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Ice lollies and the cheap seats

Astoria Cinema undated photograph
From the private collection of JD

‘Drink on a Stick’

When I first moved to Brighton, the Astoria Cinema used to show the regular type of shows, one main picture and a supporting picture. Do you remember that? The good old days with an ‘intermission’. The lights would go up and a lady would be at the front of the stalls selling ice creams from a tray. Do you remember the ‘Drink on a Stick’? I cannot remember how much they were. Maybe someone can enlighten me?

Do you remember the Astoria Cinema? What about those ‘Drink on a Stick’ lollies? Please post your comment below

The cheap seats

Then, probably around the late 1950s or early 1960s they started showing only the ‘big’ movies like Mutiny on the Bounty, 2001 and others. When they showed these movies you had to have an assigned seat. I remember going with members of the Patcham Youth Club to see Mutiny on the Bounty and having to sit in the very front row – the cheap seats. The screen from that vantage point was so large that looking up Marlon Brando’s nose was rather intimidating and watching the action from one end of the screen to the other gave you a strained neck!

Comments about this page

  • Yes, I remember the ABC minors club on a Saturday morning. I was great fun. I saw many of the Marks Bros films there.

    By Tony Stevens (21/03/2015)
  • Yes, I recall those huge screens. I saw Ben Hur in similar circumstances in London via a school outing in about 1959. By the time you scanned across the picture from one corner to the other, another scene had already started! The intermissions brought about a mad rush to the poor lady selling ice creams, and lollies. How they saw the money in the dim torchlight I really don’t know!

    By Stefan Bremner-Morris (22/03/2015)
  • When Steven Spielberg’s ‘Jaws’ opened in Brighton, it was first shown at the Astoria. I remember, seated in the circle, everyone in the Stalls jumping when the head appeared in the boat wreck! It then transferred to the KingsWest Centre which at the time had a floor-to-ceiling window overlooking the seafront. Whenever I watch the opening of the film with the bell ringing on the buoy, I remember that view from the KingsWest concourse.

    By Mark Elliott (13/04/2015)

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