Orion Cinema – Hastings 1970’s

Mike Mitchell… As youths we always enjoyed taking a look at the still photos displayed outside…

Jacquie Hinves… Remember it so well

Dennis Torrance… My mum worked there till late 60s till it closed she was a cleaner there . Had a cinema pass which me and my mates used bottle of beers hidden we drank in the back seats lol

Josie Lawson… My mum was usherette then became one who dealt with the money at entrance. I began casually over christmas 1965 to keep my mums job that is when she was an usherette. My Gran died on Boxing Day and she had to go over for 2 weeks.
I became friends with Julie Bull , her dad was the manager Mr Bull. Unfortunately they have all passed now.

Dennis Torrance… I was 15 when I started to use the Orion with my mates as I stated. I remember mr bull well he was ok we had a nickname for him count bull but regret that now . My mums name was ivy Torrance but surname changed to Lamb in 1970 when she remarried. Unfortunately I can’t remember you but lived in stonefield road but moved to Cheviots 1967 if that helps am retired now 65 happy memory’s of times there.  In summer cartoons for kids afternoon and shall I say risky ones evening not cartoons lol

Martyn Baker… Ah “the fleapit”.

Chris Meachen… I remember the ‘dirty mac brigade’ congregating there when they were showing some of the racier type of films. I remember going there to watch something a bit more mainstream, but can’t remember what it was..

Dizz Corinne Ryder.. I remember seeing Slade in Flame there and calling it the “fleapit”!

Ralph Town… I saw the 2 Dr.Who movies there as a afternoon matinee.I had a bath when I got home!

Clifford Rose…  I went there once to see the film ‘Tom Thumb’ there with my Mum and Nan.

Jacquie Hinves… I remember seeing “The Pride of Miss Jean Brody” there.

Ian Johnson… Yep remember that you could sneak in the exit and watch a movie

Shaft Film – Orion Cinema – 22nd October 1972



Shaft Film – Orion Cinema October 1972. Came out in 1971 so may have been shown at the Gaiety Cinema first. I expect Nick Prince might know? Great Soundtrack.

Matt Thomas… Shaft or Chef???

Nick Prince… Had a week in both Classic 1 and 2 during July 1971 and a week at Curzon, St Leonards in September 1971. If the Orion ran a first run film in Hastings it was made very clear in their advertising in between the date/number of days of run and actors/ film title…

Alan Pepper… Who’s that black private dick who’s a sex machine to all the chicks ? SHAFT !! Can you dig it ? I’ve still got the album on the great Stax Label . Great stuff !

Martin Richter… got the album

Tony Court-holmes… I saw it, soundtrack Issac Hayes and Superfly soundtrack Curtis Mayfield.

York & Crypt Bars Hastings – Oct 1977

1006326_442422985856831_1342889319_nsupplied by Nick Prince

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.


Jimi Hendrix Film – The Orion Cinema Hastings 12th September 1974.



Nick Prince… Yes. Turkish Delight. Or have I missed something. Lol

Stuart Huggett… Hang on, “Coming Sex Shows”? British cinemas were in a right old state back then.

Alan Esdaile… I can’t believe how many sex films are on this poster. I have memories of seeing ‘b’ movie horror films at The Orion.

Peter Fairless… Turkish Delight was probably a disappointment to anyone who went to see it based on this advert. It’s a very successful, Oscar- nominated, Dutch film, starring Rutger Hauer.

Josie Lawson… For any who are interested. Years ago my mother worked at The Orion first as an usherette then cashier. My gran died on Boxing Day 1965, so I took on my mothers job as casual usherette then for two weeks to keep her job open. I was 16 years and at the time, my main job not long started was in the office at Plummer Roddis Ltd now known as Debenhams. In those days I had met Mr. Jones the owner and the manager Mr Bull. Mr Bull allowed my tea break on occasion a little longer as I became quite good friends with his daughter Julie. He sometimes let us pop to a local coffee bar which wasn’t far from the main Hastings Library. When mum came back I was allowed to stay on. Eventually I left as my children were growing. I moved to Burgess Hill in 1983. Both Julie and I met there also by chance, she had moved there also.So we quite often met up. Julie was also another writer. We found out this by chance in Burgess Hill. Eventually we said our goodbyes as I moved back to Hastings in 1987 the place… I was born. Mum and Dad lived here also. Julie had moved to Africa. My mum was still in touch with Mr. Bull although she had changed cinemas, a different name back then but now called The Odeon. She then went onto, I think it was called ‘Out Of This World’ as cashier along the seafront opposite Pelham car park. As we had coffee one day she told me Mr Bull had told her in sadness Julie had traumatically been killed in Africa. I was so sad, she was such a good friend. I still remember the time she came to see me when she was on holiday here, she gave me a copper bracelet with elephants on it. Sorry for the sadness but seeing this flyer brought back the happy and sad moments. I know Nick Prince knows a lot about the cinemas as he has written and had published all about them, and I have via inbox Facebook chatted with Nick about this. To think, when I could get around easier, I used to pop in The Street with friends and have a cuppa.The place where The Orion was. Downstairs where the door was on the cafe part of The Street, I heard it led into the same steps of The Orion which when the door opened, you found yourself in Havelock Road…and no doubt still do..

John Wilde… Jeezuz bloody hell mary! I was there. We were smokin in the cinema!

Josie Lawson… That would have been after I had left. One of the reasons I left was realising how it had changed with the clientele coming to watch. The films and they had changed too.

Alan Esdaile… The days when people smoked in the cinemas. Mind you it helped to disguise the other unsavoury smells of The Orion.

Brenda Marshall… Read what I placed just now Alan. The Orion was a good cinema until it changed

Josie Lawson… The smell only came Alan when they changed the films. It was a lovely cinema before then. I worked there. Even kiddies films…