Classic Cinema

Late night music films

By Paul Clarkson

 
Photo:Classic Cinema: Western Road

Classic Cinema: Western Road

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

Usually a big queue

I remember the Classic Cinema in the early 1970s when I was in my teens; I left school in 1973. I used to go there with a friend throughout 1972/73 for the late night music films on a Saturday. We used to get there at about 10.30pm for an 11pm start and the queue used to go around the corner and a fair way up Montpelier Road.

20p a ticket for entry

They showed some fabulous films at that time 'A Hard Days Night' and 'Help' on a number of occasions; I'm a big Beatles fan so I went every time. I saw 'Woodstock', 'Creams’ Last Concert', 'The Who Live At Monterey', 'Gimme Shelter' and 'Easy Rider'. I vaguely remember seeing 'Alice's Restaurant' there as well. I remember it used to cost about 20p a ticket which was reasonable for the time and it was always full.

A magical Brighton walk

We always had to rely on good weather as we used to come out at around 2am and there were no buses and a taxi was out of the question. My friend lived at the bottom of Trafalgar Street and I lived at the north end of Upper Lewes Road, so if it rained I got a soaking. In the summer there was something a bit magical about walking through an empty Brighton at night, we never felt threatened at all but then Brighton was a totally different town in 1973.

Do you remember the late night music films? Which ones did you see? Please share your memories with us by posting a comment below.

This page was added on 30/07/2013.
Comments about this page

This used to be called the Curzon and showed feature films a few months later than the main cinemas such as the Regent and Odeon. If you look at the front of the existing shops on the site on the left hand side is one pillar of the old frontage to be seen.

By Ken Ross (30/07/2013)

I too used to walk home through Brighton at all hours of the night and I'd have to disagree with the idea that there was never a feeling of being threatened. Brighton in 1973 was as rough as it's ever been, if not rougher and late night fights were common place.

By Jester the Clown (02/08/2013)

Late night walks through Brighton have always been a pleasure. At first, I started out of necessity - living in Patcham and missing the last bus home. Later, when I had moved to the centre of town I spent many hours walking around in the small hours. I never had any trouble myself - I did once get stopped by the Drug Squad at 3am, outside Hove Town Hall though. This was in the mid to late 70s. I also spent a time working shifts in the computer department at Amex, and we kept some very strange hours. Great times, playing football on the seafront at 4am - which was our lunch hour! Popping round to the Market Diner for a fry up, with all the delivery guys for the Fruit and Veg Market. Brighton was truly a town that never slept.

By Marc Turner (03/08/2013)

I agree there were some great films shown during those late night sessions. Unfortunately I also recall the number of times friends and I would get stopped by the police at 2am while walking home. "Right lads, where have you been, where are you going, empty out your pockets..." One night one of my mates was so fed up with it he asked the coppers why they kept stopping us. Next minute he was flat on his face on the ground with a knee in his back being told that if he said one more word he'd be spending the night at John Street. 40 years later those incidents still influence my view of the police.

By John Wilkin (07/08/2013)

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