ELECTRIC PALACE CINEMA

Overview

Heritage Category:
Listed Building
Grade:
II*
List Entry Number:
1204934
Date first listed:
18-Sep-1972
Statutory Address:
ELECTRIC PALACE CINEMA, KING'S QUAY STREET

Map

Ordnance survey map of ELECTRIC PALACE CINEMA
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Location

Statutory Address:
ELECTRIC PALACE CINEMA, KING'S QUAY STREET

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

County:
Essex
District:
Tendring (District Authority)
Parish:
Harwich
National Grid Reference:
TM 26132 32673

Details

TM2632NW HARWICH KING'S QUAY STREET (North-East side)

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

GV II*

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

Legacy

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

Legacy System number:
366562
Legacy System:
LBS

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)

Legal

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

End of official listing

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 19 Apr 2006
Reference: IOE01/14964/27
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Wilfred N. Winder. Source Historic England Archive
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