Bohemia Electric Theatre

From Historical Hastings


Opened in 27 Jan 1912 at 60 Bohemia Road, this originally 25 seat cinema 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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