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  • Writer's pictureHenry K. Miller

Monday 6 March

Death of Alexander Bernstein, father of Sidney.

‘Only a few days before he fell ill’, reported the Bioscope, ‘Mr. Bernstein attended the reopening of the Ilford Cinema, of which he was managing director.’ Bernstein had entered the entertainment business as a property developer in North East London. In 1908 he built a music-hall, the Edmonton Empire, before taking part in the cinema-building boom of the early 1910s, and by 1922 his holdings included venues in West Ham, East Ham, Plumstead, and Willesden as well as Ilford. As recently as January he had built a new cinema in Bournemouth.

Ilford Empire Kinema. Source: Cinema Treasures

Sidney was born in 1899, the same year as Hitchcock, and not far away from Leytonstone, in Ilford. He had forged his own path in the film world, but now, at the age of 23, he inherited his father’s business – the nucleus of the Granada chain.


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