Biography of 'BROMBERG, Ernest'

Cinema manager and businessman

Bromberg was born in the late nineteenth century, although the year of his birth is unknown. He was the proprietor of Aberdeen’s first public dance hall, the Palais de Danse situated in Diamond Street, and converted from the premises of a local taxi company. Bromberg was an avid cinema enthusiast, and in February 1926 he began to hold events orientated towards the cinema at the Palais. Notable examples were the Aberdeen Cinema Ball, at which prizes were awarded for the best likeness to film stars, and the carnival that was organised to mark the release of the Charlie Chaplin film City Lights.

Bromberg opened Aberdeen’s first News Cinema, on 5 September 1936. This was only the second cinema of its kind to be established in Scotland, and was "intended specifically to provide diversion for those with limited time to while away." The programmes that were shown generally lasted for an hour, and included local interest shorts and newsreels. The cinema was created out of an old stable building, which Bromberg had owned since 1931.

Bromberg sold the Palais de Dance in 1949, and moved back to London. His links with the cinema business in Aberdeen were not completely severed, however. He still owned the News Cinema, and a number of years later, he became involved in the exhibition of continental films in the city. For a number of years, continental films had struggled to find a market, but by the 1950s were becoming commercially viable.

Bromberg temporarily returned to Aberdeen on 4 April 1955 to re-open the News Cinema. Its name was changed to the Newscine Continental. The name of the cinema was changed again, on 8 May 1959, to Curzon. On October 11 1963, Bromberg announced from London that he was selling the Curzon, to Singleton’s of Glasgow. Bromberg continued to work in his financier’s business until his death in April 1973.

This biographical account was compiled using:
Thomson, Michael Silver Screen in the Silver City: A History of the Cinemas in Aberdeen 1896-1987
Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press, 1988 pp141-315

Researcher: Richard Fry