LANCING AND SOMPTING
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Jan Baker-Freeman, Dallas, Texas and Dijon, France
Peter Gammans, Keene, New Hampshire USA
My grandfather, William Gammans lived across the road at 34 Penhill Road, & my dad Colin Gammans ran the coal business out of the back yard.
We kids back in those days went to to the Luxor for the Saturday 6d serials & cartoons, & if I remember the Regal/Odeon was not up to the modern standard of the Luxor.
Stella Church (nee Charles)
Sheila Hilton, stepdaughter of the first projectionist at the Luxor has emailed:
"Hello, My stepdad Frank McCalla, known as Mac, was firstly projectionist and later manager at Lancing Luxor. He also did the same jobs at the Ritz Shoreham. I remember when I was about 10 years old going to saturday morning pictures at the Luxor. At that time my mum was an usherette there. Later I was part of the committee . During the break between films Mac would come down and announce the names of kids who had birthdays that week and we would all sing happy birthday. The people on the committee were supposed to help keep the kids in order and help out on saturday morning.
My mum and Mac married and lived in Lancing, they had a son , Robert. Unfortunatly the marriage foundered, but I have kept in touch with Mac over the years and my half brother Robert. My mum died some years ago.
After the cinemas closed Mac became manager of the bingo hall which was the next function of the Luxor building. He used to oversee the other bingo halls in the area as well. When he retired and moved to Paignton Devon he was asked to run a cinema museum which he did for a while until it closed for redevelopment. Recently he moved back to Worthing where he now lives. He still maintains an interest in cinema and the history of films and would I'm sure be chuffed to hear from anyone from "the good old days" . If anyone would like to contact me initally I can pass your messages on to him."
Terry Cooper has emailed with his memories:
left Lancing with my Family in 1965 and now live near Wisbech in Norfolk. Does
any one remember the Odeon in Penhill Road opposite the bakers shop (Cecil Road)?
I can remember going there with my father to see Harvey (the white rabbit) with
James Stewart. Also Mr Drakes Duck with I think Douglas Fairbanks, which was shot
mainly just up the road near Partridge Green (Ashurst). Just a trip down memory
Iris Sayers (nee King) has written to us:.
"I have just logged into your site, which I find very interesting. I was once a relief cashier at the Luxor cinema in Lancing during WWII. I was the "Chocolate girl" from the Odeon Cinema in Worthing at that time.I now live in BC, Canada.
I have many memories of that time, and would love to share them with anyone that is interested.
Looking forward to hearing from you
Iris E Sayers (nee King)"
We have received the following email from a Bill Sheridan, who used to work at the Luxor Cinema. Bill used to live in Church Lane, Sompting, but moved out to Ireland in 1956. On reflection, he thinks he may have got the name of the chief projectionist wrong.
was most interested to see your piece on the Luxor cinema.
Martin Hofton, now resident in Canada, has emailed us with his memories of the Luxor.
" I was interested in your project on the Odeon and Luxor Cinemas. Mr Bill Sheridan's letter jogged my memory of the manager who was there in the early 50's, and I think it was Mr. O'Sullivan. He was a strongly built man who might have been a wrestler, boxer or rugger player at one time.
One day, he caught a couple of us kids letting some friends in through the emergency exit door near the gents toilet. He hauled us off to his office, but instead of calling the police or our parents, he proceeded to explain that it cost money to rent the films, pay the projectionist and heat the building. If everyone did what we did, there would be no Luxor Cinema. Then he gave us a tour of the projection room. I was amazed at the size of the projectors and the cans containing the films. One boy asked why they started the projection (usually the censor's certificate) before opening the screen curtains and Mr O'Sullivan explained that it looked better than leaving people faced with a blank screen.
collected the sixpence entry fee from the non-payers, then told us to sit down
and watch the show and not to let him catch us at it again. Well of course, not
only did we never sneak in the back way again, but he had a whole new set of friends
with eyes and ears making sure no-one else pulled the same stunt!!
Do you have any memories of Lancing's Cinemas? If so, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Any photographs of them in their heyday would also be very much appreciated.