Photo gallery: Car parks, offices and fast food restaurants - a look at Norwich’s lost cinemas

Gaumont Cinema, All Saints Green, Norwich. Picture: Supplied.

Gaumont Cinema, All Saints Green, Norwich. Picture: Supplied. - Credit: Supplied

A night at the pictures used to be an occasion – a way to escape everyday life and dive into a world of glamour and drama.

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When family homes weren't as comfortable as the cinema, those eager for entertainment would flock to the big screen for fitted carpets and central heating.

In Norwich, grand and impressive buildings which could seat hundreds thrived with the arrival of the second world war.

But in the years after, one in 10 closed as televisions appeared in living rooms and people had more ways to spend their cash.


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Now heritage project Norfolk at the Pictures has been gathering memories at their Cinema City base in Norwich to create a permanent archive of the region's screen past.

Run by film education charity Cinema Plus, the education arm of Norfolk and Norwich Film, tracking Norwich's lost cinemas has become an integral part of the work.

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Project activities co-ordinator Marc Atkinson, 37, explains the change.

'Sadly, many of the larger cinema buildings, which could seat over 1,000 patrons have shut down or been demolished over the years,' he said.

'The reason for this is partly due to changing social habits. And larger single-screen cinemas were forced to adapt into multi-screen cinemas.

'Those that could not afford to were closed.

'Many of the smaller cinema buildings that remain have been converted into offices, restaurants and night-clubs.'

• Do you have a story about the arts? Email emma.knights@archant.co.uk

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