1880 red-brick building between Centurion Road and St Nicholas Road, close to the junction with Dyke Road, is used for film-making as Brighton Film Studios.
King's Minicine News Theatre in East Street, Brighton closes.

April 2 Cinemas and other buildings throughout the country are allowed to turn on their neon signs again after the extended war time blackout to conserve energy.
Amateur Cine World magazine publishes a ‘how-to’ article by Andrew Buchanan entitled ‘If I Were to Make a Film about Brighton...’

May 7 The Imperial Theatre becomes the Essoldo Cinema.

September A plaque commemorating William Friese Greene is unveiled at 20 Middle Street by Michael Redgrave.

1953 May 9 A temporary television transmitter, installed in three months, is opened by the BBC at Truleigh Hill, north of Shoreham, to serve the Brighton area in time for the Coronation broadcast on 2 June. It uses a former RAF transmitter site to relay signals from Alexandra Palace and continues in use until 1957.
June 14 The first 3D feature film shown in Brighton is Man in the Dark at the Essoldo Cinema. July 5 The X-certificate Technicolor 3-D feature House of Wax opens for a four-week run at the Academy Cinema.

January 11 The first Cinemascope stereophonic sound screening in Brighton of The Robe begins a three-week run at the Odeon West Street with five shows a day—one of only eight provincial cinemas to show the film. September 29 The Gem Cinema opens in the former Pandora Gallery/Victoria Hall at 132 King's Road, Brighton.

April 6 The Dolphin Theatre (formerly the Court Cinema) is renamed the Paris Cinema. October The Gem Cinema closes.

May 26 The Palladium Cinema on King's Road closes.

October 15 G A Smith, now 93, is among guests invited to the opening of the National Film Theatre in London. He lives in retirement at 18 Chanctonbury Road, Hove, until his death in 1959. The house bears a plaque to mark his residence there.

January A campaign to save the Paris Cinema from the developers attracts support from Lawrence Olivier, Ralph Richardson, Charles Laughton and J B Priestley, who calls it 'the loveliest theatre I have seen on the south coast'.
August 2 South Pacific opens at the Astoria Cinema, newly equipped for 70mm (Todd-AO) presentations. This ushers in the era of ‘roadshow’ film releases. South Pacific runs for 22 weeks until 10 January 1959.
August 3 The Ten Commandments starts a six-week run at the Academy Cinema.

May 17 George Albert Smith dies in Hove, age 95.

November 5 Odeon Kemp Town closes.

February 18 Lido/Odeon Cinema in Denmark Villas, Hove closes.
May 18 The Guns of Navarone begins an unprecedented seven-week run at the Regent Cinema.
• The former Grand Cinema Theatre in North Road, Brighton is destroyed by fire and demolished.

• Val Guest shoots his film Jigsaw, starring Jack Warner, at several locations in the Brighton area. Scenes for the Barbra Streisand musical On a Clear Day You Can See Forever are also shot in the town.
• The former Cinema-de-Luxe in North Street, Brighton is finally demolished after standing empty for 20 years.

March The Court/Paris Cinema in New Road closes.
• The former Palladium Cinema, derelict for seven years, is demolished. The site is then derelict until the Brighton Centre is built in 1977.
May 7 Max Miller dies in Brighton.

January 19 Rothbury Cinema in Franklin Road, Portslade closes. May 9 Norfolk Cinema in High Street, Shoreham closes. May 10 Essoldo CInema in North Street, Brighton closes.

Itinerama (Cinerama in a tent)

April 15 The Sound of Music opens at the Regent Cinema. It runs until 25 May 1966, transfers to the Academy between 28 May and 15 October but returns to the Regent from 20 October to 23 November—a record 58-week run on a single screen and 19-month unbroken run in two cinemas.
May 13 Mobile Cinerama theatre in a tent seating 1,261 people, known as Itinerama [right], opens on Hove Lawns for two weeks.
May 25 Granada Cinema in Portland Road, Hove is renamed the ABC.

June 23 The Astoria is the first UK provincial cinema to show Doctor Zhivago, which runs for 45 weeks until 3 May 1967 and returns from 10 August to 25 October 1967.
• BBC Television makes a programme, It Began in Brighton, about the work of Esmé Collings, G A Smith and James Williamson between 1896 and 1902. It is directed by Tristram Powell and produced by Melvyn Bragg, with original music (written during pre-production) by Georges Delarue.
Brighton Film Studio closes.

October 29 In its Theatre 625 strand (season 5, episode 5), BBC2 transmits a television play entitled Edmund Gurney and the Brighton Mesmerist about the deception G A Smith and Douglas Blackburn perpetrate in 1882-83 on the researchers of the Society for Psychical Research, led by Edmund Gurney. Smith is played by Ray Brooks, Gurney by Richard Todd.
December 8 In advance of its official opening, BBC Radio Brighton puts on as special broadcast with news of the heavy snow storm affecting the town.
• The former Court/Paris Cinema in New Road is demolished after standing empty for four years.

February 14, 18:00 BBC Radio Brighton officially goes on air. The transmitter is on Race Hill, Brighton.
• The work of G A Smith and James Williamson is commemorated during the Brighton Festival in an exhibition organised by the British Film Institute on Pioneers of the Cinema in Brighton and Hove. Brighton College of Art holds a concurrent conference on ‘The Future of Film Making in the Cinema and Television’.

• Brighton plays host to the annual British Industrial Film Festival, based at the Bedford Hotel (now Holiday Inn) with film screenings at the Regent Cinema and Brighton Film Theatre and later Odeon Kingswest. The event is held in Brighton annually until 1976, then in 1979 and 1981-1984. The BBC also staged its annual programme showcase in Brighton aroud=nd this time.
• Richard Attenborough's film version of Oh! What a Lovely War is shot on the West Pier and at Sheepcote Valley.

• The former Lido/Odeon Cinema in Denmark Villas, Hove and the Norfolk Cinema in Shoreham High Street are demolished, respectively nine and six years after closure.

January 24 Academy Cinema closes. The last film shown is The Last Picture Show.
April 14 Regent Cinema closes.
April 17 Odeon Cinema in West Street, Brighton closes.
April 18 Kingswest Odeon opens on the corner of King’s Road and West Street.

April Eurovision Song Contest is staged at The Dome. The winning entry is Waterloo by Abba.
April After Hove Council's decision to allow an application by Ladbroke's to close the Granada Cinema and convert it into a bingo hall, Councillor Mrs Patterson says, 'It seems ironic that Hove, which nurtured pioneering experiments in cinematography, will now be left with only one small cinema.' That single remaining site is the Embassy, right on the boundary between Brighton and Hove. But Hove never had many cinemas. [0053]

• British International Amateur Film Festival is held in Brighton.

April 3 The ABC (formerly Savoy) in East Street reopens as a four-screen cinema.

May 7 The Astoria Cinema in Gloucester Place, Brighton closes.
June Stanley Mumford dies in London.

December International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF) holds its 34th congress in Brighton, which is to have a seminal effect on the future study of early cinema, causing the re-assessment of the pioneer period and its films. A collection of 548 films from the earliest days of the cinema around the world are screened before the conference at the Brighton Film Theatre in North Street. A pamphlet about local film history is compiled for the eventand two volumes of papers are published [right].

August 23-26 At the 37th World Science Fiction Convention, held at the Metropole Hotel, attended by over 3,000 delegates, the Hugo Award for 'best dramatic presentation' goes to the film of Superman, beating Invasion of the Body Snatchers, the animated versions of Lord of the Rings and Watership Down and the original radio series of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
September 8 Classic Cinema (formerly the Curzon Kinema) closes.
• The mods and rockers riots of 1964 are recreated in the film Quadrophenia, shot in the original locations around the centre of Brighton.

October 31 Vogue Cinema (formerly the Gaiety Cinema) in Lewes Road, Brighton closes.

April 25 Embassy Cinema (formerly the Tivoli Cinema) in Western Road, Hove closes.

• Arnold Wesker writes an original film script, inspired by John Betjeman's poetry, about the last journey of the Brighton Belle train. The film is never made.

June 23 The Cinescene (formerly the Prince's Cinema and Brighton Film Theatre) in North Street, Brighton closes.
August The site of the Gaiety/Ace/Vogue cinema in Lewes Road is cleared.

January The former Odeon Kemp Town is demolished.

May 21-25 First Brighton Film Festival.

July 11 Lawrence Olivier dies at Horsebridge Green, near Steyning, Sussex.
September 8-10 Second Brighton Film Festival.

• The Odeon West Street, derelict for 17 years, is demolished.

May 3 Eight-screen MGM multiplex cinema opens at Brighton Marina.
July 2 Actress Elizabeth Allan dies in Hove.

1992 South East Film and Video Archive (now Screen Archive South East) is established as a collaborative venture by the University of Brighton, Hove Museum and Art Gallery, South East Arts, the British Film Institute and the county councils of Kent, Surrey, East Sussex and West Sussex.

May Third Brighton Film Festival.

May 8-24 Fourth Brighton Film Festival.

April 28 Lord Richard Attenborough opens the full cinema facilities at the Gardner Arts Centre at the University of Sussex in Falmer.
June 8 Nynex CableComms launches a community television pilot programme, The Line, on channel 8 of its Brighton/Hove/Worthing cable system. The weekly one-hour programme is transmitted every other hour throughout the week.

• To mark the centenary of the film industry, six plaques are put up on buildings in Brighton, Hove and Shoreham by the British Film Institute: at the Melrose Restaurant (formerly the Pandora Gallery), on the Duke of York's Cinema, at 156 (formerly 144) Church Road, Hove (James Williamson's former chemist's shop), at St Ann's Well Garden's and near the site of Shoreham Film Studios and at Dame Flora Robson's one-time home at 14 Marine Gardens. An exhibition about George Albert Smith, James Williamson and the beginning of the British film industry is held at the University of Brighton Gallery and Hove Museum. Hove Pioneers and the Arrival of Cinema by John Barnes, Ine van Dooren and Frank Gray is published in conjunction.
• Brewery company Stella Artois provides free film screenings on Brighton beach.

• Jewish Film Festival is launched in Brighton.

November 14-22 Second Jewish Film Festival is held in Brighton.

January 20 The ABC Cinema (formerly the Savoy) in East Street, Brighton closes.

May 24, 10:00 A plaque commemorating the Regent Cinema is unveiled on the site at the corner of North Street and Queen's Road (now a Boots store) by Susannah York for the Cinema Theatre Association.
May-June The site of the former Essoldo Cinema is cleared for reconstruction.

September 7 Stella Artois provides a free film screening on Brighton beach for the seventh consecutive year. Moulin Rouge attracts around 4,000 people. A screening on the previous evening was cancelled due to the danger that high winds would blow over the giant screen. The event had been postponed from 26-27 July following problems with the quantities of broken glass from drinks bottles in the shingle after a free Fatboy Slim concert.

2003 November 20-December 7 1st CineCity, the Brighton Film Festival.

July 23 Stella Artois Screen Tour begins on Brighton beach with a screening of Master and Commander.
November 19-December 5 2nd CineCity, the Brighton Film Festival.

October 17 ITV network launches a three-month trial of ITV Local, an online service for individual towns and cities, beginning with Brighton and Hastings.

November 15-December 2 5th CineCity, the Brighton Film Festival includes screenings of Jigsaw and The Day the Earth Caught Fire, and an illustrated talk by Steve Chibnall, Professor of British Cinema at De Montfort University, on the output of Brighton Film Studios.

May 1-23 First Made in Brighton Film Festival at the Old Courtroom in Church Street, Brighton.
December 4 An exhibition, Capturing Colour: Film, Invention and Wonder, about early colour cinematography, opens at Brighton Museum and Art Gallery and runs to 20 March 2011.

January Approval for the demolition of the Grade II listed Astoria Cinema in Gloucester Place is granted.
June 18-22 12th International Domitor Conference about early cinema is held at the University of Brighton.
October 27 Shoot the Wrx, a retrospective of the work of avant garde film-maker Jeff Keen opens at Brighton Museum & Art Gallery.
November Cinema-by-Sea is published.
December 7 Duke of York's Cinema opens two new screens at Komedia in Gardner Street, Brighton.


Acknowledgements and sources
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Page updated 7 July 2022
© David Fisher