Originally, the Picturedrome was built in 1886, functioning as a community centre for the local people. The design of the building was developed by local architect Arthur Smith. During the First World War (1914-1918), the Picturedrome’s function changed, instead becoming a drill hall. It wasn’t until 1919 that the Picturedrome gained the name we know today and became a fully functioning cinema.
The Picturedrome - Copyright of Young (1983) A History of Bognor Regis - Picture 74
In April 1954, the interior of the Picturedrome was damaged by fire, resulting in the width of the proscenium doubling in size to include a Cinemascope screen. Originally, the cinema consisted of one screen, with the upstairs room functioning as a Bingo Hall. It wasn’t until 1983; when Cannon Classic Circuit purchased the building, that it was modernised to accustom another cinema screen, replacing the Bingo Hall. During this time, the Picturedrome was renamed the Classic.
Today, the name has been reverted back to the original Picturedrome after it was purchased by Picturedrome Theatres Ltd.