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A magnificient foyer like a Sultan's palace

Oh dear – the poor old Hippodrome! I used to go there when I was a kid, to watch all the big stars. I saw the Beatles there. Now it’s a bingo hall. But they still let you sneak in, if you’re careful, and see the magnificent foyer, which is like a sultan’s palace. Unfortunately, when you go into the auditorium, it’s a bit different. Instead of all the great stars you used to see there, all you see now is bingo.

Hippodrome, Middle Street 1994
From the private collection of Mike Stone
Mike Stone with Mr Punch
From the private collection of Mike Stone

Comments about this page

  • I worked at the Hippodrome during its transformation from theatre to bingo hall at the time when the old stage was demolished to be replaced by modern technology. I suppose that myself and my colleagues at the time stepped into the new and, at the time, uncertain future for the historic building, realising that the true purpose had left us behind.

    By Des Parker (12/01/2003)
  • During the war, we used to pay ninepence for a side circle seat. For that price you could see all the top variety acts every week.

    By Dennis Andrews (17/06/2004)
  • Does anyone have pictures of the inside when it was in use either as a theatre or as a circus ?

    By Ben (20/02/2005)
  • So, the Hippodrome is no longer needed even as a Bingo hall. What will become of the old place now? It is hoped that it could be reopened as a live theatre with shows and plays such as are seen at the Theatre Royal; but no doubt it will go the same way as all our other theatres no longer with us. Please let us hope that it does not end up like the Astoria – deserted, rotting and forgotten.

    By Tony Clevett (15/08/2006)
  • When I was a girl my mum and aunty used to take me to see all the shows. We sat in the ‘gods’. Roy Castle, Jimmy Edwards (and horse), Tommy Trinder, to name but a few. Afterwards we would get cockles or fish and chips to eat on the way to the bus stop. Happy days.

    By Sandie Waller (23/05/2007)
  • I cannot remember what year it was, but I met a girl while working at the Odeon West Street. We went to to Jackonellis coffee bar at the bottom of Ship Street, then to the Hippodrome. We saw a act called Ron Dart and Jean, who needed someone to go on stage to help them. After we went to the Regent dancing.

    By John Dine (05/04/2010)
  • I remember Brighton Hippodrome well. In the early 1950s I lived opposite the Hippodrome at number 33 Middle Street. My father Had an Estate Agents there called Worth and Co. I used to hang about outside the stage door and wait to collect the autographs of the stars, among them Norman Wisdom, Petula Clark, Benny Hill, Frankie Laine, Alam Coogan. But the greatest claim to fame was we had a dog called Oscar Wilde and one evening after Hippodrome turnout it got out and went and bit Laurel, of Laurel and Hardy fame, in the ankle. At the bottom of Missle Street was a man who felt bumps on heads, called Mesmer Berg. I can remember Jaconelli’s too, first time was the famous jukebox blaring out the Tennesse Waltz. Lovely memories and this is a wonderful site. In those days I was known as Trudy Wirthmiller, now I am a religious. Sr Mary Agatha- Poor Clare Sister

    By Sr Agatha (18/06/2010)
  • Sr Agatha, I think your memory fails you although it was many years ago. Mesmer Berg was a palmist who read palms, he did not feel bumps on heads.

    By Marie (06/03/2012)
  • It would have been around ’65/66. I was driving home from a gig heading down Middle Street for the sea front. The Beatles were starring at The Hippodrome and there were a crowd of kids outside spilling on to the street so I slowed right down.
    A few kids tried to jump onto my minivan, I suppose thinking I had the Beatles inside (fat chance).That was a hairy moment.

    By John Snelling (28/01/2021)

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