Built 1911, one of the oldest unaltered purpose-built cinemas in Britain.
Previously a furniture storehouse stood on this site which burnt down in 1910. In the early days of cinematography shows were given in booths and various existing halls but after a number of tragic fires, Parliament passed the Cinematography Act 1909 which specified structural fire precautions. The Electric Palace was therefore one of the earliest purpose made cinemas in the country.
It was built for Charles Thurston the well-known East Anglian showman. It was designed by Mr H R Hooper ARIBA of Ipswich and the original plans are still in existence. It was opened by the Mayor in November 1911 after which King’s Quay St became the Mecca of Harwich nightlife. It closed as a cinema in 1956. The Harwich Electric Palace Trust, (a sister organisation of the Harwich Society), was founded in 1975 and has restored the cinema. It reopened to members in 1981. It is run by volunteers. To access details of current films being shown, please click here.
(Friese Greene, the inventor of cinematography lived at 8 Cliff Rd, Dovercourt, Harwich).