37-39 Commercial Road, Portsmouth


The Palace Cinema, Commercial Road, opened on February 21st, 1921. In the fifties, films such as Samson & Delilah, and the Greatest Show On Earth had their first Portsmouth showing here. The Palace was run by Portsmouth Town Cinemas, who also managed the Shaftesbury in Kingston Rd and The Gaiety in Albert Road. It ceased operation as a cinema in the early 1980s. Inside the auditorium the decoration was rather more restrained. The screen was on the inside of the front wall of the cinema, so patrons entering the auditorium walked in from behind the screen. The Palace Cinema was always under independent ownership throughout its cinematic life. By the 1970’s it was advertising itself as the Palace ‘Continental’ and was screening adult sex films. It closed as a cinema in 1981 and after a while was converted into a nightclub. It is a Grade II listed building.