Windmill and Kursaal. On pier Road, Littlehampton

In the early 20th century cinematography developed to be a hugely successful new form of entertainment. From the 1930s sound and colour were added to the recordings and, as a result, live entertainment went into a decline and many theatres became cinemas.  Like most towns in this period, Littlehampton had several cinemas.

Regent Cinema, Terminus Road

Opened in 1911, opposite the railway station, the Electric Picture Palace later became Regent Cinema in 1931. It closed in 1960.

Regent Pub. A colour image with blue skies

Palladium, Church Street

Originally opened as The Olympic Skating Rink in 1910, the building was converted to a cinema in around 1912, becoming The Empire Theatre.

In 1916 the lease was taken by local actor/manager Harry Joseph who changed its name to The Palladium. After the war it was run exclusively as a cinema and lasted until 1986 when it was demolished to make way for a block of flats. The developer took inspiration when naming then ‘Amenic Court’ which reads ‘Cinema’ backwards.

Palladium Cinema in black and white

Odeon, High Street

In the middle of the High Street, the striking Art Deco Odeon Cinema was built between 1931 and 1936 by Oscar Deutsch. After undergoing several name changes, it was demolished in 1984 to make way for a parade of shops.

Odeon Cinema black and white image with old cars in front


In 1926 the ‘Broadway’ development was built on the site of John Butt’s orchard in Surrey Street opposite the Dolphin. The central feature was a small arcade leading to a cinema. The entrance to the arcade is still visible between what is now a bakery and an estate agent.

Old flyer for the Broadway development, Littlehampton
Old illustration of Broadway cinema

Windmill Theatre

The Windmill Theatre was originally built as a shelter hall in 1912, being adapted in 1927 to become The Western Pavilion and again in the late 1960s and early 1970s becoming the Windmill Theatre. Close to the Windmill theatre, on the river, stood the Arun Mill, built in 1831 and worked until 1913.

In 1912, The Kursaal, a Pierrot theatre and fun palace, was built next to the windmill on the riverside by local entertainer Harry Joseph.  The Kursaal’s name changed to The Cassino in 1914 and then to the Plaza in 1931. The land containing the theatre and the Arun Mill were sold in the early 1930s to Billy Butlin who demolished these structures to build his fun fair.

To learn more about local cinema, read the book by A. E. Readman, Cinema West Sussex: The First Hundred Years.

Old image of windmill and casino
Ozzie's Quiz - Ozzie the owl holding a sign saying Ozzie's Quiz


Who built the Odean Cinema?

Oscar Deutsch

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