The Sunshine Pierrots, coming attractions and Bond history lost…

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August 8, 2013 by Whispering Smith

Whispering Smith published in the Littlehampton Gazette August 1st 2013

WAY back in the day LA had quite a reputation for its seaside offerings of entertainment. I can remember, just about, my parents taking me to the now long defunct Pavilion on Banjo Road to see The Sunshine Pierrots and I recall the moment the lovely lady singer tossed me a rosy apple and I was smitten. No biblical reference intended but that lady and that apple set me off on a road that, upon reflection, sometimes makes me blush. However, even before the Sunshine Pierrots, were The Royal Zanettos and the Bale family of entertainers. Jane Kosuta, a direct descendant of the family has, with the help of newfound relatives Karen and Terri, old press clippings and, of course, the internet, put together an exhibition showing their showbiz history and family links to this area – especially to LA, Bognor, Rustington, The Titanic, The Somme, Houdini, the USA and Charlie Chaplin with whom they shared billing in the US. The exhibition is on show from July 27th to August 11th. in The Empress Restaurant and Bar on LA’s Riverside Walk – the choice of venue will become apparent when you visit. Entertaining, informative and interesting a virtual trip back in time when summer visitors to our town were revered, were well catered for in seaside style. It should prove quite an attraction. With the ‘temporary’ demise of any cinema provision and the Windmill itself constantly under threat we need to offer all that we can to our visitors and one can learn a great deal from the past! Further details of the troupe can be found on line at

INTERESTING nostalgia spread last week regarding Ian Fleming’s heroes and the origins of James Bond. Thinking about it now and, of course, much too late, I cannot help but wonder just how the planners allowed the transition of The Marine public house – meeting place of many of those heroes – to be turned into dwellings. Much like the West Beach Fort it could well have become an excellent tourist attraction and it’s destruction may well be something we come to regret in the years to come.

FATAL ATTRACTIONS: To date, there are no proposed coming attractions to our Windmill Cinema, 176 days since our last movie and still counting…


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