Deluxe Cinema

From Historical Hastings
Deluxe Cinema
Full nameDeluxe Leisure Centre
Former namesHippodrome Theatre (1907-1912)
Royal Cinema Deluxe (1912-1965)
Deluxe Bingo (1970-present)
Address{{safesubst:#invoke:Separated entries|br}}
CapacityTheatre - 1500
Opened30 March 1899
ArchitectErnest Runtz
BuilderPeter Jenkins

The Empire Theatre of Varieties opened on the 30th March 1899 on the site vacated by the Marine Hotel at 2-6 Pelham Place. Designed by Ernest Runtz, a well known Theatre designer and built using 1.25 million bricks by local builder Peter Jenkins.

The outside of the ​building​ was clad with ornate terracotta tiles and topped with two copper clad domes. It also featured a balcony at first floor level. The interior was elaborately decorated with Ivory coloured walls, gilding, satin and velvet upholstery and plush green carpet. The ​building​ could accommodate 1,500 persons.[1]

The theatre was renamed the 'Hippodrome Theatre' in 1907. Just 5 years later in 1912 it was converted into a cinema and renamed again this time as the 'Royal Cinema Deluxe' , it would keep this name (dropping the 'Royal' at some point) until 1965 when the cinema closed and was converted into a Bingo hall. At this point the original interior remained untouched but in 1970 the ​building​s interior was completely gutted and a floor built where the Circle once was. A snooker/pool club and restaurant was established later around 1978[2]. Any trace of its original fittings was burnt or dumped during these conversions. At the same time the entrance and ground floor facade were also destroyed, with an amusement arcade at ground level, and Orange chipboard constructed over the terracotta tiles and an plastic canopy installed.[1]

Name changes by date

From To
Number of Seats
Empire Theatre of Varieties
1907 1500
Hippodrome Theatre

(Royal) Cinema Deluxe

Deluxe Snooker and Bingo


References & Notes

  1. a b Leigh Kennedy Historical Hastings (Facebook)
  2. Hastings Borough Council Planning application ref HS/FA/77/00572