|Title ID||453||Collection ID||260|
|Keywords||Beaches Buildings Cars Children Fairgrounds Leisure Time Activities Parks Piers Piers [Palace Pier, Brighton] Piers [West Pier, Brighton] Play Railways Seaside Resorts Shops Tourism|
|Format||16mm Colour Sound|
|Duration||8 min. 30 sec.|
|Copyright & Access||Copyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details|
A publicity film made by local photographic shop owner/film distributor/amateur cameraman, promoting Brighton as a seaside resort, focusing on the town’s attractions and architecture.
The film begins with scenes of Preston Park followed by views of Victoria Gardens on Grand Parade. A trolley bus passes outside the Brighton College of Art on Grand Parade. High-angle view of Victoria Gardens with St Bartholomew’s Church visible behind. More double-decker trolley buses (all displaying Tamplins Ale adverts) line up on Old Steine. Views of the Victoria Fountain are followed by various shots of the Royal Pavilion, the Dome and the North Gate. There are scenes from The Lanes and its antique shops, the Palace Pier, Madeira Drive and the Volk's Railway. At Peter Pan’s Playground on Madeira Drive children ride in ‘Johnstone’s Midget’ miniature coaches, others ride on a merry-go-round and aeroplane swings. Brighton’s architecture is highlighted with exterior shots of Lewes Crescent and Royal Crescent and details of houses with black-glazed tiles. There are then further views of the Volk's Railway and seafront along Madeira Drive.
From their 'Mobile Promette Bureau' - a caravan on the seafront, the Brighton 'Promettes' provide tourist information. Shots of the Grand, Metropole and Bedford Hotels and the West Pier follow. There are exterior shots of many of Brighton’s entertainment venues including the Savoy (later the ABC) and Odeon cinemas on East and West Street, SS Brighton Ice Rink, Theatre Royal and Louis Tussaud’s waxworks displaying a mechanical Popeye in the window. Further exterior shots illustrate the diversity of Brighton’s restaurants and bars. Back at the seafront the annual open-air art exhibition takes place. People ride in small motorized boats on the boating pool adjacent to the art-deco style bathing pavilion. On a main road outside the town vintage cars make their way to Brighton in the annual Veteran Car Rally. They arrive at Madeira Drive where crowds line the roads. A poster advertises the ‘Rally and Concours d’Elegance’ on Madeira Drive. A number of cars swerve through barriers and practice cornering and stopping. The film ends with a view of crowded beaches and a speedboat heading out to sea past the Palace Pier.
John King was a photographic shop owner and cine film enthusiast who also tried his hand at Cinema ownership. At then end of the Second World War, he opened a small newsreel and cartoon cinema, named the Cosy Nook Cinema, in East Street, Brighton. He changed the name in 1946 to King’s Minicine but it only remained in business until 1950. King also owned two photographic shops in Brighton, on East Street and Bond Street, between the 1950s and 80s. He was the sole 16mm distributor for a number Laurel and Hardy films in the UK and even met them when they visited Brighton in 1953.
Changes in many of Brighton’s buildings and their uses are well illustrated in this colourful portrait of the town. Most notably, of the buildings no longer in existence are the Bedford Hotel, which burned down in 1964 and the SS Brighton Ice Rink (previously a swimming pool), demolished in 1965. The art deco bathing pavilion seen on the seafront is (at the time of writing) a restaurant and the adjacent boating pool no longer exists.
This film is the only surviving promotional/publicity film of Brighton held in the archive. Although many would have been made, particularly during the 1950s and 1960s to attract visitors to the resort, most were thrown away when the medium of film as a promotional tool declined. However, Screen Archive South East has many other films featuring Brighton and its attractions as a seaside resort. [Sports Stadium - Opening of the SS Brighton Swimming Pool] (1934) shows the opening of the new swimming pool in Brighton. Sussex Symphony (1950?), Beautiful Brighton and Hove (ca. 1960), Palace Pier (1961?) and Brighton Pictures I, II & III (1960s) are all portraits of the town made by amateur film-makers.
There are also many films in Screen Archive South East’s collection relating to tourism and/or the promotion and publicity of other seaside resorts in the South East. Magical Margate (ca. 1925) is the earliest example in the collection. A Holiday to Jump At (1954), At the Sign of the Ram and Gate (1957) and All Go Margate (1970) are examples of publicity films commissioned by local councils. Sands of Time (1949) is also a locally commissioned publicity film and uses a fictional narrative to introduce the sights and attractions of Hastings.