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Save those memories

The Hippodrome when used as a bingo hall
Photo by Jonathan Swain

An electric atmosphere

How well I remember my evenings at the Hippodrome. My parents were true theatre-goers and I remember them taking me to the shows. There always seemed to be a buzz about the place from the moment you arrived at the entrance, the atmosphere was electric, very warm and inviting. We would sit and wait for the start of the evening’s performance, the lights would dim, the spotlights would light up the stage curtains and you would hear the pit orchestra play the introductory music. The sounds would fill you with excitement and the show would commence, usually with the chorus line.

A galaxy of star names

The shows I remember seeing were Laurel and Hardy, Norman Evans, with his chat ‘Over the garden wall’, Max Wall, Frankie Howard, Billy Cotton and his band, Norman Vaughan, Max Miller, Ronnie Ronalde  whose signature song was ”If I were a blackbird“. I saw Larry Adler, he gave out mini mouth organs to most of the audience then gave us instruction how to play a tune with him leading the tune. I also remember seeing Jimmy Edwards, Dave King, and Vic Oliver. The last visits I made I think were to see Frankie Vaughan, and Helen Shapiro. Sad to see the Hippodrome go to ruin.

Help save the Hippodrome

There is a petition on Brighton and Hove Council website for anyone who opposes the current plans to turn the building into yet another multi-screen cinema. Help to save this essential part of the rich history of entertainment in Brighton. You can sign the petition here.

Comments about this page

  • How tragic it is that our last and only variety  theatre the Hippodrome could maybe finish up as a multiscreen theatre or worse. We have seen many sites of Brighton vanish into multi-level  blocks, the current one being the much loved Coop in London Road. Please all you Brightonians who remember the  past years. and have experienced  the thrill of live theatre, stand up and vote to save our Hippodrome. We still have the Theatre Royal – let us all make sure we can revive and preserve our much loved Hippodrome as well. It is a chance to say thank you for the pleasure that the Hippodrome has  made possible  during those early years.

    By Joe Mann (10/12/2013)
  • I’d like to say I cannot believe this could happen- and in a more enlightened city which is actually aware of its architectural heritage, it would not. Unfortunately, the rot of destruction which started in Brighton in the 1950s seems to continue to date. It is almost as though the “Out with the old, in with the crap” ethos of the 60s and 70s had never ended. If this latest miserable proposal comes to pass then the city council should be towed out to sea on a barge, and sunk by gunfire. They have screwed up this city quite enough in the last 50 years.

    By Mark Thompson (17/01/2014)

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