Cinemas of Battle and Hastings in the War Years
The Ritz, Regal, Gaiety, Plaza, De-Luxe, Elite, and the Kinema and Roxy in St Leonards.
DREAMS COME TRUE
This was the very first film to be screened at the Senlac Cinema, Battle, in 1937
An English Musical featuring Frederick Bradshaw and Frances Day, filmed in Black White
Senlac Cinema Battle 1942
Ivor operates one of the two BTH 35mm Film Projectors, during one of the frequent wartime air-raids of 1942 to 1944 and sometimes had to run the whole show from start to finish when the Chief Operator Mr. Cyril Parslow was on Royal Observer duty
"The show must go on"
Part of our duties was to look outside occasionally to see if there were any bombs dropping or fires in the area which might endanger the building, requiring a warning slide to be shown on the screen so that patrons wishing to leave the building could do so . . .
Most patrons preferred to stay put saying: "If its got your number on it, it will get you wherever you are !"
Manager Dick Whittington changes the film title
Kindly loaned by Mrs Betty Morris, this photo shows our "jack of all trades" manager, bill poster, and usher "Dick", as he was affectionately known by the staff, taking steps to let people know what feature film was playing currently.
Often playing to packed houses, the Cinema was very popular with the British and Canadian troops who were stationed in Battle Abbey during the wartime years
Cinemas which survived the Bombs and Doodlebugs of WW2
Ritz Cinema Projection Room - Hastings It took a crew of Six operators to run this equipment for a full show
including Wurlitzer organspots. Ice cream girls, slides and music, and sometimes the personal appearance on stage of a very famous person, like Richard Attenborough for instance, seen below inspecting one of our projection suite machines.
Hastings Cinemas in the early Post War years 1948-49
Photograph by Gifford Boyd, HASTINGS
My dads photo shows four of the Ritz Cinema Operators
Left to right, Chief Operator Mr. Joe Knight, Co-Chief Mr.George Wareham, "Marge" Giles and Jonathan Henson standing at the entrance to the Cinema Cafe
Ivor shows Richard Attenborough around the projection suite of the Ritz Cinema and demonstrates how the carbon rods inside the Peerless Arcs provide the intense light to project the films images on to the "Silver Screen"
mercury arc rectifier
The Ritz Hastings
Frank Searcy, Manager of the Kinema parades his Local Air Cadets seen here outside the bomb-damaged cinema in Norman Road St. Leonards on Sea