Visitors to Brighton can stand in the entrance way of the old Prince George Theatre and learn about its history.
The former cinema, which opened in 1928 and was demolished in 1968, now stands as an arcade that connects the bustling shopping precinct on Church St with supermarket Woolworths.
Two information panels featuring a collage of posters advertising films screened at the cinema are mounted to the wall in the alley way.
Onlookers may be surprised to learn that the walkway is the very entrance where the Prince George Theatre once stood.
Commonly known as the “flea pit”, the cinema was a Brighton icon and famous for screening arthouse and foreign films.
When it first opened, the theatre screened silent films and had a pianist playing music in time with the film.
According to the Brighton Historical Journal No. 169, the theatre was “one of few to have a Cremona pipe organ built in Chicago; it was 16 feet wide and with all the pipes weighed over 4 tonnes and could either be played as an organ or operated as a pianola using music rolls – the perfect accompaniment for films”.
Robert Ward decided to open the cinema because “he saw it as an opportunity to revive the old Paramount Theatre”, the journal reads.
The cinema seated 300 people upstairs in the grand lounge and the dress circle, with another 300 seats downstairs.
To compete with the rising popularity of television, the cinema installed Cinemascope and Magnetic Surround Sound about 1956, and was the first suburban theatre to adopt the technology at the time.
When cinema was booming in 1940, Ward opened the Dendy and Brighton had two successful movie theatres.
In 1963, Brighton Council (now known as Bayside City Council) acquired ownership of Prince George Theatre and it was demolished a few years later to create the carpark that faces Woolworths supermarket, as you see it today.
Palace Cinemas began operating Dendy Brighton in the early 1990s and has specialised in providing patrons with a cosy and intimate atmosphere while screening blockbuster films alongside independent titles.
RELATED ARTICLE: Palace Cinemas Dendy Brighton Offers Intimate Movie Experience
Discover the site of Prince George Theatre
Find more information at the site of the historic Prince George Theatre at the site on Church Street.