The photos are dated 1890 but may have been taken a year or two earlier. The structure halfway along is a small theatre originally called Bijou Pavilion. At the time, the pier was under private ownership and there was an admission charge; the nearest picture shows pay booths at the entrance.
In the last few weeks I’ve received messages asking where it was located, so let me repeat here that the pier was opposite Church Street. If it were there today, it would be behind the Seaquarium.
THU 19th AUG 2010 UPDATE: In response to query from reader Michael White, I can confirm that there was an admission charge on the pier until after World War 2. The pier was made toll-free in time for the 1947 summer season.