Brighton and Hove Revisited

Vogue Gyratory

By Jennifer Drury

Click on the images to open a large version in a new window.

Photo:The site before demolition in 1983

The site before demolition in 1983

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

Named after the cinema

The junction of Lewes Road, Bear Road , Hollingdean Road, and Upper Lewes Roads is known as the 'Vogue Gyratory system' after the former Vogue Cinema. Built as the Gaiety in 1937 in the grounds of the then Allen Arms, the cinema had a fifty-foot high neon-lit façade. In November 1965 it was renamed the Ace, and in January 1968 became a full-time bingo hall, but films were presented again from December 1969, and in 1971 the name was changed to the Vogue.

Sainsbury's opened 1985

The building later became a pornographic film club with regular strip-tease acts, but in 1979 the 1,500-seat Vogue was renamed the Classic after that cinema in Western Road had closed, and it then closed itself in October 1980. The new road layout opened in the summer of 1984. The Sainsburys superstore opened on 23 April 1985 on the site of the railway viaduct and Arthur H.Cox's pill factory, and won the 1985 Brighton Council design award with its 'warehouse' style, the arches of its walls echoing those of the former viaduct.

Do you remember the cinema? What films did you see there? What about the Vogue Gyratory? I am sure lots of you have comments to make about this. Please leave your comment below.

Photo:Part of the Vogue Gyratory today

Part of the Vogue Gyratory today

Photo by Tony Mould

This page was added on 13/01/2013.
Comments about this page

I loved the Gaiety cinema, I remember my Dad taking me to see 'Thunderball' there in 1964 when I was 7 years old, he sometimes took me to see Jerry Lewis films as well as he was a big fan. I also remember in 1964 queuing up to see 'A Hard Days Night' and getting right near to the door and being told it was full up and I'd have to wait until the next showing!! Of course I did as I was a big Beatles fan and I also saw 'Help' there as well. I seem to recall the prices as 1s/6d downstairs at the front and 2s (two-bob) at the back, then it was 2s/6d upstairs. It was a lovely old cinema and a great shame it was pulled down to make way for a pretty awful road system.

By Paul Clarkson (13/01/2013)

Brilliant post, Jennifer. Love all those Then And Now pictures. I remember this location well, used to pass it frequently on my way to play in Saunders Park. Of course, the Kemp Town Branch's Lewes Road Viaduct was only a hundred metres or so to the south (left of the picture).

By Len Liechti (13/01/2013)

Thank you for posting these pictures. I drive around the Gyratory everyday, and 1983 isn't THAT long ago, but it's amazing how quickly we can forget what an area looked like. The junction was so much simpler then than now! I curse it everytime I use it (cars merging with each other with no-one having right of way). As for the Gaiety/Vogue cinema, I remember my friend persuading me to go with her to see Easy Rider one afternoon in 1969/70. I was only 14, and Easy Rider was an X-certificate. I hated it. I had to leave before the end to do my paper-round delivering the Evening Argus.

By Janet Beal (13/01/2013)

I can remember queuing outside the Gaiety with my Mum in the 50s to see 'The King and I' musical. We saw all the 50s musicals. It was a treat as we had no television until I was about 12.

By Jackie Thomas/Parker nee Jones (11/05/2013)

I remember going to Saturday morning pictures at the Vogue in the early - mid 70s. Happy days

By Anthony Miller (26/10/2013)

Hi Anthony Miller, are you known as Dusty? Friend of Lucan .

By Lee Ambler (27/10/2013)

I remember going to Saturday morning pictures here too! Probably late 60s.

By Tich Dixon (02/11/2013)

Hi Lee Ambler.  Yes that's right I am known as Dusty and I was a friend of Lucan. Do you know what became of him?

By Anthony Miller (02/11/2013)

Just up from the Gaiety, up Hollingdean Road was a charity shop opened by Raystede Animal Centre, this was around 1969, and my mum was the grey- haired lady who ran it and lived over the shop. Due the colour of her hair and the style she was always being mistaken for the head of the charity, Ms Raymonde Hawkins.

By John Davis (12/11/2013)

Have a terrible memory of my dad dragging me along to see 'Mr Hulot's Holiday' there in the 60s. Even my dad had to admit afterwards the film was not quite as he remembered it in the 40s!

By Graham Boyce (09/07/2014)

As a child in the mid 70s, I was driven daily past the 'Vogue'. All the advertised films appeared to be X-certificate and titillating to a degree (Emmanuel etc.) leading us to proclaim daily that 'All will be revealed at the Vogue', to peals of silly giggles. 

By Jon (12/10/2015)

What little history that existed in the area has now been erased. Cox's pill factory, the viaduct and the Gaiety were long gone, but in the past two years we have seen the demolition of what had been the electric saw mills at the bottom of Newmarket Road and also of the pub that was next to the cinema, the Allen Arms (latterly The White Crow, The Hub, before that No Man is an Island and for many years The Counting House) and the conversion into flats of The Newmarket pub at the top of Newmarket Road. 

By Helen (13/10/2015)

Yes, the pub in the photos has now been demolished, along with its curved side boundary wall to the right. I believe it followed the line of the original party wall between the pub and the Gaiety/Ace/Vogue/Classic cinema.

By Alan Hobden (13/10/2015)

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