May 25 2013 Latest news:
Friday, March 22, 2013
Going, going, gone and with some heavy blows from the pickaxe boys a grand old Norwich building comes tumbling down.
I wonder what health and safety would have made of this lot knocking down the Electric which turned into the Norvic on Prince of Wales Road 1961?
At the time the kiss of death hung over so many of our cinemas – killed off by bingo and television but what a shame more of the beautiful old buildings were not saved.
The Electric was built just over a century ago by F H Cooper of Wisbech. The ornate picture palace had been designed by his friend Francis Burdett Ward and the people of Norwich loved it.
Live shows, special presentations and films were the order of the day with a resident orchestra playing for the silent films. Talkies came along in 1929 with a five-week run of Sunny Side Up which attracted almost 90,000 customers.
The Electric Theatre continued to play a leading role in the city entertainment scene during the 1930s and 1940s. It survived the Blitz but crowds fell away following the war. It was taken over by Norfolk cinema boss Victor Harrison who renovated it, giving it a new lease of life and a new name – The Norvic which opened in September 1949.
Cinemascope brought the people back in the 1950s and The Robe was the first film to be shown on the new widescreen in 1954.
But still the crowds drifted away. Cinemas in the city, the suburbs and across Norfolk were shutting up shop. Some becoming bingo halls, others were turned into workplaces while some, like The Norvic, bit the dust.
The last film to be shown was Wild in the Country starring Elvis Presley. Then the doors were locked for the last time and the men with the pickaxes moved in.
Thank you for all your movie memories and please keep them coming in. Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or write to me at Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.
Terrorism returned to the streets of London today as two suspected Muslim fanatics butchered a man in broad daylight in the name of “Allah”.
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