Do you remember when the Queen Mother visited a Norwich cinema?

Queen Mother at the ABC Cinema in Norwich, 29 October 1971. Picture: Archant Library

Queen Mother at the ABC Cinema in Norwich, 29 October 1971. Picture: Archant Library - Credit: Archant Library

In this day and age of home cinema systems, it may be hard to fully comprehend the allure a visit to the silver screen once had to the British public.

Norwich Buildings -- AABC Cinema interior pictured after redecoration. The Regent as it was formerly

Norwich Buildings -- AABC Cinema interior pictured after redecoration. The Regent as it was formerly known opened in 1923. In 1973 it was split into a multi-screen cimema and changed its name to the ABC and in 1987 the named changed again this time to the Cannon. On October 29th 2000 the cinema was closed and there are plans (2003) to turn it into a nightclubDated -- 5 May 1961Photograph -- C5596 - Credit: Archant Library

However, the grandiose cinemas of times gone by were the height of entertainment for the masses and royalty alike.

In 1971 Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, visited the ABC Cinema on Prince of Wales Road, in Norwich to attend the local premiere of 'The Go-Between'.

The cinema, originally named The Regent, opened in 1923 and was the last cinema built in city during the silent film era.

The 1,800 seat venue was closed in the 1990s and later reopened as Mercy nightclub in 2003.

The projection room at the Regent Cinema on Prince of Wales Road (later the ABC and the Cannon) pict

The projection room at the Regent Cinema on Prince of Wales Road (later the ABC and the Cannon) pictured when the cinema was being modernised, May 1961. Picture: Archant Library - Credit: Archant Library


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Historically cinemas also provided a valuable public service, especially during the Second World War.

In wartime the public relied on newsreels at the cinema for visual updates on what was happening overseas.

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It provided the nation a rare opportunity to receive the news through moving pictures.

Queues to see The Jungle Book at The ABC in Great Yarmouth, 1967. Picture: Archant Library

Queues to see The Jungle Book at The ABC in Great Yarmouth, 1967. Picture: Archant Library - Credit: Archant

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