Regal Theatre – St Leonards-On-Sea Eddie Calvert and Billy Cotton 1950’s

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adverts supplied by Nick Prince – Cinemas & Theatres Of East Sussex Facebook page.

Nick Prince…  Eddie Calvert was Monday 25th July, 1955 for entire week and Billy Cotton was Monday 8th August, 1955, for entire week. Some of the big names that appeared during the final year of the Regal, London Road, St Leonards. Just imagine who may have appeared there had it survived into the 1960’s Over the years the greatest stars of the era appeared on its stage, among them were Louis Armstrong, George Formby, Gracie Fields, Vera Lynn and Duke Ellington. The Regal closed on 8th September, 1956, when owned by ABC. It has dubious claim to fame of being the first cinema in the country to blame television for its closure. Ocean House now occupies the site.

Mick Knights… Now I do remember my folks taking me to see Eddie Calvert at the Regal, no idea how old I was, probably eight or so, which must also means he was the first ‘named’ artist I ever saw!!!!

Charles Bryant… Was interested to see where the old Regal theatre once was in Hastings (Ocean House) as I have just aquired from a local table sale, three old Regal programs from the 1950’s and was interesting to see that Morcambe & Wise appeared there in 1952.

York & Crypt Bars Hastings – Oct 1977

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Nick Prince… This photo from the front page of the Hastings News was taken in 1977. Its not of the greatest quality but a close look to the side of the old Orion Cinema, you will notice the York and Crypt bars. I date the photo as about October 77, when the Crypt was well and truly in its embryonic state. Obviously the Crypt would become a live music venue in its own right, playing host to many bands in the charts at the time. This is forwarded from my own facebook page with the emphisis being on the cinema obviously. Lets hope it conjours up plenty of memories of groups that have played the Crypt.

Alan Esdaile… Pearl & Dean ad. Great bit of music at the start which takes you way back and all I can think of is kia-ora orange drink!

Nick Prince… Ironically the Orion took its advertising from an old company called Pressbury. For the record the Pearl and Dean music is called Asteroid and was composed by Pete Moore, yes that Pete Moore. It was introduced by Pearl and Dean in 1970, quite apt for this page. The same session singers have been used on all new recordings of Pearl and Deans logos, including last years. (those singers must be as old as god. lol). Pearl and Dean adverts are still used at a number of indepenent Sussex cinemas, these being the Curzon Eastbourne, Hailsham Pavilion, Uckfield Picture House, Dome Worthing and Orion Burgess Hill, the sole survivor of the Orion chain. The Electric Palace Hastings did have Pearl and Dean but now have no screen advertising. Previous Pearl and Dean logos included Groovy Dancers in the 60s and a Greek temple in the 50s, which was infact the screen proscenium of the Bognor Regis Picturedrome, still in situ. All logos can be found on You Tube or the Pearl and Dean web site. Pearl and Dean were not an old married couple but it was the surnames of the founders, Ernest Pearl is the only one I can recall now. When I owned cinemas it was over seen by a lovely lady called Lydia Pohani . Their corny local ads were just great. lol.


This film has been passed X certificate and Penguin Cinema

supplied by Nick Prince Cultural History Of London & South East

Nick Prince… Who remembers this at the cinema? Horror or porn was the norm for the old X certificate. Most reasonable size places had a cinema showing this type of film… Hastings had the Orion, Penguin, La Dolce Vita and Eros Cinema Club. Brighton had the Vogue and Continental…. and so on…

Jim Breeds… I think The Exorcist was X when first shown in Hastings?

Nick Prince… Indeed it was Jim. When we screened it to full houses at Bexhill as late shows as late as 1991, the film still had the old X certificate on it.

Jim Breeds… I saw it at the Gaiety (if that what it was called at the time, or was it Classic!?). I assumed it was tenth in a series. I have yet to see parts I to IX.

Nick Prince… Gaiety was taken over by Classic in 1966 and named Classic from 1967 Jim.

Alan Esdaile… The Exorcist, I remember seeing it in the cinema in Priory Street and people being sick.

Dennis Torrance… The penguin I think it was called the cinema in priory street .

Nick Prince… It started using the name Penguin when it opened in August 1974 Dennis. Cinema upstairs, Bingo downstairs. Adjacent to the Pelican Billiard Hall. Prior to being the Penguin it was the Casino Bingo Hall.

Jim Breeds… I have no recollection of that place! How odd. I went to play snooker at the Temperance Hall regularly – is that the same as the Pelican Billiard Hall you mention Nick?

Nick Prince… It had little entrance at the side of the Priory Street end of Provincial Passage. It was definitely called the Pelican during the cinemas time Jim. I believe are talking of the same place. I have a pic somewhere of it. lord knows where. Personal recollection on the name Jim btw.

Chris Meachen…I can also add a little information, in that the cellar of the penguin bingo was the meeting place of the local ‘venture scouts’ group, who I would occasionally spend time with when mum was at bingo. This bit was later turned into Rennie’s nightclub..

Ian Quinnell… Seem to remember I had to go to Brighton to see Clockwok Orange (merited its X cert). Was it ever shown in Hastings?

Nick Prince…  No. The Watch Committee banned it. it wasnt shown in Hastings until it got re-released. It was around the time that the Queens Road Cinema was changing its name from ABC to ODEON. It was shown in Bexhill where the film was never banned.

Alan McCann… I was managing the Classic when ‘Monty Python’s Life of Brian’ was released with a AA certificate. After the fiasco over ‘Clockwork Orange’ the last thing that Hastings Council wanted was to review ‘Brian’. However, there was so much who ha about it that they asked for a private showing, (with NO press). Afterwards, at a council meeting, it was agreed that it could be shown with an AA Cert. I had been asked if they could change the rating to 18, but the Film Distributors had already told me that this was not going to happen, and that an 18 request would be the equivalent to a ban, so it was passed. The general consensus was that it was a bit rude – but not blasphemous. The Hastings News was quite supportive at the time – also a group called “The Cinema Users Association” -though I don’t recall them ever being cinema users! Fun times.

Lawrence Ralph… I remember at a very young age noticing the poster artwork for Flesh Gordon showing at the Penguin cinema – on a visit to Hastings , my dad didn’t think i should see it though.


The Pleasure Piers Of Sussex 23rd August 2015 – talk & slide show by Nick Prince

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The Pleasure Piers of Sussex, a historical talk and slide show by Nick Prince will be presented at the Electric Palace Cinema, High Street, Hastings Old Town, on Sunday, 23 August, 2015 at 8pm.

Alan Esdaile… Also understand from Nick Prince talk about bands in the second half.

Nick Prince… Second half is an in depth look at Hastings and St Leonards and will cover the 60’s and 70’s era when the big names came down in quite great detail.


Splodgenessabounds – Hastings answer to punk? says Nick Prince.


Nick Prince…  Hastings answer to punk. Well there was a point in the 1990’s that all the band members lived in Hastings & St Leonards. This clip of “Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps Please” reminds me of the group missing out of appearing on Top of The Pops in June 1980 due to a technicians strike.
The song entered the chart as the flip of a double A side in May 1980, the main track was meant to be the highly professional sounding “Simon Templar”. The main song was ignored by all radio stations bar Radio Luxembourg and then John Peel played ” Two Pints….” and then it got on the main Radio One play list as a novelty single. It peaked at number 7, the same week that Splodge was meant to play on T.O.T.P.
I am of the understanding that the show was recorded and we can only hope that it will be broadcasted in a few weeks time on Top of the Pops 1980.
I have added some Splodge members to SMART and I hope that they may know if it was definately recorded.
Slodge did appear on T.O.T.P in September, 1980, with their follow up single, Two Little Boys, which I believed peaked at 27. Claire King, later of Emmerdale was once in Splodgenessabounds and can be heard on the single versions of “Simon Templar”, “Two Pints” and “Two Little Boys”
At one point Splodge were so big that disgraced star Rolf Harris supported them.
They went on to gave a third single hit, “Cowpunk Medlum” which spent a sugary week in the chart at number 67.
No Splodge albums have made the chart. Is this the end of Splodge in the charts? Of course not. In this download age anything is possible….. Good luck with the new album guys…….

Dennie’s Night Club dummy run – 1989


supplied by Nick Prince

Nick Prince… Dennie’s Night Club Dummy Run (c1989). Well we were all a lot younger once. This was a cutting from the Hastings News/Citizen. Karen Holroyd (Im sure she took money on Rennie’s and Dennie’s door, I seem to believe), Mick Calverley (disc jockey), and Nick Prince, on a charity pub crawl in Hastings Town Centre and Hastings Old Town, raising money for various things needed by the children’s ward at the old St Helens Hospital in Frederick Road, Hastings.  I was quite a party animal then. I remember getting involved with quite a lot of publicity bits with Rennies/Dennie’s. I recall my association with the Hastings DJ completion, which I arranged with the club and myself to coincide with the release of Good Morning Vietnam and it was at the time that the club was becoming Dennie’s. At the time I was Assistant Manager at the Cannon Cinema and the club, where I was a regular, needed some good publicity. It was enough to earn me a Dennies Platinum pass, in fact pass number 001. Which I never used as I found Denny Flannigan and the staff such nice people, I thought it was wrong to as I got something out of it myself. (A Cannon Cinemas Citation of Merit). The Good Morning Vietnam thing is a story in it’s own right so I will find and share pics of the heats at the Old Golden Cross and the final at the cinema at some point in the future. Something for me to hunt out..

Jules Stretton… Yes yes more pics xx

Nick Prince… Maybe we should save poor Alan and his excellent page and its members from that. If they are of interest like this one, I’ll post em. Xx

Alan Esdaile… Good Morning Vietnam Film is always great to talk about. Then it gives me an excuse to post some brilliant music.


The Cinemas of Hastings and St Leonards, talk and slide show by Nick Prince. Thur 8th Jan 2015.



The Curzon in Norman Road (1913-77 – Reopening 2015). all images supplied by Nick Prince

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Pictured  above is the Bohemia Electric Theatre, Bohemia Road, St Leonards (1912 only). This was at one time Europes smallest cinema and had the earliest known Saturday Minors club. Also Cinema De Luxe, Pelham Place, Hastings (1910-1965) Was once europe’s largest cinema. all images supplied by Nick Prince

The Cinemas of Hastings and St Leonards, talk and slide show by Nick Prince, will be presented at the Electric Palace, on Thursday 8th January, at 11.00 and 20.00. For more details please visit

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