Tatler Cinema Club

16 Albert Road,
Bournemouth, BH1 1BZ

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Additional Info

Firms: Kemp, Welsh & Pinder

Functions: Casino

Styles: Baroque

Previous Names: Theatre Royal, Bournemouth Theatre & Opera House, New Theatre Royal, Curzon Casino Cinema

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Tatler Cinema Club

Opened as the Theatre Royal on 7th December 1882, the local architectural firm of Kemp, Welsh & Pindar were responsible for this live theatre. Internal decorations were by Walter Bevis to the designs of R.T. Sims of London. In 1887 it was converted into the Town Hall. In 1892 it was converted back into theatre use again and had 1,100 seats, re-named Bournemouth Theatre & Opera House. It was screening Bioscope films as part of the programme by 1912. It operated into the early-1940’s when it then became a services club, but suffered fire damage in 1943.

It was reconstructed and re-opened in 1949 as the New Theatre Royal. In July 1962 it converted into a dual-purpose cinema and bingo club and was re-named Curzon Casino Cinema. In 1971 the auditorium was twinned with a cinema operating in the former upstairs area and a Vogue Bingo Club in the former stalls area. The cinema was screening adult porn films and was known as the Tatler Cinema Club.

The Tatler Cinema Club closed in 1982 and this part of the building has remained un-used for many years. In 2004 it operated briefly as the Mine nightclub. The former bingo club in the downstairs stalls area is still in use, now as a casino which uses the former stage door entrance at the rear of the building in Yelverton Road. In October 2016 the building is offered ‘For Sale’. The exterior of the building is Grade II Listed.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on June 4, 2007 at 3:54 pm

Lost Memory; That link is to a photograph of a former cinema in Glasgow, Scotland (last known as the Tatler Cinema Club).

There were many Tatler Cinema Clubs operating in the UK in the 1970’s and 1980’s. They were operated by Classic Cinemas and were usually re-branded former Classic Cinema’s which were not doing good business. In the right location, a sex cinema could make a lot of money. There are currently no other Tatler Cinema Clubs listed on Cinema Treasures under this name, but there are some cinemas that ‘turned around’ after being Tatler Cinema Clubs eg:

the Rio Cinema, Dalston, London, the Classic Cinema, Colindale, London, the Odeon Park Royal, London and the Classic Cinema, Stockwell, London are all listed with aka’s.

kevinp on June 4, 2007 at 4:07 pm

Lost Memory, that one is in Scotland !

The Tatler’s that I recall( er hem researched ) were cheap 70’s take-overs that made a quick buck out of soft-porn exploitation, often in run-down…or soon to be running-down areas…eg Walthamstow (former Empire cinema 1913 ), The art-deco restored Rio in Hackney ( Dalston exactly ), The Classic,the first ever called that, in South Croydon
Hope that helps a bit ?



Ian on February 3, 2008 at 7:58 pm

Two photos of the Theatre Royal / Curzon / Tatler in Bournemouth here:–

View link

View link

james2003 on February 15, 2009 at 4:28 pm

The former Theatre Royal building now looks set to become a Portugese church according to the local press.

james2003 on March 5, 2009 at 4:03 pm

The opening programme at Bournemouth’s Tatler cinema club when opened on the 19 July 1971 was a double-bill featuring Hot Spur and The Tale Of The Dean’s Wife.

The projectors used at this cinema were a pair of Kalee-20’s, which were apparently bought from a cinema in Frome.

To become a member of the Tatler Cinema Club, you had to be eighteen or over and the price of a year’s membership back in 1971 was £1.00. The prices of admission were usually 50p but there was also a 25p concession price for guests and senior citizens.

The Tatler operated seven days a week usually open from 12:30pm to 10:30pm but opened later at 2:30pm on Sundays.

dericbotham on December 15, 2009 at 10:37 am

I remember seeing Lita Rosa (a popular singer in the 50’s) in this theatre. I also saw Jason & The Argonauts in its cinema years. Sadly, this lovely building in now painted a ghastly shade of pink and looks very forlorn. Situated in one of the UK’s premier holiday resorts you would think that saomeone might have the imagination to do something more than operate a rather seedy casino.

Biffaskin on August 4, 2020 at 7:00 pm

There was also a news cinema incorporated into the premises, whilst still operating as a theatre. I’ve added the full page adverts plus a close up of the news theatre advert. It often went by the name of Premier News Theatre.

kalee7 on December 28, 2020 at 6:23 pm

According to my diary I went to the News Theatre in Bournemouth on 1st. March 1958

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