Comments about this page

In the late 1944 my Mother was a cashier there. It was here during the same period that I saw "The Prisoner of Zenda" starring Ronald Coleman, David Niven, Douglas Fairbanks Jnr & Sir C. Aubry-Smith. A wonderful film.

By John Wall VK2 (13/02/2010)

For more on the Continentale and Byrne's other venue, the Prince's in North Street, including then-and-now photographs, see QueenSpark's excellent "Back Row Brighton: Cinema-Going In Brighton & Hove".

By Len Liechti (13/02/2010)

I also saw Brigitte Bardot in 'Light across the Street' at the Continentale. I think we were supposed to be 16 years of age but we told a fib and got in OK.

By Graham Sharp (04/03/2011)

I think it was about 1965 when I saw Saturday Night Sunday Morning there. The lady in the kiosk with short red hair would, after taking your money, leave the kiosk to usher you to your seat. Although only sixteen at the time, after seeing the film I went straight into The Somerset Arms at the bottom of Sudeley and ordered a stout and mild, just like Arthur Seaton in the film.

By Mick Sutton (08/03/2011)

The Continental cinema was a sort of risque cinema. As young teenagers we could look at the photos etc of up and coming films which always looked a bit naughty to me as a naive young lad. The only film that I ever saw there was a film called Macabre. If I remember rightly there was some idiotic hype that you might need insurance as the scary content was frightening. As I remember the film consisted of a skull floating around and doing whatever a floating skull does. Totally not scary at all.

By Mick Peirson (08/02/2012)

I attended the Brighton Junior Tech in Hanover Terrace between 1950 and'54. Our French teacher there was a M Behar - very French. He would give us practical French lessons by taking classes to the Continentale. I recall the comedy "M Hulot's Holiday"; "The Green Mare's Nest" and "Clochmerle" the last of which was quite risque for 14/15 year olds! I recall seeing a rather erotic film there in the mid-sixties which was when the cinema was going downhill. John C Snelling

By john Snelling (23/12/2012)

Yes, that was a lovely special way to see those films, especially with the 'underwater wobble' and I was lucky enough to have Peter Strausfeld as my tutor at the then Poly on Grand Parade. He was a lovely man and I loved him dearly - and I have collected some of his posters with the artwork. Magical wondrous times. There is a book about him, Eine Kolner Kunstler- copies are available on Amazon. I think he should have a Blue Plaque.

By ken Standing (05/03/2013)

This page is pure Proust (for madeleine substitute 'Continental'). We art students were lucky, this little, inadequate cinema (fleapit?) gave us Carne, Fellini, Truffaut, Bergman, auteurs who indelibly etched themselves upon our memories long after the so-called giants showing at the 70mm theatres, as those in West Street, had faded into insignificance (somewhere in the art college archives there is a black and white reel of 8mm that friends and I made heavily (!!) influenced by The Seventh Seal, some years back it turned up as 'anon' on a BBC documentary). Rainy Sunday afternoons in Paston Place. The fluttering of the soundtrack was our hearts. And Catherine Deneuve still retains her magic.

By Martin Baker (21/09/2013)

Some nice photos, Ian. I particularly like the one of the Bristol Lodekka in St George's Road. I should perhaps point out though that the old Continentale cinema was actually a little further east than Paston Place, on the western side of Sudeley Place.

By Alan Hobden (24/11/2013)

My dad used to work as the projectionist there back in the mid '50s, it was a bit of cash in hand for Friday night to give the owner a night off. My job was to go and get the fish and chips!! Loved watching those big projectors running, and my dad rewinding the film back onto the spools he could get the film walking along the bench. IIRC he told me the projectors were Swiss built - excuse the pun but they really ran like clocks, must be worth a fortune now but I suppose they got scrapped. Cheers Mickmatt

By Michael Matthews (19/04/2016)

The Continentale, as I remember, wasn't in Paston Place, but the next street along. Can't remember the street's name. (Opposite the bread and dripping shop). I remember seeing 'The Wages of Fear' there, late '50s about trucks carrying nitro across the mountains. Good movie too. 

By Kenneth Muzzall (06/07/2016)

The King's Cliff cinema opened on this site in Sudeley Place, Kemptown in 1920.  It was renamed Continetaale in  1951.  It closed in December 1986 following the death of Miles Byrne and is now four dwellings.

By Pippa Jones (22/04/2017)

Thank you Pippa Jones, that is wonderful information. Myles Byrne owned many cinemas over Sussex. He was a legend in cinema & film history, he has never got  the recognition he deserved. Most of the small picture houses in Sussex were his, he bought cinema to the public before television, unfortunately a forgotten & great man.


By Terry Hyde (23/04/2017)

Yes, I agree, it wasn't in Paston Place, it was in Sudeley Place, opposite the 'bread & dripping' cafe. I lived in Sussex Square from 1947 to 1953 and was able to watch a film there around 1952 when I was 14, as it wasn't an adult film, it was a film about an early 19th century warship.

I seem to remember that they sold cups of tea in the auditorium. My pal and I often had a slice of bread and dripping in that cafe, which was called "Tugwell's". I knew the owner's daughter.    

By Vic Bath (25/04/2017)

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