The next instalment of my research into the brief history of Deal’s cinemas brings us, surprisingly (to me!) to The Globe Theatre. For those readers not familiar with this theatre it was situated within the Royal Marines School of Music North Barracks and, at least in recent memory, was most famous for hosting popular RM concerts the hilarious RM pantomimes written and directed by the late, great Stan Glasspole. Great fun!

The Globe Theatre stood in the far south-west corner of the barracks. It is described as being a ‘rectangular box with gables at either end and a loft and lantern over the stage. It had a restrained stock brick brick facade with red brick bands’. The RM Heritage Trail website states that the cost of the building and fittings was covered by the Sergeant’s Mess Canteen funds and it was built around 1900.

Charles W Collins who had opened the Marina Hall Cinema on the corner of Duke Street and High Street spotted the potential of the building and had approached the commandant to ask for permission almost to use it an an annex to his existing cinema by replicating the shows and films shown there. This appealed to both locals and Marines who didn’t have to traipse into town to see the latest offering. The theatre could hold an audience of up to 400 and boasted raked floors, tip up seats and a balcony.

I asked my dad, a young musician in the early 1950s about it and he remembers watching films there when they had some time off of parade and kit cleaning.

I’m not sure when films stopped being shown at the Globe but the RM pantos and concerts continued for many years. This beautiful theatre was bulldozed just before being assessed for listed status as the whole barracks area was re-developed.

Charles’ local cinema empire continued to expand. More about that soon.

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