Did you know there used to be a cinema where Topshop is now in Norwich city centre? Or that Norwich’s very first purpose built cinema was built in 1912 on Magdalen Street and demolished in the 1960s?
Norfolk at the Pictures is a heritage project developed by Cinemaplus at Cinema City that aims to capture people’s memories from the Golden Age of Cinema and Cinema going in Norwich and create a Screen Heritage centre at Cinema City.
As part of the project graphic designer Nick Stone has created a series of “Cinema Ghosts” along the same lines as his series of Blitz Ghost photos of Norwich during the Blitz. The photos superimpose old photographs of Norwich cinemas onto the present day landscape. Some are now in different use, others have disappeared completely. You can see the full set on Flickr.
Today we take going to the cinema a little for granted. It’s expensive, but at big out of town multiplexes has lost a little of it’s magic. Back in the early days of film Cinemas were often grand palaces. Ornate art deco buildings, the insides decorated in red velvet and gilt. The Norfolk at the Pictures project is encouraging people to share their experiences of going to these cinemas, their memories of what they were like and what films they saw. These cinemas saw first dates that became marriages, saturday morning children’s matinees and a whole host of other memories it would be a shame to lose forever.
The lottery funded project runs day courses for adults on Cinema and throughout 2013 will run a series of pilot evenings and special screenings.
The first special event is this Saturday at 11am, which is a chance to find out a bit more about the project. There will be presentations from the East Anglian Film Archive and Norfolk Record Office and a special screening of archive films as well as the chance to see more of Nick Stone’s Cinema Ghosts on the big screen. The event is free, but you should contact email@example.com to book a place.