These were the days when promoting films was big business – and there were few better at it than Edward Bowles when he was the manager of the Empire Cinema in Great Yarmouth.

These wonderful photographs have been sent to us by his daughter Valerie Jordan and illustrate so well how her father advertised the latest films being shown and what an extraordinary vision of the future he had.

In an interview with the Yarmouth Mercury way back in 1931 he predicted: “ A shilling-in-the-slot cinema, where patrons will be shown automatically to their seats for a talkie-television programme, probably relayed from some spot hundreds of miles away, will be the entertainment of the future.”

No wonder the we described him as a man capable of anticipating entertainment trends.

Eastern Daily Press: Waiting for Heathcliffe? A fine way to promote Wuthering Heights at The Empire in the late 1930s

Edward was also an electrical and wireless engineer who  forecast the popularity of the talkies several years before Al Jolson was The Jazz Singer in 1927.

It was our Peggotty who told his story again in the Mercury back in 2013.

Edward Bowles, a Yarmouthian born in 1885 and educated at the Priory School  was 14 when he started working at the W H Smith book stall at Vauxhall railway station.

He said: “The idea of a showman’s life was paramount in my young mind” so he left his home town for nearly 12 years and during his absence became he secretary/valet to a millionaire and travelled to America with him.

Eastern Daily Press: Put your glasses on!  Boys and girls gather at The Empire to promote the 1927 Harold Lloyd film The

Young Edward also worked as a cameraman for a Fleet Street press agency, played the piano with a variety group and finally broke into film management.

He returned to Yarmouth and worked as advertising inspector for Rowntree’s and then managed a photographic studio run by a friend.

Edward then joined the Regent Cinema and arrived at the Empire in December 1918…and what a difference he made with his dazzling displays to promote the films at this grand building.

When he left the Empire he went back to photography and then became secretary to Pleasure Beach owner Albert Botton. He died in 1967 aged 82  but his memory lives on.

The Mercury said of him all those years ago: “A visionary in the fullest sense of the word. Mr Bowles is confident that all cinemas will one day he equipped with the new Wide Screen.

“Almost as quickly and unexpectedly as the silent film was overtaken by the talkies, so will the talkie be eclipsed by television,” he declared.

Eastern Daily Press: One of the few photographs featuring Empire manager Edward Bowles on the steps of the cinema

At the same time Mr Bowles, added the Mercury, was a staunch supporter of the talking film.

As we said….a man who could certainly see the future.

Eastern Daily Press: The Empire at Great Yarmouth attracting people to come and see The Four Feathers film made in 1939

Eastern Daily Press: What do you think those two lads were saying to each other when they spotted this motor and its