Hove Ice Rink

Built in 1929

By Jennifer Drury

Area formerly a farm

Until the 1870s the area formed part of Rigden’s Farm, and when this was broken up for building, a small part was left as open land. Soon it became nursery ground and in the 1920s was known as Miles' Nurseries; there was a small bowling green behind. The Hove Ice Rink was built in 1929 on the land formerly occupied by the nurseries.Although the rink was well supported at first, in the early 1930s it fell victim to the increasing new cinema craze, as the building was easily convertible for that purpose.

Photo:Hove Ice Rink undated photograph

Hove Ice Rink undated photograph

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

Photo:Interior of Hove Ice Rink: undated photograph

Interior of Hove Ice Rink: undated photograph

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

Converted into a cinema

Conversion to cinema use was completed to designs by Robert Cromie within ten weeks; seating was in a stadium plan, all on one floor. The ice rink was reopened by the Mayor of Hove as the ‘Lido Cinema’ in May 1932, with Laurel & Hardy in ‘Come Clean’. Throughout the heyday of the cinema, the 1930s and the 1940s, the Lido was very popular with Hove cinemagoers and was nearly always full. The cinema also boasted a large ballroom and a cafe, plus a free car park and cloakrooms.

Photo:Converted to a bowling alley

Converted to a bowling alley

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

Photo:The site in Denmark Villas,  photographed in 2012

The site in Denmark Villas, photographed in 2012

Photo by Tony Mould



Demolished in 1970

By the end of the 1950s, however, audiences dwindled and after a very brief spell again as an Ice Rink it finally became a tenpin bowling alley, called the Hove Bowl, for the last few years of its life. In 1969, after standing for only 40 years, the building was sold in April 1969 to a property developer, and was demolished in 1970. The site now has retail units on the ground floor and office space above.


This page was added on 06/03/2013.

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