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11 unique cinemas to visit in Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 13:41 18 September 2019 | UPDATED: 13:50 18 September 2019

The queue at the Gorleston Palace cinema for the local premiere of Danny Boyle's film Yesterday. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The queue at the Gorleston Palace cinema for the local premiere of Danny Boyle's film Yesterday. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

From former ballrooms to snacks brought to your seats, sit back and relax at these unique cinemas across Norfolk.

Cinema City, Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYCinema City, Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

1. Cinema City

27 St Andrew's Street, Norwich, NR2 4AD

An old-fashioned cinema in the heart of the city, it occupies Suckling House which was the 16th century home of Norwich MP Robert Suckling.

It was restored in 1923 and equipped with a cinema projector and screen intended as a public space and was opened to the public by the Duke of York, who later became King George VI.

It became Cinema City in 1978, with additional screens added between 2004 and 2007, and now boasts three screens which show new releases alongside independent films and Vintage Sundays with timeless classics.

You can take drinks from the bar into the auditorium alongside a range of snacks and the building is also home to the Dining Rooms, with vaulted ceilings and stone arches, which offers a seasonal à la carte menu alongside lunches and afternoon tea.

The Majestic Cinema in King's Lynn. Picture: Ian BurtThe Majestic Cinema in King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

2. Majestic Cinema

Tower Street, King's Lynn, PE30 1EJ

Located in one of the county's most beautiful buildings, the independent cinema opened on May 23 1928 and has three screens and is located in a former ballroom.

There are plenty of historic features to look out for, including a stained glass window in the main entrance, zodiac signs on the roof of screen one and the spring-layered floor in screen three.

Ticket prices are also very reasonable, with tickets available for £4.50 and group saver for groups of four or eight, priced at just £3.75 per person.

3. Aylsham Picture House

Aylsham picture house pop up Photo: Aylsham Picture HouseAylsham picture house pop up Photo: Aylsham Picture House

Holman House, 18 Market Place, NR11 6EH

Films are shown in Aylsham Town Hall and all tickets cost £5 each and can be purchased from nearby Barnwell's Newsagents in advance or on the door.

They regularly invite audiences to suggest films for the future, which are voted for and become the Audience Choice selection.

Generally, they show a mix of old classics and films that you can no longer see at the cinema, with upcoming showing including Bohemian Rhapsody, Fighting with My Family, based on the Knight wrestling family from Norwich, and Breakfast at Tiffany's.

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Movieplex cinema in Cromer.
PHOTO: ANTONY KELLYMovieplex cinema in Cromer. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

4. Regal Movieplex

2-4 Hans Place, Cromer, NR27 9EQ

A multi-screen cinema on the coast, which shows the latest releases alongside art-house and independent showings.

Owned by Merlin Cinemas, and their only one in Norfolk, the venue originally opened in 1916 as a combined music hall and cinema venue.

In the 1980s, the cinema's future was in doubt as attendance dwindled, but then Chris Green acquired the Regal and launched a refurbishment programme and converted it to a four-screen complex.

5. Screen-next-the-Sea

The Maltings in Wells has re-opened after a £5m regeneration work. Picture: Ian BurtThe Maltings in Wells has re-opened after a £5m regeneration work. Picture: Ian Burt

The Maltings, Staithe Street, Wells-next-the-Sea, NR23 1AN

New releases are shown alongside throwback blockbusters in the Grade-II listed Wells Maltings Theatre and Cinema with one-off screenings and upcoming films including Downton Abbey, Judy, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Miracle of 34th Street at Christmas.

Their film festival also takes place from September 20 to 22 this year, with six films over the three days which are Fighting with my Family, Swimming with Men, Death at a Funeral, Four Lions, The Smallest Shown on Earth and Alan Partridge: Alpha: Papa.

6. Central Cinema

Market Place, Fakenham, NR21 9BP

Central Cinema, Fakenham Credit: Ian BurtCentral Cinema, Fakenham Credit: Ian Burt

The Victorian building was built in 1855 and designed by architect John Brown, who is best known for his churches and was the surveyor on Norwich Cathedral.

It was converted into a 700-seat cinema in 1930, and was renamed as the Central Cinema seven years later, and closed in 1976 when it became a bingo club until the 1990s.

After extensive repair works, it was restored as a Hollywood Cinema in 2000 and it now has an independent owner and is a bargain with standard tickets priced at just £4.

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7. Light Cinema

A look around the new Light Cinema in Thetford ahead of their grand opening.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2016A look around the new Light Cinema in Thetford ahead of their grand opening. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2016

17 Bridge Street, Thetford, IP24 3AE

Part of a small cinema chain, which also has a branch in Wisbech, the Light Cinema shows new releases alongside special events, which including Royal Opera House and National Theatre Live screenings and they also recently showed the Love Island final with cocktails.

The cinema opened in 2016 as part of Thetford's Riverside development and boasts three screens, alongside a spacious cafe/bar area with a menu including waffles, milkshakes and gourmet hot dogs.

8. Wymondham & District Ex Service's Social Club Regal Cinema

9 Friarscroft Lane, Wymondham, NR18 0AT

You'll definitely leave feeling nostalgic after visiting the Regal Cinema with old films shown once a month on a Sunday and tickets cost £5 and are available at Simply Cards in Market Street or by phoning Michael on 01953 603246.

Regal Cinema in Wymondham in the early 1960s. Picture: Archant LibraryRegal Cinema in Wymondham in the early 1960s. Picture: Archant Library

September's showing was A Yank in the R.A.F and the October film will be posted on the Wymondham & District Ex Service's Social Club website.

9. Palace Cinema

159 High Street, Gorleston-on-Sea, NR31 6RG

The Palace Cinema opened in 2017 in a building originally built as a movie house, but in recent years had been a bingo hall.

The cinema has four screens, with seating for around 450 people, and features all the latest releases with comfy seats, with reclining ones available too, and food can be ordered at the bar and staff will bring it to your seats before the film starts.

It also hosted the recent premier of Yesterday by director Danny Boyle, which included scenes shot on Gorleston beach, and singer Ed Sheeran who starred in the film was also in attendance.

Ed Sheeran chats to director Danny Boyle at the Gorleston Palace cinema for the local premiere of the film Yesterday. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYEd Sheeran chats to director Danny Boyle at the Gorleston Palace cinema for the local premiere of the film Yesterday. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

10. Orion Cinema

Market Place, Dereham, NR19 2AW

It was recently saved from closure by Orion Cinema when previous owners Hollywood Cinema went into administration and locals were delighted at the news.

It was built as the East Dereham Corn Exchange in 1857 and became the town's silent cinema and during the Second World War a bomb shattered one side of its roof during an enemy raid but it survived.

In the 1960s the capacity was reduced so they could create a dance hall to go alongside it and, like many others, it became a bingo hall in the seventies and reopened as a cinema in 1992.

The Hollywood Cinema branch in Dereham has been bought by Orion Cinema. Photo: Jessica Frank-KeyesThe Hollywood Cinema branch in Dereham has been bought by Orion Cinema. Photo: Jessica Frank-Keyes

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11. Coming soon: Arc Cinema

Marine Parade, Great Yarmouth, NR30 2DL

Following the closure of Hollywood Cinema in Great Yarmouth, The Royalty building, owned by the Jay family, will open as the Arc Cinema later this year, following a multi-million pound investment.

Customers can expect a luxury experience with plans for reclining seats, state-of-the-art sound system and 4K digital projection.

The building is steeped in history which will be incorporated in the new cinema, with memorabilia from when stars performed there, such as Michael Barrymore and Cilla Black, featured around the cinema.

The Arc Cinema group specialise in creating high quality cinemas to serve local communities. Picture: Pause Time PhotographyThe Arc Cinema group specialise in creating high quality cinemas to serve local communities. Picture: Pause Time Photography

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