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Norwich cinema from days gone by is to return for a special film screening

PUBLISHED: 15:09 30 March 2017 | UPDATED: 15:09 30 March 2017

Noverre Cinema at the Assembly House, dated 1950. Photo: Archant Library.

Noverre Cinema at the Assembly House, dated 1950. Photo: Archant Library.

It was a much loved Norwich cinema in days gone by, where many will have watched their first film or gone on their first date.

The projection room at the 272-seat Noverre Cinema, part of the Assembly House. Photo dated 1973. Photo: Archant Library.The projection room at the 272-seat Noverre Cinema, part of the Assembly House. Photo dated 1973. Photo: Archant Library.

And this spring the Noverre Cinema, which closed in 1992 after more than 40 years, will be returning to the Assembly House for a special event.

On April 21 the Assembly House ballroom will become the Noverre Cinema again for one night only, and will hold a public screening for the first time in more than 20 years.

The film that will be shown is still to be revealed - and ahead of the event people are being asked to share memories of watching movies there in decades past.

The Assembly House Trust has teamed up with Cinema City Education to bring back the old cinema for this occasion and it is part of a year of activities celebrating the heritage of the Assembly House.

The Assembly House in Norwich. Photo: Bill SmithThe Assembly House in Norwich. Photo: Bill Smith

Organiser Sam Leonard said: “We are really excited to be reviving one of Norwich’s beloved cinemas. We’d love to hear people’s stories from the Noverre, whether it’s first dates or memorable screenings.”

For more than 40 years the Noverre screened a diverse range of films including non-commercial and arthouse releases. Housed in a former ballroom at the Assembly House, it took its name from the Noverre family who taught dance there during the 18th century. Before the Noverre Cinema opened, the Assembly House underwent a £70,000 restoration between 1948 and 1950. When it opened its doors in November 1950 the building was complete with music rooms, a banquet room and exhibition room, as well as the arts cinema. A raked floor was installed which accommodated 272 seats, and the cinema had two 35mm projectors, two 16mm projectors and modern sound installation. The most popular film to be screened was Cabaret, which was shown on 11 different occasions. The Norfolk and Norwich Film Theatre, known for screening foreign and arthouse pictures, began showing films at the Noverre in 1966 before moving to its permanent home, Cinema City in St Andrews Street, in 1978. The Noverre closed on December 23 1992.

Anybody wanting to share memories of the cinema should email info@assemblyhousetrust.org.uk or tweet @AHHeritage

More details about the April 21 film screening will be annouced at a later date.

Ben Russell-Fish, manager of the 272-seat Noverre Cinema, part of the Assembly House. Photo: Archant Library.Ben Russell-Fish, manager of the 272-seat Noverre Cinema, part of the Assembly House. Photo: Archant Library.

Some old film guides for the Noverre Cinema at the Assembly House.
Credit: Norfolk Record OfficeSome old film guides for the Noverre Cinema at the Assembly House. Credit: Norfolk Record Office

A programme for the Noverre Cinema.A programme for the Noverre Cinema.

The projection room at the 272-seat Noverre Cinema, part of the Assembly House. Photo dated 30 November 1962. Photo: Archant Library.The projection room at the 272-seat Noverre Cinema, part of the Assembly House. Photo dated 30 November 1962. Photo: Archant Library.

The Noverre Cinema at the Assembly House. Photo dated 3 July 1956. Photo: Archant Library.The Noverre Cinema at the Assembly House. Photo dated 3 July 1956. Photo: Archant Library.

The Assembly House in Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Assembly House in Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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