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Author Topic: Imperial Picture House, Crawley  (Read 2297 times)
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daveSea
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« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2014, 15:47:36 PM »

Strangely there does seem to have been a revamped facade after 1911 and before the fire
I've got some photos with the Cinema in the background I'll go through and see if I can pin
down the date. I'd also be interested in the dimensions, was it enlarged after the fire, originally
there was a printing works on the other side to the garage. I presume the cinema was behind
this as well as being behind the original facade. The fire photos show quite a wide building, certainly
wider than the 1911 frontage.   
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Dave
pomme homme
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« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2014, 17:33:50 PM »

I don't pretend to be any sort of authority on the history and architecture of cinemas, but I can recollect some cinemas - long since gone - the width of whose entrance hall/ticket office was disproportionately small in contrast to that of the auditorium. I suspect that this was because, generally, street frontages were much costlier - either to buy or to rent - than 'backland'. Thus it made commercial sense for the largest part of the cinema - in terms of floor space - to be situated where the land was cheapest. After all, once the cinema goer had bought his or her ticket, there was no need for the entrance corridor or the auditorium to have any windows and thus they had no idea exactly where they were going or where they were seated. Thus the cinema could have an ostentatious 'front of house', perhaps situated on a 'prime location' street, from which one might have walked some distance, down a corridor lit only by electricity (or perhaps, in the early days, by gas), until one arrived in a similarly lit auditorium and took one's seat. Now whether this reasoning was applied in the case of the Imperial Cinema, I know not. I don't know how expensive, in 1909, road frontages were in the southern part of Brighton Road, Crawley. However as daveSea points out, the photographs do suggest that its auditorium was significantly wider than its entrance hall/ticket office fronting onto the road. So it would be interesting to know the comparative dimensions of the two and to know how they were linked and, if it be by way of a corridor, the length thereof.  
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TAS
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« Reply #17 on: January 27, 2017, 21:23:26 PM »

This picture was taken by Kevin Gordon and posted on Memories of Crawley. It shows the fa├žade of the Imperial, all that is left of the building

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Imperial Picture Theatre Kevin Gordon 21 Apr 2016.jpg
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TAS
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« Reply #18 on: January 27, 2017, 21:49:22 PM »

Something I noticed, while I was looking for pictures of the Imperial, to post on Memories of Crawley, can be seen on post #7 by daveSea, which shows Imperial Picture House, then #5 by Pomme Homme shows a later picture of the same building, before rebuilding, and it seems it is already being called Imperial Cinema.
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