It's hard to believe but at one time Weymouth and Portland had four cinemas.

These days the area has just one multiplex - Cineworld in Weymouth town centre, which currently closed due to the national lockdown.

But turn back the clock to the 1950s and besides the better known Gaumont, the Odeon in Weymouth and the Regal on Portland, there was also the Belle Vue in Weymouth.

The Belle Vue Picture Palace, at the junction of Belle Vue and East Street, was opened on December 5, 1910. It was converted from lodging houses.

According to cinemagoer June Fish, it was affectionately known as 'the flea pit' and showed films that weren't being shown elsewhere!

The Belle Vue was one of the smallest cinemas in town with only a single floor and no balconies or extra seating. It had one screen and 314 seats.

Audiences wouldn't hold back at the Belle Vue. During the opening performance, which included “Fontolini Steals a Bicycle”, “Sleepy Sam” and a coloured film “The Shepherd’s Kiss”, there were frequent outbursts of applause.

Sadly the Belle Vue closed in September 1956. Its final screening were “The Lyons in Paris”, starring Ben Lyon and Bebe Daniels, and George Montgomery in “Indian Scout”.

The Belle Vue went out of commission during a cinema cut-down by the Rank Organisation.

There were plans for the building to become a leisure centre and continue to show films but this never happened.

It was bought by by the Elim Foursquare Gospel Alliance and became the Elim Church.

Do you have pictures of memories of the Belle Vue Cinema or of the Gaumont, the Odeon in Weymouth or the Regal on Portland? If so, share them below.