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The Brighton Magazine

Selected Brighton Magazine Article
Thursday 17 July 2014

Brighton Hippodrome Remembered As Renovation With Eight-Screen Cinema Gets The Nod

Subject to conditions local councillors have said they are "minded to grant" plans to convert the Grade 2-star listed Brighton Hippodrome into an eight-screen cinema.

The iconic theatre in Middle Street, may have been noted for shows where 'the entire programme was eminently wholesome in tone,' but by the mid-sixties concerts by both the Beatles and the Rolling Stones had played to capacity audiences with very different tastes and expectations.

When the Stones appeared at the venue in 1964 one lucky punter can still recall Brian Jones' white vox guitar with a mirror on it which reflected the spotlight back into the audience like a WWII seachlight. 

Another, a policeman in Brighton at this time, remembers standing outside the Hippodrome when the Beatles were performing inside and his sons are still fans of the band!

But there were other links between the band and the city. A reconciliation of sorts, over the telephone, occurred between John Lennon and his father, Alfred, shortly before the latter died at the Brighton General Hospital.

Indeed, on John's 30th birthday he would meet his half brother, David Henry, who had been born in Brighton just a year earlier. 


But now, as well as the proposed eight-screen cinema, the building would house four restaurants.  

Works would include fully restoring all ornate plasterwork created by famous theatre designer Frank Matcham.  

A new mezzanine floor would be installed across the main auditorium, with three cinema screens below and a restaurant above.  

There would be a new connection to Dukes Lane to improve access.

The building's main feature is a vast circular auditorium with a Dome built to resemble a travelling circus.  

This, and the other most historically-important areas of the building would be retained, while less significant later additions would be demolished.

A new extension would be built to the north.  Another to the rear would house five more screens.

For more information CLICK HERE

by: Mike Cobley

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