Rivoli Cinema

Chapel Road & North Street,
Worthing, BN11

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Additional Info

Firms: Burdwood & Mitchell

Styles: Italian Renaissance

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Rivoli Cinema

Located in the West Sussex seaside town of Worthing. The Rivoli Cinema was opened on 10th March 1924 with Douglas Fairbanks in “Robin Hood”. Designed in an Italian Renaissance style by architectural firm Burdwood & Mitchell of Baker Street, London, it had seating in stalls and circle levels, with a series of six boxes located on the stalls level. It was equipped with a Jardine 2Manual/16 stops organ, which had the organ pips on view on each side of the proscenium splay walls. The roof could be opened in summer months and there was a large tea-room located in the vestibule over the entrance foyer.

In 1929, the Rivoli Cinema was equipped with a Western Electric(WE) sound system, and became the first cinema in the town to screen a ‘talkie’: Al Jolson in “The Singing Fool”. The Rivoli Cinema was independently operated throughout its life by S.E. Seebold, who also operated the towns' Dome Cinema.

In the early morning of 19th January 1960, a fire destroyed the auditorium of the Rivoli Cinema. The films playing that week were “The Navy Lark” and “The Oregon Trail”. The frontage of the cinema and foyer area survived, and were converted into sales and auction rooms in early-1965. The site of the auditorium became a car park for the business. The frontage and adacent shop units were demolished on 29th April 1984, to allow for road widening of Chapel Road.

Contributed by Ken Roe
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