What happened to the cinema near you?

A party for staff at a Norwich cinema. do you recognise anybody?

A party for staff at a Norwich cinema. do you recognise anybody? - Credit: Archant

Were you a Saturday morning picture kid or perhaps you met the love of your life at the cinema? It's time to share some magical movie memories.

What ever happened to the cinema near you? You can find out at a special Norfolk at the Pictures event at Cinema City celebrating the movie houses which have played a leading role in so many lives.

And the organisers are hoping people will pop along with their memories and stories of going 'up the pictures' over the decades.

The idea of Norfolk at the Pictures is to capture, share and preserve the heritage of more than 100 years of cinema-going in the city and across the county.

It is a Heritage Lottery funded project in development by Cinema Plus at Cinema City.

The aims are to preserve the heritage of cinema going in Norfolk as well as developing new education spaces and access at Cinema City itself.

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A major part of the project will be collecting memories, photographs and memorabilia from the public, preserving them and presenting them back through film projects, touring exhibitions and a website.

To find out more get along to Cinema City at 11am on Saturday February 2 when a whole host of events will be taking place.

They include a special screening by the East Anglian Film Archive on Norfolk cinemas, including some rarely seen clips, and talks on their work at the highly regarded archive.

There will be an exhibition of photographs and Norfolk film memorabilia and there will be people waiting to capture your memories of stories of life in the pictures over the years.

<t> If you would like to go along, admission is free, but please book by getting in touch with Marc Atkinson at marc@cinemaplus.org.uk or call Norwich (01603) 625145.


What was your favourite picture palace in Norwich or the rest of Norfolk?

In the glory days of the cinema, long before television, there were more than 70 of them across the city and county.

There were neighbourhood picture houses on the Norwich estates, posh ones in the city centre while almost every town and many villages had their own theatre of dreams.

A night at the pictures was a special occasion.

Customers enjoyed comforts, unknown in their homes, such as fitted carpets and central heating and were able to escape to a world of make believe.

<t> Where was your local cinema?

<t> Were you a member of the Saturday morning club?

<t> Perhaps the first date with the love of your life was at the pictures?

<t> Which was your favourite film?

<t> Perhaps you worked at a cinema?

Send you memories to me at derek.james@archant.co.uk or drop me a line at Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE.


The first cinema in Norwich was said to be in the old Assembly Rooms on Bank Plain which opened way back in 1903. At the time William Friese Green, the father of British cinema, was working in Norwich and it is thought he was involved with his colleague Ernest Priest.

When the films - thrillers were most popular - were not being shown attractions included 'the funniest face' competition.