Cat no. 129

The Last Show

Running time6:09 Black & White Silent 1961 Norwich, Norfolk

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A record of the last show at 'The Norvic' Cinema, Prince of Wales Road, Norwich.



It was compiled during the last month of operation and depicts (artificially) Geoff Clarke queuing, buying a ticket and a box of chocolates and sitting in the stalls. Intercut are scenes of a real queue and shots of the B.T.H. projectors being laced up by Geoff Clarke, ready for the final show. A shot of the screen with a scene from La Dolce Vita is followed by people leaving the cinema at 10.00 pm, the 'closed' sign being put up and the doors locked. This main sequence is preceded by a shot over City Hall, Norwich to set the location and then shots of other cinemas that had already been closed as well as some that were still open. The film ends with newspaper clippings showing the headline “Offices to replace Norwich Cinema: Norvic to close down.” There are scenes of the demolition of the building and a still of a notice board showing its future purpose. The site is to be developed by Eagle Star Insurance Co. Ltd. as New Regional Offices.

Background Information:

The Norvic opened on Boxing Day, 1912 as the 'Electric' with both films and live entertainment. It was one of F.H. Cooper's cinemas and was a few doors away from his company headquarters in Alexandra Mansions. In 1949 its name was changed to the 'Norvic'. It was the first cinema in Norwich to show optical sound films and the first to be equipped with cinemascope in the early 1950s, showing the 20th Century Fox picture 'The Robe'. Situated on Prince of Wales Road, it closed in 1961, was demolished and an insurance building is now on the site. The Mayfair Cinema was on Magdalen Street. It was opened as Cinema Palace and was owned by Charles Thurston. It was re-furbished in 1946 and re-named the Mayfair. It closed during the 1950s. Anglia Television's Studio E stands on the site. The Hippodrome Theatre was on St. Giles Street. Damaged during the war, it re-opened but was demolished at a later date. There is now a multi-story car park on the site. The Odeon cinema was on Botolph Street. It was demolished in 1971 during the redevelopment for Anglia Square. There is a modern Odeon as part of the Anglia Square complex. The Gaumont Cinema was on All Saints Green. opened as the Carleton it was owned by Victor Harrison, who made some of the films in the Archive's collection. It closed in 1973. It is now a bingo hall. The Regal Cinema was on Dereham Road. The Theatre de Luxe was on St. Andrews Street. It was the first Norwich Cinema, opening on the 9th April, 1910. It introduced sound pictures in 1931. The cinema closed in 1957 and the building was demolished in 1970.

Featured Organisations:

The Norvic Cinema; Eagle Star Insurance

Featured Events:

The last show at the Norvic Cinema

Featured Buildings:

ABC Cinema; City Hall; Gaumont Cinema; Hippodrome Cinema; Mayfair Cinema; Norvic Cinema; Odeon Cinema; Regal Cinema; Theatre de Luxe Cinema; Theatre Royal

David Cleveland

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