Fratton Electric Theatre

Goldsmith Avenue,
Portsmouth, PO4 0AW

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Fratton Electric Theatre

Situated in the Fratton district of Portsmouth, near to Fratton (railway) Bridge, the Fratton Electric Theatre opened on 30th July 1910. It was owned by Fratton Electric Theatre Ltd.

The building dated back to 1759, when it was probably used as a grain store. By 1849 it had been converted into a church, before being converted for cinema use.

On 8th December 1914 the operating licence was transferred to Mr F. Pearce then, on 11th January 1916, to Mr J. Barlow.

This short-lived cinema had closed by 29th January 1918.

Initially used for whist drives and other social activities, as a United Services Club, in June 1922 it became home to a very early branch of the then-newly founded (in May 1921) British Legion.

The building was demolished in February 1984 for road-widening. (The British Legion moved to new premises at Lucknow Street, Fratton.) The demolition process uncovered the former cinema’s name, set proudly in terrazzo, that had been covered over for many years. Unfortunately, it was not possible to save this.

Contributed by David Simpson
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