Flamboyant cinema manager, 1970s

Chris Hughes
From a private collection

My father, Chris Hughes, was the flamboyant manager of the Curzon Cinema in the 1970’s when it was called The Classic.

He ran Late Shows on a Friday, all nighters on Saturdays and also did Indian and Greek shows late nights on a Sunday. He broke the European box office record with ‘The Silent Witness’. He did a 200 mile motorbike ride with bikers, and a beauty queen for charity, which promoted an all night bikers season.

Does anybody else remember the stunts he pulled to try to keep the cinema alive?

Comments about this page

  • I don’t remember your dad, but I remember the Curzon/Classic very well indeed. I went to quite a lot of the ‘radical’ late night viewings, and they were very popular indeed with teenagers. Especially as there were double seats at the back! During afternoon matinee’s teas and cakes were served.

    By Lesley (12/03/2008)
  • I remember the all night shows, usually horror (Hammer type). The shows would start about 11.00pm, pub closing time. At first they’d be a bit rowdy but eventually most would fall asleep. It was a strange feeling, when the lights went up, wondering where you were. Then there was the prospect of the long walk home on a Sunday morning with hardly any buses about and no cafes.

    By Ken (08/09/2008)
  • I was a projectonist at the classic cinema in Western Road when your dad was the manager, he was flamboyant indeed, even getting me to help him make a life size cardboard projector to go on the balcony on the outside of the building. What is he up to now? I am currently technical manager at the Duke Of Yorks in Brighton and have been since 1980.

    By Jimmy Anderson (11/11/2010)
  • I remember you Jimmy Anderson, we both went to Wetlaine and in the 1980s. I lived in Viaduct Rd and used to sit in the projection room with you.

    By Dan Howell (23/11/2010)
  • About the time Star Wars was showing the cinema ran a kids’ story writing competition in partnership with the Argus. The winner’s story would be turned into a Super 8 film during a day’s shooting around the streets of Brighton under the supervision of the manager – who I believe was Chris Hughes.

    As one of the two runner-ups I got to be cameraman, the other runner-up was on sound, and the young lady who won directed. It was a great day out and at the end of it we asked if we could nip in and watch the last hour or so of Star Wars!

    Unfortunately the planned screening never materialised and so I never got to see the final cut! From time to time over the years I wondered how it turned out…

    By T. Bingham (17/04/2022)

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