Bexhill’s Cinemas

During the 1930s there were four cinemas in Bexhill today there is only one, the excellent Curzon Picture Playhouse in Western Road.
The Playhouse Cinema (1921-2008)c.1938. One of the five lost cinemas (Bijou, Cinema-de-Luxe, Playhouse, Gaiety Theatre & Ritz) in Bexhill

Both Pat Kinsella and Harry Bolton made their own films of local events which they showed at Bijou/St. George’s Cinema. There were also live shows at the Bijou, mostly by the Coronets 1910-1911 and the Poppies who performed between 1910-1917.

  • 1898 The Kursaal showed a velograph of Gladstone’s funeral.
  • 1900 Mutoscope show at Kursaal.
  • 1901 Kursaal, bioscope of South African war.
  • 1910 Bijou opened in Town Hall Square, managed by Kinsella and Collard.
  • 1912 The Bijou closed and was modernised.
  • 1913 The Bijou re-opened and the Cinema-de-Luxe opened in Western Road.
  • 1916 The Bijou renamed the New Palace.
  • 1917 The New Palace was taken over by John Ash and named St. George’s Cinema.
  • 1919 A cinema for Devonshire road was proposed but never built.
  • 1921 Cinema-de-Luxe moved to the adjacent property and became the Playhouse cinema.
  • 1928 St. George’s taken over by Edith Bolton, her husband Harry became the manager.
  • 1929 The first talking picture was shown “The Broadway Melody”. It was the first cinema between Brighton and Folkestone to show a ‘talkie’.
  • 1931 St. George’s was renamed The Carlton.
  • 1935 The York Hall in London Road became the Gaiety cinema.
  • 1937 The Ritz opened in Buckhurst Road.
  • 1940 The Gaiety cinema was bombed and never reopened.
  • 1951 The Carlton was renamed the Savoy.
  • 1954 The Savoy was closed unexpectedly in October and never reopened.
  • 1961 The Ritz closed.
  • 1966 The Playhouse became the Classic.
  • 1974 The Classic became the Curzon and was divided, the ground floor was used for bingo.
  • c.1990 The ground floor became an indoor market and the foyer a shop.
  • 1991 The Curzon closed for several months.
  • 1994 The Curzon closed in April.
  • 1995 The Curzon re-opened on 10th February.

The following list gives the location, dates and name changes of Bexhill’s cinemas:

  • Seafront, 1896-1936: Kursaal
  • Town Hall Square, 1910-1954: Bijou / New Palace / St. George’s / Carlton / Savoy
  • Western Road, 1913-present: Cinema-de-Luxe / Playhouse / Classic / Curzon
  • London Road, 1935-1940:York Hall / Gaiety Theatre
  • Buckhurst Road, 1937-1961: Ritz
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