Devonshire Park Theatre
8 Compton Street,
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Eastbourne Theatres (Official)
Architects: Henry Currey, Frank Matcham
Firms: Frank Matcham & Company
Functions: Live Theatre
Styles: Italian Renaissance
Previous Names: Devonshire Park Pavilion, Pavilion Super Cinema
The Devonshire Park Theatre was opened in 1884, and was designed by architect Henry Currey, who was architect to the 7th Duke of Devonshire who built the theatre. In 1903 noted theatre architect Frank Matcham carried out alterations to the proscenium and stage boxes. The proscenium is 24 feet wide and the stage 22 feet deep.
Although mainly used as a live theatre, by 1911 it was screening films and was known as the Devonshire Park Pavilion. In 1912 it was showing some Kinemacolour films. The Devonshire Park Pavilion was the first cinema in Eastbourne to screen ‘talkies’ when “Broadway Melody of 1929” was screened on 7th October 1929. It was equipped with a British Thomson Houston(BTH) sound system. By 1934 it was known as the Pavilion Super Cinema presenting pictures and variety. By 1948 it was re-named Devonshire Park Theatre again, and was in use as a repertory theatre presenting plays.
The Devonshire Park Theatre is now owned and operated by the local council and is a Grade II Listed building.
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Recent comments (view all 1 comments)
The original sound system was the British-made Naturetone disc and sound-on-film system (newspaper report at the time, and KYB 1931). Within a couple of years it had been replaced with another fringe brand, Ultramonic (KYB 1933).
Naturetone was described as sibilant and tinny after a trade show at the London Hippodrome in 1929.