The Beggars Roost

Just a stone's throw from Eastbourne's sea front, a small Italian restaurant sits where once teenagers in the early sixties screamed, shouted and danced the evenings away in one of the south coast's most enjoyable venues.

The Beggars Roost was below a coffee bar; a small room with very little space and no ventilation.

In the upstairs coffee bar they had a very special piece of equipment, a forerunner to today’s video jukebox.  Called the Scopitone, it played records and at the same time showed a film of the artist either playing or acting out a scene that loosely fitted the music.

This machine was a revelation; the Scopitone was manufactured in France and for a short period between 1962 and 1965 became very popular in France, Germany and in a small way the USA.

The one in the Beggars Roost had mainly films of French artists.  The most popular track was one by French rock star Johnny Halliday.


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