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List Entry Summary

This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.


List entry Number: 1204934



The building may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Essex

District: Tendring

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Harwich

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: II*

Date first listed: 18-Sep-1972

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: LBS

UID: 366562

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Building

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.



609-1/12/86 Electric Palace Cinema 18/09/1972


Cinema constructed in 1911 for Charles Thurston, the East Anglian travelling showman. Architect: Harold Ridley Hooper of Ipswich. Brick with Welsh slate gabled roof with three metal ridge-line ventilators. Front of Roman cement. Auditorium without balcony entered via small foyer. EXTERIOR: The front has a raised centre part and low wings. Semi-circular central winged dentil pediment with convex circular date panel amid a cartouche of strapwork and drapery. There is a solid balustrade either side and a long horizontal panel with 'ELECTRIC PALACE' in serif letters. Below this is a cornicewith paired dentils. Wide recessed opening with flanking pilasters and a frieze with a moulded motif of fruiting swags, drops, ribbons and a central laurel wreath. The low wings have rusticated bands with, above plaster panels, small-pane double-hung sash windows. Above are painted timber balustrades with circular motifs of Mackmurdo-like character. INTERIOR: Centrally positioned inside the entrance porch is a five-sided kiosk and elaborate twin entrance doors with eared architraves, pulvinated friezes and winged segmental pediments with shell motif. Auditorium with a plaster barrel fielded ceiling with ventilation roundels. Elaborate proscenium and side walls with plaster-framed panels over a dado. Twin exit doors flanking the proscenium. Shallow stage. Projection room over the entrance. ANALYSIS: The Electric Palace is a rare survival from the early days of purpose-built cinemas following the introduction of the Cinematograph Act in 1910. It had a period of closure from 1956 to 1972 -when the cinema was 'rediscovered' and reopened by a charitable trust. Miraculously, it escaped demolition after closure in 1956 and the subsequent sixteen-year interregnum prevented drastic alterations. SOURCE Chris Strachan, Harwich Electric Palace, publisher: Chris Strachan, Harwich 1979. David Atwell, Cathedrals of the Movies, The Architectural Press, London 1980, pages 27 -29 and 186. Richard Gray, Cinemas in Britain, Lund Humphries, London, 1996, pages 23-24 and 134-5.

Listing NGR: TM2613232673

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Atwell, D, Cathedral of the Movies: A History of British Cinemas and their Audiences, (1980), 27-29, 186
Gray, R, Cinemas in Britain: One Hundred Years of Cinema Architecture, (1996), 23-24, 134
Strachan, C, Harwich Electric Palace, (1979)

National Grid Reference: TM 26132 32673


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End of official listing