Duke of York's Picturehouse
The Duke of York's Picture House is an "arthouse" cinema on Preston Circus, Brighton, at the head of London Road. The cinema was created in 1910 as one of the world's first dedicated venues for showing moving pictures, and claims to be the longest-running cinema in continuous use in the world.
The building's main feature as far as passers-by are concerned is a startling giant pair of female legs on the roof (added in 1991), in black and white striped stockings, apparently performing a can-can.
The Picturehouse's survival is partly due to a loyal and fiercely-supportive local clientele, and although no longer technically an "independent" (it's owned by Picturehouse Cinemas, who own a string of twenty-something niche cinemas across the country), it operates essentially independently, with its own programme of special seasons and events, chosen by the manager with local audiences in mind.
Picturehouse Cinemas was taken over by Cineworld in 2012, prompting fears about the Picture House's future. However, the consequences seem to have been mainly limited to the appearance of a co-branded picturehouse within the Komedia complex in 2012 ("Duke's at Komedia").
- Duke of York's Picture House, Preston Circus, Brighton, BN1 4NA