Brighton and Hove Revisited

The Brighton Turkish Baths

By Jennifer Drury

Like a Moorish Temple

The building which was The Academy cinema was previously The Brighton Hamman, a Turkish baths which was opened on the 12th October 1868. The owners hoped to cash in on the then current fashion for vapour baths as made popular by Sake Deen Mohammed, who had a thriving business in Kings Road. A contemporary commentator described the building as "rising like some Moorish Temple, resplendent with crimson and gilt, encaustic and terracotta" in total contrast to the very English-looking ‘gables and bow-windows’ surrounding it.”

1911 Conversion into a cinema

The baths operated until they were sold in 1911 when the building was converted into a 400 seater cinema which, with several refurbishments and name changes, remained open till 1939. The once magnificent Turkish bath was then entirely remodelled in typical 1930s cinema style, remaining open until it was finally demolished in 1973.

Photo:Built in 1912 on the site of the Turkish Baths (1868 - 1911) it was then the largest of Brighton's few cinemas until dwarfed by the Regent, opened in July 1921

Built in 1912 on the site of the Turkish Baths (1868 - 1911) it was then the largest of Brighton's few cinemas until dwarfed by the Regent, opened in July 1921

Royal Pavilion and Museums Brighton and Hove

Photo:Undated advertisement for the Brighton Turkish Baths

Undated advertisement for the Brighton Turkish Baths

Royal Pavilion and Museums Brighton and Hove

Photo:The  Academy Cinema, West Street, which was remodelled in 1939,  photographed on 22 October 1972.

The Academy Cinema, West Street, which was remodelled in 1939, photographed on 22 October 1972.

Image reproduced with kind permission of The Regency Society and The James Gray Collection

Photo:The site of the old Academy Cinema is now a Yate's Wine Lodge with offices above

The site of the old Academy Cinema is now a Yate's Wine Lodge with offices above

Photo by Tony Mould

This page was added on 14/01/2013.
Comments about this page

The replacement building is tragic!

By Tich Dixon (02/11/2013)

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