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Arcadia

Brighton Trades & Labour Club
Unfortunately there do not appear to be any photographs of the Arcadia when it was a cinema. This is its recent appearance.

16 Lewes Road/Park Crescent Place, Brighton
operated 1910-1956

Tilley's horse bus stables—a victim of the changes in transport after the introduction of trams in 1901—was converted in 1907 into the Arcadia Theatre of Varieties, which mixes live stage shows (Harry Houdini appeared here) and films. This was nearby but not the same.

1910 Opened by F R Griffiths as a permanent 478-seat cinema, the People's Picture Palace and the entrance in Lewes Road is created by acquiring the confectioner's shop of John Woods. Building works by A & W Thorpe of Lewes Road. The name is soon changed to the Arcadia Cinema. The tobacconist's shop next door at 15 Lewes Road is run by Harry Scriven, whose young son Eddie Scriven gets a job in the cinema as pianist and part-time projectionist.
1911 December 25 Re-opens under the management of Mr & Mrs Edward Hardiman.
1913 Remodelled at the Park Crescent end by Denman & Matthews of Brighton.
1914 Experiments with the Stereoscopograph projection system of which nothing is known. It came towards the end of the initial period of interest in 3D moving pictures.
1915 Lessee is now B C Packham. Stage plays are occasionally performed.
1920 Arcadia Cinema (Brighton) Ltd is the owner, James Van Koert the managing director. Three changes weekly, prices 5d (children 3d)-1s 3d.
1922 The resident manager is J Bolton.
1931 James Van Koert is chairman of the Sussex branch of the Cinematograph Exhibitors Association. Prices 4d-1s.
1936 A semi-circular metal canopy is added over the entrance.
1940 Temporarily closed.
1941 February 3 Cinema equipment company Kalee applies in the High Court to have the company wound up.
1941 March 10 The winding-up order is made.
1941 The new proprietor is J E Taylor. Prices 7d-1s 6d. Managed in association with the Picturedrome, Eastbourne (see also Gaiety).
1942 March 26 The company's receiver is released.
1947 Proprietor is SM Super Cinemas Ltd. 472 seats, three changes weekly.
1948 Taken over by O&P Cinemas (Brighton) Ltd [Rigden Lodge, Rigden Road, Hove] some time before 1948.
1953 Owned by Robert Gordon Cinemas (see also Rothbury Cinema), where programmes are booked.
1954 Prices 1s-1s 9d.
1956 May 26 Closes. Last films are The Duchess of Idaho and The Big Hangover.

The building was sold to Brighton Cooperative Society. The Brighton Trades and Labour Club occupies the site, retaining the front of house but not the auditorium.

Brighton cinema directory

Page updated 17 September 2015
David Fisher