A golden era gone

THE MENTION of Bognor Regis evokes many happy memories of living and working in that town for many years.

People are saying what they want and what the town should have, but at one time we had lots of things for people’s entertainment.

We had four cinemas, Picturedrome, Theatre Royal, Pier Cinema and the Odeon, where I worked as a projectionist, the Roof Garden Theatre, the Esplanade Theatre on the seafront, the Rex Ballroom and not forgetting the Pavilion, a place of entertainment, dancing, concerts, roller skating and wrestling, and other forms of entertainment, something for everyone.

But what happened?

The Pavilion was pulled down, the Esplanade Theatre was pulled down, the Rex Ballroom went, the cinemas closed down, the Theatre Royal was pulled down, they even got rid of the bus station, all in the name of progress?

Or lack of initiative by the ruling council of the day.

The Odeon is now a bingo hall, a sad demise for a very special place to me, my first job when I left school in 1940.

Those are my memories of Bognor Regis, mostly happy, but a few sad ones.

John Bugden