The Granada as a cinema
The Granada as a bingo hall
The Granada just after it closed as a bingo hall.
Photo courtesy of www.74simon.co.uk
Portland Road, Hove
• After two abortive attempts to build a cinema on this site in 1928 and 1932, plans by H L Hemsley with additional work by Frederick E Bromige, and interiors designed by F L Filie, executed by Winsor & Newton, were finally approved. Granada (Dover) Ltd, formed by Nathan N Lee, had this as its second cinema, adding to the Dover site, which was leased by Lee from Sydney and Cecil Bernstein, the future television tycoons, who were struggling to establish the Granada chain.
1933 July 17 Opened by the Mayor of Hove, Victor Hudson, with Anna Neagle, who later lived in Brighton, as guest of honour. Prices stall 7d, circle 1s-2s, children half price before 15:30; 1,638 seats; Westrex sound system. Compton cinema organ, 45ft proscenium and 25ft deep stage and five dressing rooms for live performances. The theatre fly-tower dominates the large car park. Café in the upper foyer, sun terrace. The opening films are The Kiss Before the Mirror and The Hawleys of High Street, with Don Rice and his Gypsy Girls Band also on the programme. The resident organist is James Swift.
1934 Prices are 7d-2s.
1934 Neville Taylor replaces Swift as resident organist.
1935 June 18 Acquired by Associated British Cinemas (ABC), which retains the Granada name.
1936 The organ is removed to ABC's Regal Hammersmith in London. One of the last performers is Robin Richmond (1912-1998).
1942 1,856 seats.
1948 Now 1,592 seats, continuous performances.
1952 Hove Council bans the Granada from showing Cosh Boy, which is on national release in ABC cinemas.
1953 April 2 An anaglyph 3D short, MGM's Metroscopix, is shown as a support to the main feature. It is also screened at the Savoy, Brighton.
1965 May 25 Renamed ABC
1968 1,372 seats
1970 December 3 Closed for modernisation.
1970 December 24 Re-opens with The Aristocats. Now 1,016 seats.
1974 April Threat of permanent closure provokes demonstrations and petitions.
1974 June 4 Closed. The last film, Callan, draws a final audience of less than 50.
• Acquired by Ladbrokes on a 56-year lease in 1975, it becomes a Lucky Seven bingo hall. After further changes of ownership—including Granada (1985-1991)—it was closed by its then owners, Gala Group, in 2003. It remained closed up and derelict. It was acquired by the Downland Housing Association and Affinity Sutton. It was demolished in spring 2012 and replaced by a doctor's surgery and 35 residential units, designed by Conran and Partners.
• The cinema has its own website (opens in new window).
Brighton cinema directory
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