There was an Electric Picture Palace in Southwold which began showing silent films in the summer of 1912. It was close by, in the parallel road to the north, York Road, occupying buildings which were demolished in 1983 to be replaced by the Surgery and Orwell Court, a development of flats. Remembered by many, the Southwold Cinema as it became, survived until 1963.
The Society runs four film seasons a year, three of ten weeks roughly following the school terms, with screenings on Friday and Saturday evenings, plus one five week season during the summer with screenings four nights a week. The idea is to recreate the heyday of cinema-going in a theatrical environment with commissionaire, usherettes and a rising cinema organ as a vital accompaniment to the showing of good films. There are tours of the building on most Sundays between seasons at 2.30pm. Please check with the Box Office.
You have to be a member to attend screenings but holidaymakers are welcome and may join for a season. Annual membership is £10 and season membership £3. A member can bring up to three guests who do not need to be members. Tickets are £6 front row Stalls, £7 elsewhere in the stalls, £8 circle, £15 royal box. National theatre tickets are £10.
The cinema is available to hire for private parties and is licensed for weddings.
If the Picture Palace is not open any goods on display may be purchased at 23 High Street.
To join or to book seats, call the Box Office on 07815 769565 or, for more details, call John Bennett on 01502 724340.