Bohemia Electric Theatre

From Historical Hastings

Opened in 27 Jan 1912 at 60 Bohemia Road, this originally 25 seat cinema, also known as the Bohemia Picture Theatre, was possibly the smallest cinema in Europe. The auditorium was a bedroom on the first floor, with the projection booth was in the attic, projecting through a hole in the ceiling onto an angled screen. It was however the first cinema in the UK to run a Saturday children's club; this commencing a week after opening. In the main, the cinema ran newsreels produced by Gaumont Graphic[1], with a typical running time of 30 minutes. Ultimately unable to make a profit, the cinema closed after only a few months in operation.The cinema was then taken over by a Mr Preston, who had several businesses in Bohemia, and extended the auditorium to take up the whole of the first floor, increasing capacity to 50 seats.[1]Preston too proved unsuccessful and the cinema closed for good at the end of December 1912. It was one of three cinemas within a few yards of each other, with over ten more cinemas operating within half a mile, this, along with its tiny capacity, crowded out the small cinema.[1]Post-cinema usages have been a Spar Shop, Lullabuys Pram Shop and now forms part of a Costcutter. A skylight used by the projectionist is still visible however more than a century on.[1]


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