This film is part of Free

Herne Bay after the cinemas have gone

Alan Stingemore's short film shows what happens after a town's 1930s cinema has vanished from the scene - and the conservation efforts to rescue an even earlier example.

Amateur film 1989 3 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for Screen Archive South East


The film starts at the junction of Avenue Road and Sea Street in Herne Bay where a large block of flats can be seen. The flats occupy the site where Herne Bay's original Odeon, later renamed Cannon, cinema once stood. We then move to the town's promenade with views of the Clock Tower and Pier Pavilion. A couple feed the local gulls accompanied by barking dogs. We then see an older building covered in scaffolding which was originally known as the Red Lantern Cinema.

Alan Stingemore's film follows up his earlier work which captured the demolition of Herne Bay’s Odeon cinema. Both films are held at Screen Archive South East. The Red Lantern cinema, seen in the latter half of this film, was originally opened in August 1911 as the Cinema De Luxe before closing for alterations by the architect J Wilson. Reopening in 1912 and now called the Bijou Theatre, it staged concerts and variety shows as well as screening films. After another name change to the Coliseum, the cinema was sold to a new owner in 1926 who once again renamed it as the Red Lantern Theatre. Closing in 1937 the building became a clothing factory for many years before finally opening as an antiques shopping arcade.