Memories of resort’s golden era for cinema

Dorset Echo: Memories of resort’s golden era for cinema Memories of resort’s golden era for cinema

A RECENT Looking Back article about the glory days of Weymouth and Portland cinemas has triggered some happy memories of cinema outings.

But some readers got in touch to tell us that there was a cinema open in Weymouth which wasn’t mentioned.

It’s been pointed out that a fourth cinema, the Belle Vue, near Alexandra Gardens in Weymouth, was open at the same time as The Gaumont, the Odeon and the Regal on Portland.

Richard Sartin, of Newberry Road, Weymouth, remembers the Belle Vue cinema on the corner of Belle Vue and East Street which was there in the early 1950s.

When it closed it became the Elim Church, he said.

June Fish of Chickerell contacted us to tell us that she remembers the Belle Vue cinema in Weymouth.

She said: “It was opposite the Alexandra Gardens and it was known as the ‘flea pit’ “Sometimes they had films that weren’t on elsewhere.”

June also remembers the cinema on Portland.

She said: “I lived nearby and was taken there as a child.

“It was on a corner in Park Road and it was open before the war and I remember going when I was 10 and I remember going during the war.”

June also recalls the Regent Cinema in St Thomas Street.

She said: “It also had a dance hall and it was the best dance floor in the south of England.

“There were American soldiers there and you had to have a dance card.”

The article also triggered memories for Bryan Knight of the Belle Vue.

He said it was a cinema open in the 1950s and one of the smallest cinemas in town with only a single floor and no balconies or extra seating.

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