Tag Archives: Christianne Beck events

The story of the Brighton Astoria…

15 Feb

When I was growing up in Brighton I always kept my eye on the Brighton Astoria, with hopes and dreams that one day I would own it and run events of all sorts and develop it into a medium sized venue that I feel Brighton so badly needs.

Brighton has quite a few venues ranging in size (The Brighton Centre, Concorde 2, The Dome, Digital, Green Door Store, The Hanbury Ballroom and many more) but I do think there’s only either huge venues, or small venues available. The Astoria would have been that happy medium. As a stunning Art Deco Grade II listed building, the exterior and interior is incredible (albeit a little dilapidated now) and with a bit of sprucing up, could have been Brighton’s answer to the Troxy in East London.

Unfortunately though, last year a planning application was approved by the council to knock the lovely building down to build an office block. This planning application didn’t go down without a fight though. The Theatres Trust and the Cinema Theatre Association have fought to keep the building from being demolished but alas the battle was lost in January 2012. I was devastated to hear this, but unfortunately the building has lain derelict and rotting since 1996 and would cost £3.5m to repair to a reusable state. Saying this though, it’s been over a year since this application was approved and to my knowledge nothing has been activated as yet.

But, in ode to the stunning Brighton Astoria and its (potential) forthcoming demise, here’s a little information about its history and some incredible pictures from inside.

The Astoria opened on Thursday the 21st of December 1933 with a special programme including the National Anthem, speeches by Sir Cooper Rawson M.P., and the Mayor of Brighton; Margaret Hardy M.B.E., a showing of the Movietone News’ ‘Current Events’, T. Guy Hindell playing an Overture on the Theatre’s own Compton 3 manual Organ, a showing of ‘Interesting Items’ by Pathe Pictorial, Walt Disney’s ‘Santa’s Workshop’, and the main feature which was Charles Laughton in ‘The Private Life of Henry VIII.’

Originally built as a Super Cinema with stage facilities, the Theatre’s stage was rarely used and in 1958 it was closed off completely when renovations to the building included erecting a 70mm screen in front of the proscenium. The Theatre’s Compton Organ was also removed at this time, and the auditorium was mostly hidden by curtains. Also the Balcony stepping was altered and a new projection box was installed at the rear of the balcony.

The Astoria then went on to be a successful Cinema for many years until the 7th of May 1977 when it closed after the last showing of Barbra Streisand’s ‘A Star is Born.’

After the Astoria closed for Cinema use it was then converted for Bingo. This continued until 1996 as a Gala Bingo Hall but was then closed and the building was boarded up, and so it has remained since.

Such a sad story and I’ll be super upset to see it go! The Brighton Astoria will always hold a place in my heart x


Brighton Clubbing Scene

14 Feb

Am conducting some research on the Brighton Clubbing scene, with a hope to start up a night fairly soon. Anyone who lives in Brighton or people who regularly grace the Brighton scene are welcome to complete this short survey!


Extreme Events

22 Jan

Am in the process of planning and developing concepts for an extreme sports event this year with Proud Robinson. It’s an area I’ve always wanted to work in (and teenage me would be having kittens if she knew that eventually this is what she’d get paid to do). It fascinates me, due to the incredible skill involved, the style and overall ethos. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt already from speaking with athletes from different disciplines, professional sports people are amazingly passionate about what they do.

I sometimes need to pinch myself when I’m researching extreme sports athletes on the internet, watching videos on vimeo or youtube of their skills – THIS IS WORK! But watching incredible videos like this one by the fabulous Spanish Kilian Martin, and this one by American William Spencer just bring things to a whole new level.

I love watching extreme sports videos and seeing a section where people muck up their tricks. It reminds you that these videos don’t just happen in a day and it takes months to create – the finished article is a fraction of the time they spent perfecting their tricks. Also I love watching them get angry when they don’t do their tricks perfectly. That might sound weird but I love that they’re so emotionally involved in what they’re doing and eager to get it right. I often get REALLY angry with myself if I’ve missed something or made a mistake, but every single error is something to learn from and shows your passion for what you do.

All very exciting stuff and is the first extreme sports event I’ve been involved in. 2013 is shaping up very well so far 🙂

Found these images below that I really liked in my hours of research. Stay tuned for more info on the project as and when I can divulge!


Welcome to 2013 and Transferable Skills

12 Jan

1 month since my last post… oh dear. But, my whole idea for my blog was that it would never become a hindrance to me. I would only write when I had the time, and when I was inspired. I don’t want to become a blogger that writes a post for the sake of keeping it updated every day, losing the value of content. Also, it’s been Christmas, New Years and my birthday, so I’ve been very busy. That along with working a lot over the whole season has not left me with much time!

But now we are securely in 2013, I’m very excited about what is set to be an incredible year. I’m already working on some awe inducing projects with Proud Robinson, and have been putting together initial ideas for a secret project that will display itself later in the year (eek!). Am also preparing for my seminar on Brand Partnerships in Events for Live Experience Expo in March. Nerve racking but very exciting!

With my feet firmly back on the creative turf of 2013 (which will be Brighton this year) I’m back behind the pen, I mean keyboard……

So, first subject of the year.  Transferable skills.

I read an article on EventMagazine.co.uk about the various professions people have worked in before moving into the events industry (if they don’t go straight into it after university). A lot move into events after working creative/arts roles, but they also said that a high level of people that have worked in Armed Forces move into events. This made me think about the number of transferable skills you gain from working in the armed forces. Attention to detail, immediate problem solving and use of initiative, team leadership/management, meticulous organisation skills, keeping cool under pressure, delegation, time management, and making sure you manage every tiny element of project to contribute to one larger purpose.

Strategy as well is a large element of what we do (in experiential and brand events anyway) – considering the bigger picture of an event, what its objectives are and during the build up and live activity ensuring that you never lose sight of this.

At Proud Robinson we’re hiring an intern at the moment, and a lot of our applications have been from folk who haven’t worked or studied events at all previously, but I’ve been reviewing CV’s considering who has transferable skills alongside the passion to work in an area they’ve not worked in before.

The events industry is tough to get into for a graduate, even more so when you have studied a subject totally different to what you’ve worked out is what you want to do. I think the key is to thoroughly asses your skills and existing experience, then communicate how these are relevant to the job in hand – whilst also showing as much enthusiasm and drive for the role in question.

I think there are transferable skills between many roles/industries. If you have any thoughts on this, or you’re a graduate finding it hard to get a role and want some advice I’d be happy to offer some.

So, welcome to 2013 readers! May your events be well managed and innovative, and your FiloFaxes be full of exciting meetings and projects!

Gordon Ayres Vintage Photographer

20 Nov

Wow. What a month! Have been to Oslo, Bergen, Stockholm and Rye (glamour!) and have seriously not stopped! Will do a full write up of the wedding I managed at {10-11} Carlton House Terrace at the beginning of November and the fabulous Rockabilly festival Rhythm Riot I got back from yesterday in Rye as soon as I get photos sorted, but in the meantime I need to tell you ladies with wedding bells in your ears about an incredible man I met at Rhythm Riot….

Gordon Ayres is a vintage and Hollywood glamour photographer and a massively inspirational man. We chatted to him for a long time about his authentic techniques, styles and kit that all contribute to his incredibly niche skill. He does the most amazing 1930s, 40s, 50s style photography that I’ve ever seen. From Hollywood glamour style shots, to Film-Noire inspired shots, and vintage Vogue-magazine-style shots – his style is impeccably beautifully vintage all over. Have a look through his online portfolio and see for yourself.

Gordon is so passionate about what he does, and has done many weddings in the past. I think his photography would add such an amazing air of elegance to wedding photos – something really different and glamourous you will not get anywhere else.

Anyway, have a look at his site here!

In other news, I’ve updated my website today with a case study from the recent Nissan FUTURE:TODAY Nordics Tour, and will be adding as I go along. Feel free to have a look 🙂

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