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  Prevention is better than cure - AVG 8.5                


From Jan Baker-Freeman, Dallas, Texas and Dijon, France

I remember I was on the commitee in about 1956. I am not sure we actually accomplished anything but got the Birthday rosta read and planned a few games. It is so interesting to see that people still remember the village and places in it.

I do remember the manager, Mr. O'Sullivan, a giant of a man. I have a feeling he liked kids more than we knew. But heaven forbid you upset him.

Would love to read more of anyones memories, newpaper routes, fish and chips in the Penhill Road fish shop.

Jan Baker-Freeman

From Peter Gammans, Keene, New Hampshire USA

I think the first movie I ever saw was at the Odeon in Penhill road. When, I can't recall. But wasn't the name before the Odeon, the Regal?

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.

Such fond memories,
Peter Gammans

From Stella Church (nee Charles)

I moved to Lancing when I was six and am now 70 this year.

I remember going to the Luxor quite often and also on a Sunday evening my brother Ralph and a group of friends used to go to the Ice Cream Parlour first then on to the Luxor where they had to queue outside for it to open. Once inside the Lancing boys sat one side and the Shoreham and Worthing boys sat on the other side. If the film broke down during the run of the film they all used to shout out which often happened. After that they used to go to the Farmers for a pint and a game of darts.

At that time the price of going in was only 10pence (old money).

Also the Odeon in Penhill Road I used to go to on a Saturday morning where I was on the committee. We used to have stand on the stage before the film and they used to run competitions and the winner got a free ticket for the next week films. Does anybody else remember this?

Stella Church (formerly Stella 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."

Sheila Hilton

Terry Cooper has emailed with his memories:

"I 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 lane."

Terry Cooper

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.

"I was most interested to see your piece on the Luxor cinema.

I started work there as rewind boy, after leaving school in1955. The managers name was O'Sullivan, the chief projectionists name was Vic King, and the second was Rex Atkinson. I used to have to go to Worthing to buy the records to be played during the intervals between 1st and 2nd features. I also had to clean the assorted 'gunge' from the screen which had been thrown at it during the Saturday Matinees. When Cinemascope arrived I also had to dash down behind the scenes after the second feature, which was shown on a normal [ square ] screen to move the black masking outwards to fit the main feature, in Cinemascope. I am glad to see the building still exists, so many finished up as a heap of rubble, to be redeveloped?

Good luck with your projects,

Best regards
Bill Sheridan"

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.

He 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!!

Best Regards

Martin Hofton
Hudson, Québec

Do you have any memories of Lancing's Cinemas? If so, please email us at Any photographs of them in their heyday would also be very much appreciated.

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